The coastal towns and communities in Palm Beach and Broward counties are getting ready to flip the switch and light up for the holidays. From Delray Beach down through Hollywood.
Here's what local Christmas Tree lovers can look forward to:
Delray Beach hosts a nationally recognized holiday display. Its famous 100-foot Christmas Tree was recognized by Travel & Leisure as the best Tree in the state of Florida. Delray Beach's Tree joins the ranks of other notable Christmas Trees such as at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Trees and the Nation's Christmas Tree at the White House. Visitors can actually walk through the Tree and see different scenes that include a reindeer barn, Santa's workshop and more. The Tree will be lit for its 26th consecutive year this year on December 5. Local businesses will also be decorating their storefront windows, so plan to stroll about when visiting.
Just south of Delray Beach, Boca Raton is getting an early start with and lighting its Christmas Tree on November 23. And it's not just the tree that will light up the skies: visitors will also be treated to spectacular fireworks.
Deerfield Beach holds its 6th annual Ocean Way Holiday on December 7 at, fittingly, the beach. From carolers to an ice skating rink, the evening promises enchantment.
Pompano Beach's December 5 Yuletide on Atlantic features a parade and bands. And yes, the mayor will light the Christmas tree.
Christmas-by-the-Sea is the theme of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's Christmas kick-off. This sweetly charming seaside town will hold its traditional celebration.
Christmas on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale is gearing up for its 57th year. On December 3rd the Boulevard will transform into an urban winter wonderland with decorations, local choirs from schools and churches and delicious seasonal offerings from local restaurants and vendors. There will even be a two-story snow-covered hill for sledding, almost unimaginably exciting for Floridians.
Of course, Fort Lauderdale also holds renown the Winterfest Boat Parade. The parade meanders for 12 miles and is emblematic of the unique holiday feel that only South Florida has.
Broward County's first city lights its tree on December 5. That's Dania Beach, for those that don't know the city was incorporated in 1904 with only 35 residents of mostly Danish origin.
And at the southernmost end of Broward County, Hollywood clocks in the earliest with a November 22 tree lighting ceremony.
There's so much more!
To name but a few, pop-up ice skating rinks, Christmas concerts and plays, theater performances, drive-through displays of lights, illuminated botanical gardens, and of course, our one-of-a-kind boat parades.
There's something about Christmas in South Florida.
For one, we rarely think to stay in at night because it's “too cold to go out” as we did if we lived further north. Our temperatures rarely dip into the zone that we would call “seasonal”. Many of us left our extended families behind when we moved here. For these reasons and more, it seems that we gravitate towards all of these Christmas celebrations, perhaps more so than in other parts of the country.
How will you get to these wonderful holiday events?
For many, it will mean piling the children into the SUV and driving off. Kids will always have fun once they get there but going there can involve distractions that won't help the driver.
Many happenings take place at night, and you may have not only distractions but also fatigue affecting your driving. Far more accidents take place at night. While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous. More than 40,000 people were killed in car crashes in 2016, according to Injury Facts. Nighttime accidents peak on Saturday nights, frequently the busiest night of the week during the holiday season.
Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are fatigued.
What can you do to protect yourself, your family and others?
When possible, hire a professional: that's Uber or Lyft. It won't matter then, if you had a hot spiced wine at a Christmas festival or if you're tired. If traveling with children, you can just sit back and enjoy being with them.
If you are driving, don't drink alcohol. That's it. There are so many moving parts to holiday driving – just one new holiday display of lights can cause you to lose your driving focus – and even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect your judgement. Stay rested, too. That can be easier said than done but remember: missing those two hours of sleep can have the same effect on you as downing three beers.
What should you do if you're in an accident?
If you're hurt, call emergency medical services. But don't assume that you're not hurt just because you don't need an ambulance. Many injuries don't manifest until well after the accident.
Call Matthew Waring at Waring Law if you've been in an accident in Miami Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County. Matthew Waring, Esq. has been on both sides of an accident: from winning for a client the compensation they deserve to being in an accident and feeling the pain and suffering of accident victims.
Time is important when injured.
You can't afford to wait for the compensation you deserve, yet insurance companies will stall for as long as they can.
Matthew Waring is fighting to get to you your compensation and is At War With Delay.