By CRA News Service
After weeks of putting together, the 100-foot Christmas tree at Old School Square was transformed into a beacon of shimmering glory Thursday when Santa Claus turned its lights on.
Thousands of onlookers crowded behind barricades on the grounds and streets that surrounded Old School Square during the traditional tree-lighting ceremony for the Christmas holiday season.
The outside of the Christmas tree is festively illuminated with more than15,000 LED lights, carefully decorated with 39,000 ornaments, and contains 3000 branches, and then magically topped with an impressive 18-foot star that can be seen from miles away.
If the 100-foot Christmas Tree lighting was not enough to get your fill of early Christmas cheer, following the ceremony, students from local schools performed Christmas songs and entertainment before and after the tree lighting ceremony.
In a nail-biting evolution, Santa Claus arrived in a WPEC Sky 12 helicopter. After circling the field in a fiat, courtesy of Arrigo Dodge, the jolly old fellow joined Channel 12 News anchor and Delray Beach resident Suzanne Boyd on stage. Boyd served as mistress of ceremony for the evening.
After a countdown, Santa flip the switch that turned on the 15,500-plus bulbs, lighting the city aglow with holiday spirit.
The celebration comes to an end on Jan. 2 at which time the 100-foot Christmas tree will be carefully dismantled and the holiday carousel put away – until next year.
City officials estimate the holiday season in Delray attract more than 500,000 people.
The world-famous 100-foot Christmas tree is actually a lot more than just a Christmas tree. It’s also a 10-story walk-through holiday showcase with Christmas magic to see on the inside as well as the outside.
The inside of the Christmas tree takes you back in history displaying replicas of four historic buildings in Delray Beach back in the day.
Each building is filled with animated scenes of elves hard at work preparing for the holidays, and penguins playing in snow, and a model train layout transforming it into a magical holiday wonderland.