Christmas festival, parade Saturday

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee Main Street will host the Top of the Lake Christmas Festival and Parade in downtown Okeechobee on Saturday, Dec. 10. This and other holiday events are planned throughout December.

The festival will open at 10 a.m. Saturday with arts and craft booths, food booths and entertainment in the third and fourth section of Flagler Park, on State Road 70.

At 6 p.m., the annual lighted Christmas Parade will start, following the regular parade route, starting at Aldi’s on Parrott Avenue (U.S. 441), traveling north on Parrott Avenue to State Road 70 and then west on State Road 70 to the end of Flagler Park.

As is the Okeechobee tradition, Santa Claus will arrive at the end of the parade.

Other holiday events are planned throughout the month.

• The Choir of Okeechobee Presbyterian Church, 312 N. Parrott Ave., will hold their annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall – Entrance on N.E. Fourth St. For information, call 863-357-0465.

• The annual Toys for Tots drive is underway with drop-off boxes in businesses throughout Okeechobee. The Okeechobee News, 107 S.W. 17th Street, is a Toys for Tots drop off.

• A special concert, Spirit of Christmas, featuring renown pianist, Paul Todd and his son, Paul Todd, Jr. will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Peace Lutheran Church, 750 N.W. 23rd Lane. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Paul Todd is well known for playing several keyboards at one time. Mirrors are placed to show his fast moving hands. It will be an unforgettable Christmas musical event! A free will offering will be taken and the public is invited to attend.

• Santa Claus will be in Flagler Park to visit with local children Monday, Dec. 19, Tuesday, Dec. 20, Wednesday, Dec. 21, Thursday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. each night. Come have your photo taken with Santa.

• The City of Okeechobee will host the annual visits from Santa on a fire truck Dec. 15-17. Dec. 15, Santa will travel on the Fire Truck Northwest and Northeast sections of the city; Dec. 16, he will tour the Southeast section of the city; Dec. 17, the Southwestern section of the city.

• Big Lake Missions Outreach is sponsoring their 22nd Annual Toy Drive for their client’s underprivileged children in our county. The mission screens families and the unwrapped gifts are to be wrapped by the parents and placed under the tree for Christmas morning. They are in need of gifts from a day old to 17 years old. Gifts may be in the form of gift cards or checks made out to Big Lake Missions and we will do the shopping for you. Last day to sign up to receive toys is Dec. 16. For information, call 863-763-5725.

• The Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee will hold a Christmas fundraiser by selling a holiday smoked spiral-cut ham (averages 6-1/2 lb.) and an unbaked apple or pumpkin pie for $50. Orders will be available for pick up on Thursday, Dec. 22, at the Pregnancy Center, 808 N.E. Park St. All orders must be received by Thursday, Dec. 15. To order or for information, call 863-467-8748.

• The Pregnancy Center, in the Courtyard Shoppes of North Shore Plaza, 808 N.E. Park St, will host a living Nativity scene at their Annual Open House on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. The Living Nativity will also be at the Pregnancy Center on Friday, Dec. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m.

• The Okeechobee Yatchette Club will host a lighted boat parade on Saturday, Dec. 17, starting at 6 p.m. on Taylor Creek by Burger King, ending at Big Lake VFW Post 10539, 3912 U.S. 441 S.E. All boats were welcome. Boats must be lighted and meet on Taylor Creek by Burger King between 5 and 5:30 p.m. For information, call Ellen at 863-824-0681.

• The Lakeport Garden Club will hold a toy giveaway for Glades County children on Dec. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Toys will be given to parents, so they can wrap them and put them under the tree. Toys will be available for all ages of children at the Lakeport Community Center, 1057 Red Barn Road, off State Road 78 in Lakeport. For information, call Tom or Lois Mattlin at 443-677-0261 or Lorraine Parrish at 863-227-4301.

• A Christmas for Charities event is going on at the Okeechobee County Library now through Dec. 17. Martha’s House and Okeechobee Animal Control Services are the two charities that are being highlighted this winter. Just bring a new, unopened gift or pet supplies to the library, sign the Christmas card and we will deliver them to the proper agency. They are also accepting monetary donations for the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Canine unit which is in need of K-9 vests through Dec. 21.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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