Holiday happenings to get you in the spirit

Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

It seems like every year the holidays sneak up on us, and here they are.

Fortunately, there are many events to put on your calendars to help set the holiday mood.

Sowell’s North Pole Christmas lights display will shine each starting around 5 p.m. until after Christmas.

Sowell’s North Pole Christmas lights display is a good place to get into the holiday frame of mind. From now until Dec. 25, the light display will be open every day from 5:30 until 9 p.m. Visitors can either drive through the wonderland, or park and walk.

Admission prices vary, and more information can be found at

This was the winning boat of the 2020 Milton lighted boat parade.

The next event is one of Milton’s favorite holiday mood-generators: the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade.

Hosted by the Blackwater Pyrates, this unique Florida-style event will take place on Dec. 3 in downtown Milton on the waterfront.

“The parade will begin at 6, and will be followed by a fantastic fireworks display put on by the city of Milton,” said event coordinator Teresa McCombs.

Anyone wishing to participate can find the form on the Blackwater Pyrate website.

The Milton Christmas parade is always a crowd pleaser.

Wrapping up a weekend of holiday cheer is the annual Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4. 

“The theme this year is ‘A Toy Christmas,’ and, as always, we are delighted to be a part of making everyone’s holiday happy,” said Chamber CEO Donna Tucker.

Sponsored by Sport & Wheat Certified Public Accounts, the parade begins at 6 p.m. at the Milton Community Center, progresses to Stewart Street, then heads south on Stewart to Elva Street.

If you live in the Navarre area, Dec. 4 is also the date for the annual Navarre Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park "Joy to the World" event.

Presented by the Navarre Chamber of Commerce and Walmart, Christmas in the Park will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Merry Market. The parade begins at 1 p.m. at the Navarre Library, runs south on Presido, then east on Esplande, ending at Centennial Bank. 

PrimeLending will sponsor the Navarre events.

A trip to the Gulf Breeze Zoo for their annual Christmas ZOObilee is another holiday spirit enhancer. Held on Dec. 11, 12, 18, and 19, this event will include winter-themed bounce stations, live music, unique gifts and treats, and photos opportunities with Santa and the Grinch.

For those who require more adventure to make the holidays memorable, two plunges into the frigid Gulf are planned for New Year’s Day. The fifth annual Pirate Plunge will take place at the Navarre Fishing Pier at noon, and the 13th annual Penguin Plunge will be happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Juana’s.