“Sandi” is scheduled to make a splash with addition of new friend and 2018 theme
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (October 31, 2018) – As with every year, the City of West Palm Beach’s Holiday in Paradise (HIP) star of the show, Sandi – the world’s only 35-foot, 700-ton, holiday sand tree – is returning with a seasonal theme and new elements. During her off-season travels, Sandi met a mermaid friend named Merry. Both, along with a full cast of talented supporting characters, are scheduled to make a splash during the Clematis by Night Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, November 29, 2018. The musical, under-the-sea theme is expected to be a big hit with residents, revisiting guests, and first-time visitors to downtown West Palm Beach, many of whom have made Sandi part of their annual holiday traditions. Sandi and Merry the Mermaid will offer the public nightly melodies and light shows from the Great Lawn, west of Flagler Drive on North Clematis Street, through New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, 2018.
“The holidays are a special time for families,” said City of West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “I am proud of West Palm Beach for continuing to offer fun and free opportunities for families to come together and celebrate the magic of the holiday season. Our offerings are internationally award-winning, creative, unique, plentiful and free. I encourage everyone to make some time to experience the excitement of Sandi and her supporting cast of characters.”
After nearly a month-long preparation of trucking in, sculpting and lighting 800-tons-of-sand, the Holiday Tree Lighting is a huge celebration. Sandi will shine brightly, sing sweetly and offer additional activities for visitors and locals. For the first time this season, Sandi will offer daily activities. In addition, for the big reveal, there will be a holiday shopping boutique in the Lake Pavilion and extra characters, including Santa Clause and a mermaid, who will both be available for photo opportunities.
In addition to Sandi and Merry the Mermaid, returning characters and daily activities this year include:
- Duke “A Great Dane for a Great Dame” who made his debut last year as Sandi’s foster dog| Great Lawn
- SnowieVille | Great Lawn | Open Mon. – Fri. from 6 – 10 p.m. and on Sat./Sun. from 12 noon – 10 p.m. | Free - Visitors to the Great Lawn are encouraged to make their own life-size, tropical snowman for a seasonal selfie to remember!
- Sandi’s Dressing Room | On the Beach, Waterfront Commons | Open daily 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Free - Want to see what it takes to make a star ready for the show? Visitors to the West Palm Beach Waterfront are encouraged to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Sandi’s Dressing Room, which includes accessories for all of her travel companions, too. New this year - in addition to fun photos, visitors can sing with Sandi and make their own videos for keepsakes, or to post on social media, during special Sandioake times throughout the month.
- Glow FORE it Mini Golf | along the Intracoastal Waterway on Flagler Drive across from the Great Lawn | Open Mon. – Fri. from 6 – 10 p.m.; Open Sat. and Sun. from noon – 10 p.m. | Free Mon. – Wed. as a holiday gift from the City of West Palm Beach and $2.50 Thurs. – Sun. - Situated along the Intracoastal Waterway, Glow FORE it Mini Golf is a 9-hole, mini-golf course – that glows in the dark! The course is decked out in holiday-themed decorations and gets lit nightly with neon lights. Wednesday and Thursday nights will feature a live DJ spinning favorite jingle jams.
- Selfie spots | throughout the Great Lawn | Open daily | Free - Selfie highlights this season include cutouts for adults and children of sea creatures playing musical instruments, a gingerbread and a snowman selfie pod, and an oversize ornament, where multiple guests can sit inside and snap a shot.
- Sandi Mail | at the West Palm Beach Visitors Center -Drop a letter in the mail to Sandi, everyone’s favorite seasonal sand tree. Visit the mailbox in the West Palm Beach Visitors Center and drop her a line – then wait by your own mailbox at home, where she just might send you some salty and sassy holiday cheer!
“We love that Sandi is a hit for both first time travelers, many who often wonder what the holidays are like in a location that is filled with sun and sand – especially when much of the country is experiencing snow - and locals, many who have come to incorporate a visit to Sandi into their annual traditions,” said Mary Pinak, Community Events Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation. “The Great Lawn, where most of the merriment and magic unfolds, will be packed with free things to do all month long. Sandi and all of the seasonal activities are a must!”
In addition to daily mainstay activities, many people look forward to the annual trivia competition and holiday slants on popular City of West Palm Beach programming, including at the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, Clematis by Night, The Palm Beach Post Sunday on the Waterfront, and Screen on the Green:
- Clematis by Night kicks-off the seasonal celebration with the Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, November 29 and then continues will weekly music concerts throughout the month of December from 6 – 9 p.m. on the Palm Stage by Sandi (except for Thursday, December 27).
- The lineup includes:
- November 29: Generation Gap (a cappella) of four guys and one doll, who harmonize hits from yesterday. The main band is Jerry Wayne’s Private Party Band (top 40), known for its high energy and interactive performances.
- December 6: Bobby McClendon (country) and his band, the Dirt Road Cartel, are the total package — great vocals, a unique look and a touch of charisma and charm result in a world-class, energetic live show.
- December 13: South Florida Jubilee (ladies a capella group) an award-winning women’s chorus performing a cappella barbershop-style music in four-part harmony. Following the opening band is The Motowners (tribute to Motown), who celebrate the talented artists and compositions of the Motown years.
- December 20: The Chris Thomas Band (jazz/soul) a 19-piece ensemble, who specialize in vintage tunes. They will also be playing holiday favorites.
- Screen on the Green, with the City’s annual “Present Parade” will be a holiday-themed, triple-feature on Friday, December 14 starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Great Lawn| The City will show Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Arthur Christmas, and Fred Claus. Families are encouraged to arrive early to decorate boxes for the children’s “Present Parade” around Sandi. Santa Claus and Merry the Mermaid will also be present from 6 – 8 p.m. for photos and to lead the present parade.
- GreenMarket Holiday Booth Decorating Contest on Saturday, December 15 and Saturday, December 22 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the Great Lawn| Holiday inspired, vendor-decorated booths will line the walkways for all to enjoy. While shopping for gifts, patrons are encouraged to vote for their favorite booth.
- The Palm Beach Post Sunday on the Waterfront Aloha Islanders on Sunday, December 16 from 4 – 7 p.m. on the Great Lawn/Palm Stage | The 6th annual Aloha Islanders show is the ultimate show of “Holiday in Paradise.” The interactive show includes hula dancing and also features the 6th Annual Conch Blowing Contest for prizes.
- Reindeer Games Trivia Night on Tuesday, December 18 from 7 – 9 p.m. on the Great Lawn | Trivia returns with holiday-themed questions the whole family can enjoy for awesome prizes!
- Last call for Sandi and songs on Monday, December 31 | Stop by Sandi Land for Sandi’s 2018 swan song. It will be the last night of Sandi’s show, and all of Sandi’s activities (Glow FORE it Mini Golf, SnowieVille and Sandi’s Dressing Room). The show will run right up until midnight.
Sandi is returning to the waterfront for her seventh season. Since making her grand entrance in 2012, Sandi has received numerous international and regional awards and accolades, which include being named “Best New Event,” “Best New Promotion,” and “Best Event within an Existing Festival” by the International Festivals and Events Association; and “Most Innovative Project” by the Florida Festivals and Events Association. Sandi has been featured in The Huffington Post, on Thrillist, on CNN and The Ellen Show and even has her very own, and wildly popular, Twitter account - @Sanditreewpb.
Convenient parking is available in two City of West Palm Beach garages, Banyan, on the corner of Banyan Blvd. and Olive Ave., and Evernia, on the corner of Evernia St. and Olive Ave. The City’s garages are just a few blocks away from the action. Additionally, the City’s fun and free trolley has several stops near Sandi and the other Holiday in Paradise elements.
For more information about Sandi and Holiday in Paradise, or the City of West Palm Beach’s other free community events, please visit www.wpb.org/events or call (561) 822-1515. For news and updates, follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch.
HIP sponsors-to-date include: JFK Medical Center Main Campus, JFK Medical Center North Campus and Palms West Hospital, AT&T, Discover The Palm Beaches, Florida Power & Light, FPL Manatee Lagoon, Palm Beach Atlantic University, The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News, Hilton West Palm Beach, 97.9 WRMF, SUNNY 107.9, 103.1 WIRK, X 102.3, Beatz 96.3, News Talk 850 WFTL, 640 Hurricane Sports Radio, Best Western Palm Beach Lakes, Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham West Palm Beach, Rhythm and Hues, West Palm Beach Marriott, WPBF News 25, and AMP Music Lab.
HIP partners-to-date include: Palm Beach Outlets, CityPlace, Community Redevelopment Agency, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, Visit Palm Beach, Northwood Village, Historic Northwest Neighborhood, and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
About: All events are produced by the City of West Palm Beach Events and are subject to change or cancellation. For questions about cancellations after hours, please call 561-822-2222. For questions during normal business hours, please call 561-822-1515. For more information about upcoming events, please visit Wpb.org/events or follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB, on Twitter @westpalmbch or on Instagram @westpalmbch.
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Kathleen Walter, Dir. of Communications
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