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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

Delray tree ceremony lights up holiday season

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Delray tree ceremony lights up holiday season photo
Country singer Lizzie Sider will close the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Delray Beach.
Delray tree ceremony lights up holiday season photo
The tree lighting in Delray Beach is always a highlight of the holiday season.

By Janis Fontaine

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The lighting of the 100-foot Christmas tree in Old School Square in Delray Beach has become a tradition for many families. Here is why you should go see it this Thursday night.

Tons of entertainment. From 5-7 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m., performances by students from local schools are planned. At 9:30 p.m., country singer Lizzie Sider of Boca Raton — whose first single, “Butterfly,” was recently released to radio — performs to close the show. This young lady is the real deal. She’s a solid singer, but also a gifted song-writer.

The lighting of the tree. The 10-story walk-through centerpiece has 3,000 branches, more than 15,000 LED lights, 39,000 ornaments, and a 18-foot star that is visible for miles. Its buildings have animated scenes of elves working, penguins playing and a huge model train layout. Santa lights the tree at 7:15, with the help of Channel 12 News anchor Suzanne Boyd, a Delray Beach resident.

More than just standing around. Sure, you’ll spend time watching the performers, gazing at the tree and waiting to see the guy with the white beard, but kids can also ride the carousel and go ice skating.

Santa, of course. He may come by sleigh up north, but in sunny South Florida, Santa arrives in the CBS Sky 12 helicopter. He’ll touch down at 7 p.m. on the Great Lawn. Kids can visit Santa in his house from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Get a commemorative photo for $10. Fast pass tickets to see Santa are $20. Only 5 will be issued per hour.

Artists exhibits, live music and demos. The fun continues On The Ave — along Atlantic Avenue — from 6 to 10 p.m. An art exhibition by Pineapple Grove’s own Artists Alley residents is planned. Support Forgotten Soldiers Outreach offers a tasty treat in their S’mores roasting area. The Miami Ice Man will be sculpting in ice, live. Music by Anna Haas, Amber Leigh, Ron Bivona and Rogue Set is also planned.

Can’t make the tree lighting? The 100-foot Christmas Tree is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1. It opens late at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Suggested donation: $1.

If you go:

What: The Delray Beach 100-foot Christmas Tree Lighting

When: 5-10 p.m. Thursday

Where: Old School Square’s front lawn, 51 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach.

Info: (561) 279-1380; Click here for more details.

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