Thousands Turn Out to Herald Holidays, Welcome Santa

Annual Kiwanis Christmas Night Parade Enchants Young and Old Alike


Last updated 12/16/2021 at 10:49am

Santa arrived, not drawn by tiny reindeer, but riding atop an enormous red fire engine.

A dazzling display of lights greeted local residents Saturday evening for a mile of Central Avenue as a column of colorful floats, bands, and more than a thousand participants marked the approach of Christmas holidays.

Christmas music filled the air as scores of walkers passed out candy treats to the thousands of spectators who lined the length of the broad street between Lakeshore Boulevard and the City Administration building. The Lake Wales Marching Highlanders and the Lake Wales Brass were among live music groups, while recorded holiday tunes and a number of school choruses and church choirs also added their voices to the merrymaking.

In what was apparently the largest and best-lighted display to date, dozens of brightly-colored floats sparkled with creative displays. The parade is an annual project of the Lake Wales Kiwanis Club, a service organization that has organized the event for many years. The club welcomes volunteers seeking to serve the community. Their annual events, including a pancake breakfast, generate thousands of dollars that are given each year to community youth groups, causes, and scholarships.


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