One of the many great things about living in a FL retirement community like Lake Ashton is the chance to get out and enjoy a whole host of holiday festivities without having to worry about snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. While you may not get to enjoy a white Christmas, you do get to enjoy holiday parades on land and on the water, as well as plenty of traditional holiday events to get you into the seasonal spirit. So break out your Mr. and Mrs. Claus caps and mark your calendars for the holiday festivities that are already in full swing.
If you love a parade, you’re really going to love the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes Boat Parade. Taking place December 9, from 5-7 p.m., this annual event starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. on Lake May in Winter Haven. The parade travels from Lake May to Shipp, back to May, then onto Lake Howard, to Cannon and back to Howard. The best way to see all of the beautifully lit and decorated boats is to find a spot on the Lake Howard Trail in the Heritage Park area. Be sure to take along your own chairs. Alternatively, you can also watch the parade while dining at Harborside Restaurant or Tanner’s Lakeside Bar & Grill. Make your reservations now if you want to dine and delight in this special parade.
Bok Tower Gardens is delightful year round, but come Christmas time, you also have the chance to enjoy the Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate, which runs through January 7. This year, along with the beautiful holiday decorations throughout the estate, visitors will also enjoy the music of the Jazz Age, including songs by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and other legendary American musicians of the 1930s. Don’t forget to check out the other Christmas events at Bok Tower Gardens this holiday season.
History buffs who are in a generous mood won’t want to miss the Festival of Wreaths, taking place through December 14. The wreaths are on display at the Polk County History Center. At the end of the festival, the wreaths will be sold through a silent auction, with proceeds going to help support the History Center.
What are the holidays in Florida without something a little quirky but still an absolute treat. The annual Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club’s Christmas in the Village in Fort Meade is a chance to ride on one of a variety of seated trailers, during which you’ll learn a few facts about the village, as well as take in the beautiful and sometimes unusual light displays. Along the way, there will be stops for candy canes, pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, cider, eggnog, cookies and music. You will also learn about some of the antique and vintage tractors and other engines the members have repaired and restored. The event takes place December 11-12 and 18-19, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. This non-profit organization asks that visitors bring an unwrapped toy, canned food, or a monetary donation. All of the donations are given to local community members in need.
These are just a few of the events that residents of the Lake Ashton FL retirement community may find festive this holiday season. If you prefer something a bit more traditional, there’s also the Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert on December 12, and even the Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker on December 28. From the classic to the quirky, there’s plenty to get you in the holiday spirit in Polk County this season.