Winter in Palm Beach is a basket of warm sunshine, salty breezes, fancy cars, and smiling socialites. While many Americans are shoveling snow from their driveways, Palm Beachers are enjoying morning walks on the beach, afternoon rounds of golf or tennis, and evening dinners al fresco style with friends. During the holiday season, Palm Beach is the epicenter of exquisite events. From charity focused galas and off-broadway shows to festive boat parades and football bowls, the holiday season in Palm Beach showcases the region’s most treasured attribute: saltwater recreation and refined sophistication.
If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays in a place where athletes live and celebrities vacation, here are few events to add to your social calendar.
Palm Beach is well-known for its glamorous galas and generous giving. Though many of the high profile charity galas are by invitation only, several others are open to general guests, pending advance ticket purchase and/or reservation. Three such notable events, all which benefit four-legged friends, include LIFE’s 24th Annual Lady in Red Gala, the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue 45th Annual Christmas Ball, and the Loggerhead Marine Center Beach Bash.
Chaired by Palm Beach’s philanthropic icon Lois Pope--along with Dr. Robin Ganzert, Jan and Chip Malley, and Robin and Irv Saltzman--LIFE’s annual Lady in Red Gala is certain to be one of Palm Beach’s most memorable events. The gala takes place on Friday, January 5th at the historic Breakers Hotel. LIFE partners with American Humane, assists animals after natural disasters, honors canines serving in the military, and advocates for animal welfare. Preceding this spectacular gala is the Peggy Adams Annual Christmas Ball, an elegant event whose primary purpose is to support abused, neglected, and injured animals. Held at the Sailfish Club in Palm Beach on Thursday, December 7th at 7 p.m., guests will grin as they are greeted on the red carpet by charming cats and canines. These precious pets will be available for adoption, too. Of course, Palm Beachers would never leave out their favorite saltwater friends: loggerhead sea turtles. Each year, these amazing creatures swim ashore and build nests along the South Florida shoreline. The Loggerhead Marine Center in Juno Beach serves as a hospital for turtles, nursing the magnificent creatures back to health and releasing them back into the Atlantic. The 2017 Beach Bash is a jovial celebration where guests don their most current or most vintage Lilly Pulitzer collection, sip creative libations, snack culinary treats, socialize with friends, and enjoy eclectic entertainment. The event is held on Thursday, December 28th at the Beach Club.
Throughout the month of December and January, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach presents a wide array of performances. From off-broadway productions to soulful symphonies, the Kravis Center is certain to have a production for every theater aficionado. A few noteworthy performances this season include Little Shop of Horrors, Christmas Wonderland Holiday Show, Finding Neverland, the TEN tenors: Home for the Holidays, 98 Degrees at Christmas, and The Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker.
At the Maltz Jupiter Theater, patrons are pleased to see such showcases as Disney Newsies, A Motown Christmas, Simply Streisand, and the hit broadway musical Hairspray. The Eissey Theater in Palm Beach Gardens is hosting various dance and musical ensembles this winter as well, including showcases from the Dance Theater of Florida, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Cirque Zuma Zuma, and Nashville Live: Country Legends.
Combining savvy sea skills, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach have once again teamed together for the 47th Annual Holiday Boat Parade. Vessels large and small will shine their festive lights as they cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway on December 18th. The parade begins at 6 p.m. at the Boynton Harbor Marina, and spectators are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift for the Toys for Tots program.
Luckily, Landlubbers have a plethora of parades of which to attend in Palm Beach County as each city presents its own holiday march. These local parades feature high school marching bands, scout troops, athletic teams, cheerleaders, dance troupes, civic organizations, and more. Here are the scheduled parades to date:
Jupiter-Tequesta Holiday “Twelve Days of Christmas” Parade, December 10th at 1 p.m.
Wellington “A World of Make Believe” Parade, December 10th at 1:30 p.m.
Lake Worth “Intergalactic” Holiday Parade, December 16th at 6 p.m.
The last week of December through the first week of January marks the grand finale of college football season. Because of Florida’s pleasant climatic temperature, many bowl games are held in the Sunshine State. If the fish aren’t biting, Palm Beachers may wish to attend a nearby collegiate football game. This year, The Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl features the undefeated hometown team Florida Atlantic University against Ohio’s Akron College. The match-up will take place on December 19th at 7 p.m. A little farther south, the Wisconsin Badgers will challenge the historically fierce University of Miami Hurricanes at the Orange Bowl in Miami. This game is set for December 30th at 8 p.m. The Miami Dolphins, the region’s favorite professional team, continue their season through the end of December at the infamous Hard Rock Stadium. Apart from football, the Florida Panthers hockey team and the Miami Heat basketball team continue their respective seasons through mid January. Equestrian enthusiasts are thrilled to visit Palm Beach during the winter as the Palm Beach International Polo Club kicks off its season December 31st and the Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival begins January 10th.