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Sea of people at Boca’s holiday tree lighting

Warren Rolle brought two 8-year-olds to the city’s outdoor Holiday Tree Lighting Festival in Mizner Park and amphitheater. He wasn’t alone.

On Saturday night this year, estimates ranged up to 20,000 for the first of Boca’s three free holiday events.

“They had a wonderful time,” the Delray Beach dad said in the shuttle back to city hall parking. “They were able to maneuver around. Best of all, it was free.”

The “family friendly” event lived up to that billing. Holiday and winter-themed bounce houses and attractions lined the Mizner median. Tents with food and even face painting lined the streets. Kids lined up for rides and carnival games on the field. A juggler to dancers kept holiday music going from the stage.

Candy cane stilt walkers attracted attention

This was all a leadup to the holiday tree lighting at 7:30 p.m. Santa and Mayor Scott Singer, with city council with their families, did the countdown with the crowd. Afterward, fireworks burst overhead.

“Seeing the tree light up gives you hope for the New Year,” said Trish Wood.

Next up is the 49th annual Holiday Street Parade along Federal Highway from Southeast Fifth Street to Mizner Park. That’s 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 11.

The 43rd Holiday Boat Parade along the Intracoastal is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday Dec. 15. Viewing stands at Red Reef Park west, Silver Palm Park and the Wildflower property across the street.

By Marci Shatzman

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