Sandi, the City of West Palm Beach’s 35-foot, 700-ton holiday sand tree, will bring Hope, her new flamingo friend, home for the holidays! The duo met up in Tahiti during Sandi’s off-season travels and will make their debut at Sandi Land on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Sandi Land, the City of West Palm Beach’s yearly holiday celebrations, will return to the City’s waterfront this year, with social distancing and COVID-19 precautions in place, including the suspension of highly attended events including the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Clematis by Night.
Nightly music and light shows will run daily between 6 – 10 p.m. starting December 5 and run throughout the rest of the month. A special extended show will run from 6 p.m. through midnight on New Year’s Eve, the final night of Sandi Land. A new, additional synchronized show this year will be hosted at the City’s soon-to-be-completed Centennial Square Fountain, where the water will ‘dance’ and light up as part of Sandi’s world-famous shows. The beloved fountain is in the final stages of its $1.8 million renovation and is scheduled to be completed days before the first lighting of the season.
“While this year has created unprecedented challenges when it comes to public celebrations, our community events team has done an incredible job overcoming those challenges. As expected, they are coming through in a big way by bringing back Sandi, one of our most celebrated traditions back to the waterfront,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “I invite everyone to include our downtown celebrations during their holiday plans to come see Sandi and support our local businesses. We look forward to wrapping up 2020 with some festive cheer for the whole family.”
While many Sandi Land staples are suspended this year, there is a diverse schedule of safe activities throughout the month. Please note, all events are subject to change or cancellation. The City recommends checking its website and social media sites to confirm dates and times, and to make reservations (as required for certain activities). Scheduled events include:
- Santa at Sandi (Sunday, 12/6 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12/20 from 6 – 8 p.m.) – Children will have the chance to share their annual wish lists with Santa, at a safe distance, with Santa tucked inside a snow globe. City staff will encourage social distancing while families wait in line, but visitors are welcome to take pictures from outside of Santa’s globe. Visits with Santa are free.
- Plein Air “Abstract Pop!” (Sunday, 12/13 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.) – A free, live and open-air art lesson near Sandi. Reservations are required to ensure social distancing and to secure your art kit. Spots are limited, reservations can be made through the City’s website: www.wpb.org/events.
- Sing-Along and Storytime with Sandi (Sunday, 12/20 at 5 p.m.) – Families are invited to gather at Sandi Tree’s base for an unforgettable experience. Sandi will lead a sing-along of holiday favorites and read holiday-themed books aloud. The event is free, but registration is required to ensure adequate space to social distance. Santa will appear in his snow globe immediately following at 6 p.m. Reservations can be made through the City’s website: www.wpb.org/events.
- Sandi and Hope’s Last Fla-mingle (Thursday, 12/31 from 6 p.m. – midnight) – On New Year’s Eve, Sandi and Hope will present their last song and dance to usher in 2021 properly. The lights and music show will be extended for the holiday.
- Surprise Pop-Up Entertainment – Unexpected entertainment elements will pop up throughout Sandi’s visit. Come often and stay alert so you do not miss out on the festive and memory-making fun!
While Sandi Land opens in December, West Palm Beach residents and visitors know that Sandi’s magical effect begins in November with the delivery of tons of sand to the waterfront. Team SandTastic, the artists behind Sandi’s smooth curves, will start sculpting on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. In addition to Sandi, there will be several other sand sculptures, including Hope, that will be socially distanced from the star of the show. Hope was particularly enthusiastic about visiting West Palm Beach as she found a local flamingo flock at the Palm Beach Zoo. She encourages everyone who visits her to also see Zoo Lights, which features more than one million eco-friendly holiday lights illuminating the pathways at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Clematis Street will also have a bright lights display with the return of its canopy of lights. Patrons are encouraged to stroll from Sandi to the rest of Downtown to shop and dine at local businesses. Holiday specials will be available and daily merchant promotions will be posted online at www.DowntownWPB.com.
To follow national, statewide and local safety guidance, the City will skip coordinated events that typically draw larger crowds. This includes the suspension of the annual Sandi Tree Lighting at Clematis by Night, holiday-themed Screen on the Green and the Sunday on the Waterfront Aloha Islanders show. Additionally, other high-touch activities such as Glow FORE It Mini Golf, SnowieVille and Sandi’s Dressing Room will be absent from the month-long holiday celebration. Masks are required during special activities and while walking through Sandi Land, and hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the venue. City staff and Downtown security will monitor and encourage social distancing and sanitizing of high touch areas, such as the fence around Sandi.
“Though we can’t fla-mingle, we can still jingle,” said Mary Pinak, community events manager for the City of West Palm Beach’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “Sandi’s return will bring a big boost of hope for the holidays. This year has been challenging, so we knew we had to find a way to continue our celebrations and traditions – with safety at the forefront.”
Sandi will return to the Great Lawn, located at the east end of Clematis Street, just west of Flagler Drive (100 N. Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401). Parking is available in City of West Palm Beach garages. City garages are Clematis, Banyan, City Center, Sapodilla, and Evernia, with Banyan and Evernia being the two closest garages. Those interested in arriving by boat can also take advantage of the City’s free public docks. The Clematis Street dock is closest to the event.
Holiday in Paradise is made possible thanks, in large part, to the generosity of these sponsors-to-date: West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, FPL, Discover The Palm Beaches, Burkhardt Construction, Arcadia Gardens, Prominence Health Plans, The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News, WPB Downtown Development Authority, 97.9 WRMF, SUNNY 107.9, X 102.3, New Country 103.1, PARTY 96.3, Fox Sports 640 South Florida, News Talk 850 WFTL, West Palm Beach Marriott, WPB Magazine, Best Western Palm Beach Lakes, Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, Paradise Exteriors, Visit Palm Beach, Northwood Village, Historic NW Neighborhood, Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Zoo and WPBF 25 News.
The City of West Palm Beach reserves the right to cancel the activities or change protocols as needed. For more information about Holiday in Paradise and other City events, visit www.wpb.org/events, call (561) 822-1515 (TTY: 800-955-8771) or follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch.