“Ferris” to delight Sandi fans with aerial views all season
The world’s only 35-foot, 700-ton holiday sand tree will soon return to the West Palm Beach waterfront, and this year’s new element is Ferris the Ferris wheel. The month-long Holiday in Paradise (HIP) campaign will kick off on Thursday, December 1, at the Clematis by Night Holiday Tree Lighting from 6 – 9 p.m. on the Great Lawn.
Ferris, powered by Land Rover Palm Beach, is Sandi’s long-lost cousin.When Ferris heard HIP was crowned last year’s “Best Public Holiday Lights Display” by USA TODAY 10Best, he knew he had to celebrate with Sandi’s friends and fans. With the addition of Ferris to this year’s activities, guests will have a new, aerial view of HIP and Sandi.
“Holiday in Paradise will soon be in full swing, and this year’s celebration will be the best yet with the addition of Ferris,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “There is much to celebrate this season, including Sandi’s win as the ‘Best Public Holiday Lights Display’ in 2021 and our first-ever presenting sponsor, Florida Power & Light. This holiday season will surely be special in our City and we can’t wait to celebrate with Sandi, Ferris and all of you!”
“If you love Sandi’s shows from a ground view, wait until you see them from 65 feet in the air,” said Mary Pinak, community events manager for the City of West Palm Beach. “For long-time Sandi fans, it will be enlightening to see her from above. We know first-time visitors will be blown away by this unique holiday celebration which keeps getting better and better.”
Ferris rides will be available from 6 – 10 p.m. nightly throughout the month of December. The 65-foot Ferris wheel features gondola seating and its own light show. Tickets are $5 per rider for a single ride or $20 per rider for unlimited rides for one night (plus sales tax and processing fees). Tickets are required for guests aged three and older, and patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at wpb.org/events. An adult must accompany anyone under 42” in height. Additional restrictions apply and can be found on the City’s website.
Sandi’s synchronized music and light shows will run nightly on the quarter hour from 6 – 10 p.m. through December (except on days with scheduled special events). In sync with Sandi’s show, the dancing Centennial Fountain will again be joining Sandi’s nightly party. On Saturday, December 31, Sandi’s shows and Ferris’ rides will be extended through midnight. Other daily mainstays throughout HIP include additional sand sculptures that are a combined 100 tons of sand and memory-making photo spots.
In addition to nightly shows, HIP includes several opportunities for free or low-cost family-friendly holiday-themed fun. Notable events include:
- Thursday, December 1 – Clematis by Night Holiday Tree Lighting: 6 – 9 p.m. | Great Lawn | FREE
The kickoff to HIP, the Clematis by Night Holiday Tree Lighting features a momentous countdown to the start of the holiday season. The evening will include remarks from local leaders, a live performance by Remix, South Florida’s premiere party band, on the NewDay USA Stage, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a holiday shopping boutique in the Lake Pavilion and more.
- Friday, December 9: Screen on the Green (a holiday triple feature) 6 p.m. | Great Lawn | FREE
Bring blankets and chairs for a holiday triple feature (two short films, and one feature film). Movies to be shown are Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (G), Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (G) and A Christmas Story 2 (PG).
- Saturday, December 17 – Sandi and Santa’s Annual Pancake Breakfast: 9 a.m. – noon (three seatings are available to choose from: 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.) | Lake Pavilion near the Great Lawn | $15 per person (plus sales tax and processing fees); tickets must be purchased in advance at wpb.org/events
Families are encouraged to get their tickets quickly, as this event is a consistent sellout. In addition to a pancake breakfast, guests will have private access to Santa and Mrs. Claus and a ticket to Ferris’ only daytime ride of the season.
- Sunday, December 18 – Sunday on the Waterfront featuring Aloha Islanders: 4 – 7 p.m. | Great Lawn
Dancers from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and New Zealand will perform high-energy routines, giving residents and visitors an authentic Polynesian performance – without booking an international flight. A true West Palm Beach tradition, the holiday-inspired tropical island spectacular is complete with beautiful hula dancers and daring fire performers. The show is interactive and appropriate for all ages.
- Saturday, December 31 – Sandi’s Last Night (New Year’s Eve): 6 p.m. – midnight
Save the date for Sandi’s final swan song. Sandi’s nightly music and light shows are extended until midnight.
HIP was recognized in 2021 as the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice for “Best Public Holiday Lights Display.” The recognition was “the cherry on top” of Sandi’s 10th birthday celebration. Sandi has also received numerous international and regional awards, including “Best New Event” and “Best Event within an Existing Festival” by the International Festivals and Events Association, “Most Innovative Project” by the Florida Festivals and Events Association, and a Henry Award from VISIT FLORIDA. Sandi has been featured in The Huffington Post, Thrillist, CNN, Martha Stewart, Travel + Leisure, and The Ellen Show.
Holiday in Paradise presented by FPL sponsors/partners to date include Land Rover Palm Beach, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center, Dunkin’, Discover The Palm Beaches, NewDay USA, 97.9 WRMF, SUNNY 107.9, New Country 103.1, X 102.3, PARTY 96.3, News Talk 850 WFTL, FOX Sports 640 AM, WPBF 25 News, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, Best Western Palm Beach Lakes, Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham West Palm Beach, WPB Magazine, West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, The Palm Beach Post, West Palm Beach Marriott, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Historic Northwest Neighborhood, Northwood Village, Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and Florida Power & Light.
HIP is held on the West Palm Beach Great Lawn (100 N. Clematis St.). For more information about HIP and other City of West Palm Beach events, please visit 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. Follow Sandi on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @Sanditreewpb.