Howey- in-the-Hills will celebrate the holiday season with its annual Christmas Festival on December 14th and 15th. This is a family friendly event, free admission, free parking and free entertainment.
Howey-in-the-Hills is located in central Lake County on Hwy 19, exit 285 if you’re traveling north via the Turnpike, exit 296 travelling south. Information, contest, craft and parade forms are on the Howey.org website under Community.
The festival opens on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Marianne Beck Memorial Library, 112 W. Central Avenue. The Library, Howey’s central gathering place, will host “Meet the Artist” and have Art and Baked Goods auctions as well as a BBQ raising funds for the Library Educational Center. There will be music, games and activities for young and old alike. The evening’s activities will include with the announcement of the winners of the Ugly Christmas Sweater/T-shirt and House Christmas Light Decorating Competitions at 7 p.m. At 8:00pm, the Art and Baked Goods auctions will close, and highest bidders can claim their winnings (cash or check only).
On Saturday we will have the 3rd Annual Reindeer Dash 5k run/walk also benefitting the Marian Beck Memorial Library Educational Building Fund, online registration is available now through December 15th. The race starts on East Central Avenue and Lakeshore Boulevard at 9:00 a.m. winds down Lakeshore Blvd, through Sara Maude Mason Nature Preserve and finishes at Griffin Park. The results of the 5K will be announced at 10:30 a.m.
The Howey Christmas Festival is an opportunity for folks to gather, celebrate the season as well as support the people of Lake County. The Howey Men’s Club will have their annual fundraiser Pancake Breakfast, 8-10:30 a.m., orange juice provided by Silver Springs Citrus. The Festival entertainment includes clowns, face painting, balloon artist, stilt walker and juggler Bruce Sarafian.
The Dog Christmas Costume contest will be at the Griffin Park Gazebo at 11:45 a.m. The entry fee for the Dog Costume Contest will go to support A Forever Home Animal Rescue and donations of non-perishable items will be accepted at the Howey Food Pantry table across from the Griffin Park Play area. One Blood’s big red bus will be at the festival from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. We have a critical need in Lake County so please consider donating blood.
The Car Show, an opportunity for people to share their passion for automobiles with the festival goers, will be on E. Central Avenue from 10 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 1:30; enthusiasts can also join the parade.
Santa will be in the Griffin Park Gazebo from 1:30 – 2:30 for free “take your own photos” with Santa. The highlight of the activities is the Howey Christmas Festival Parade at 3p.m. This year the Grand Marshall is The Cowherd family, owner of the newly renovated Howey Mansion. Also marching are the local Scout Troop 254, Howey Police Department, Lake Country Sheriff & Fire Departments, Tavares High Marching Band, Eustis High School AFJROTC, A Forever Home Small Dog Adoption, Poillion Llama Love Ranch and many, many more. The Mission Inn float with Santa and his Elves will complete the festivities.