Holiday festivities

West Palm Beach lights up a tree of sand, shows off a gingerbread cabana


If you go

What: West Palm Beach Tree Lighting and Clematis By Night

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Waterfront Commons, 101 N. Flagler Dr.

Admission: Free

Contact: 561-822-1515. Find a map of the sculpture locations at

The Palm Beach Post

West Palm Beach is like your quirky cousin who always tries to be a little bit different.

All over the county, you’ll see holiday trees of green, or maybe silver or gold. In West Palm, you’ll find a tree of sand.

Yes. Sand. Four hundred tons of it.

The tree, which is 35-feet tall, is decorated with lights, and at 7 p.m. Thursday, during Clematis By Night, they’ll flip the switch.

Here are five reasons to pack up the family and bring them downtown:

1. Team Sandastic. This world-renowned, award-winning team of sand sculptors captained by Mark Mason created the massive tree. It took six workers about six days to complete.

2. Pretty boats. Many of the boats from the boat parade will be tied up at the city’s public docks. Holiday lights are twice as beautiful when they reflect off the water.

3. Shopping, of course. Local merchants will be happy to show you what’s new for the holidays, but there’s also a holiday gift boutique in the Lake Pavilion.

4. It’s all about the sand and sea! The little city by the sea has an Under the Sea theme, and there are six more tropical sand displays located throughout downtown. Check out the map at to find them.

5. Santa’s Gingerbread Cabana. This huge gingerbread house was created by Chef David Pantone and his students at the Lincoln Culinary Institute. The display measures 12-feet by 20-feet. Plus: The familiar trolley has been converted to the Downtown Aqua Trolley, a rolling aquarium with giant 3D sea creatures and a scuba driver. You may even spot some live mermaids.

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