Take Time To Visit Local Festivities And Enjoy The Holiday Season

This week officially kicked off the holiday season, ushering in a time of festive cheer and joy. With Thanksgiving behind us and Hanukkah in full swing, it’s less than a month until we roll through Christmas and on to New Year’s Eve.

It’s easy to get swept up in the stress of the holidays. There are presents to be purchased and wrapped, birds to be stuffed, candles to be lit, lights to be strung and, of course, merriment to be had. While all the traditions of the holidays certainly get us in the right spirit, it’s important we remember to slow down and enjoy being with those we love.

The holidays are about bringing families together and showing our appreciation for one another, whether you’re separated by thousands of miles or simply minutes down the road. Sometimes, in the mad dash for the perfect present or the quest for the perfect latkes, we forget that it’s the people who matter, not the things we get and give.

Our local community has plenty of opportunities this holiday season to spend time with family, making memories with events that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re looking to get out for a night and let someone else do the cooking, or to celebrate with friends and neighbors, there is something for everyone on the calendar.

The events kick off this Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with Winterfest at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (3401 Equestrian Club Rd.). The event is free and open to the public, and offers plenty of fun for children and adults. There will be a winter wonderland with snow, carriage rides and reindeer, as well as a performance by celebrity Vanilla Ice and an appearance by Santa Claus. For info., visit www.wellingtonchamber.com/winterfest-2013.

Then, on Sunday, Dec. 1, the Wellington Jewish Center will host a free Hanukkah party from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Wellington Amphitheater (12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd.) The event will feature a free holiday concert and menorah lighting. There will also be kosher foods, games, face painting and more. For more info., call (561) 333-4663.

Royal Palm Beach will hold its annual Holiday Festival of Lights next weekend on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park (11600 Poinciana Blvd.). It will be a day of free family fun with local talent performing, food trucks, a skating rink, snow, rides and more. Santa Claus will also stop by. For more info., visit www.royalpalmbeach.com.

The following day, the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce will present the Wellington Holiday Parade at 2:30 p.m. along Forest Hill Blvd. between Wellington Trace and South Shore Blvd. The event is a family favorite, featuring floats, local school bands, organizations and more. The free event is open to everyone, and will highlight all of the western communities in its floats. For more info., visit www.cpbchamber.com.

There are, of course, numerous other events put on during the season to give our communities some holiday cheer. Check out the Town-Crier’s weekly community calendar to keep up on all the events.

No matter what you choose to do this festive time of year, we wish you a bright and happy holiday season!