Downtown Winter Haven is getting a little extra twinkle this year during a six-week event dubbed Starlight Nights Winter Haven. Beginning November 25th and sparkling through January 6th, the community can enjoy lights and decorations spanning the Historic District in Downtown Winter Haven, from US 17 to Lake Silver, and Central to 6th Street.
“We invite you to join us this holiday season and experience beautiful Downtown Winter Haven. In addition to the lights, our business owners are creating magical window displays, open extended hours to help you check off your shopping list,” said Vaughn McAshan, Main Street Winter Haven Chairman of the Board.
According to Main Street Winter Haven (MSWH), this festival of lights celebrating the holidays and our Historic Downtown District promises to become the community’s newest holiday tradition. “This year has been unique in many ways; while challenging for our annual events, it has created the perfect opportunity for Starlight Nights. A great deal of planning and coordination with the City of Winter Haven, property owners and our event partners have gone into creating the lighting plan that can be easily duplicated and expanded on each year,” commented Director of Main Street Winter Haven, Anita Strang.
Starlight Nights is presented by Main Street Winter Haven and The City of Winter Haven. Current sponsors include City of Winter Haven, Six/Ten, LLC, Citizens Bank & Trust, Whitehead Construction, New Electric, Mechanical Dynamics, Wauchula State Bank, Destroyer Media, and TECO.
“Creating a magical holiday experience has been on our wish list for quite some time. During a Main Street Winter Haven promotions committee meeting, we made the tough decision not to move forward with our normally scheduled events due to the risks associated with COVID-19. We knew we needed to find a way to bring people Downtown in a way that felt safe,” said Strang. “Nothing brings people together like the Holidays, and it’s also a crucial time for shops and restaurants.”
Main Street is excited for the coinciding Window Decorating Contest. “Downtown businesses have an opportunity to win $1,000 for the most creative window display, with a light component, of course,” said Bailey McDaniel, Assistant Director of Main Street Winter Haven.
There is no entrance fee to stroll or drive amidst the lights, but shopping and dining downtown to support our local businesses is encouraged. Luminate some family magic, a dreamy date night, or girls night out from 5:30 pm to 10 pm every night.
“This is the beauty of Starlight Nights; it can be experienced however feels most comfortable to the visitor! If you’d prefer to stay in your car, you can come Downtown, pick up dinner to go, and view the light displays from a safe distance. Of course, our hope is that you will walk around to experience the wonder of the lights, shop, dine, check out the holiday window displays, and stop at one of the selfie stations in the park,” said McDaniel.
This year more than ever, we need warmth, togetherness, and holiday magic – friends, family, food, gifts, and good cheer (safely, of course). Downtown Winter Haven is the place to be this holiday season for all the above, lit up by Starlight Nights. See you there!
Starlight Nights Winter Haven
Where: Downtown Winter Haven Historic District
When: November 25, 2020 - January 6, 2021
5:30 pm - 10 pm every night