KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Key West may be Florida’s subtropical southernmost island, but revelers can enjoy events as seasonal as Santa’s North Pole celebrations during the 2018 Key West Holiday Fest that runs through Dec. 31.
The festivities begin with the lighting of the Harbor Walk of Lights at the Key West Historic Seaport, as the harbor walk area from Greene to Grinnell streets glimmers with nautical holiday displays, featuring traditional and island-style decorations, throughout the season.
Holiday Fest highlights include tours of historic lighted inns on two consecutive Fridays, Dec. 7 and 14. Visitors can discover the holiday spirit — and Key West’s unique architecture and heritage — by exploring several festively decorated bed-and-breakfast properties each Friday. Tickets for the tours can be purchased at keystix.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1107 or by calling 305-296-4959.
On-the-water enthusiasts can show their holiday spirit at the 28th annual Schooner Wharf Bar/Absolut Vodka Lighted Boat Parade set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Dozens of decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to light up the Historic Seaport and harbor areas, while spectators can view the procession from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the seaport.
As well as these signature celebrations, the Key West Holiday Fest calendar is packed with events including the annual hometown holiday parade, a “Sail with Santa” on Fury Water Adventures’ catamaran, Key West holiday lights tours via the Conch Tour Train and Old Town Trolley, pet photos with Santa and multiple New Year’s Eve “drops” staged as warm-weather alternatives to New York City’s annual “ball drop” in Times Square.
Festival information and schedule: keywestholidayfest.com or 305-296-4959
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY