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City News

Posted on: November 13, 2023

Downtown Panama City gets into the Spirit of the Season with Downtown Christmas Celebration

Downtown Christmas Celebration 2023 Square

Bring out the jingle bells and tinsel—Christmas is coming to Downtown Panama City!

Historic Downtown Panama City turns into a winter wonderland on Friday, December 1 for the Downtown Christmas Celebration, complete with the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree, the buzz of shoppers at Bay Arts Alliance’s Holiday Bazaar, and more holiday fun. Festivities begin at 5pm, with the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 6pm. 

“We are very excited to be collaborating with local businesses and organizations to host the Downtown Christmas Celebration at the new Four Points intersection in the center of historic downtown,” said Kesia Blenn, Culture and Education Coordinator for the City of Panama City. “This event will take our traditional tree lighting event to a new level of fun with all our best local vendors, artists, and holiday experiences including a hot cocoa station, photos with Santa, and snow!”

Bay Arts Alliance will host its sixth annual Holiday Bazaar over two days: December 1 from 5-8pm and December 2 from 10am-3pm. Shoppers can browse the galleries of the Center for the Arts with table after table of handcrafted goods from over twenty-five local artisan vendors.

“The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and our Holiday Bazaar have always been a great opportunity for our community to come together, not only to enjoy the holiday festivities, but also to support our local artists and businesses,” said Jayson Kretzer, Executive Director of Bay Arts Alliance. “I’m beyond excited to have both of these events at the same place this year–in the heart of beautiful Historic Downtown Panama City.”

“There is a cheerful twinkle in the air when the Main Gallery is filled with tables full of unique, handcrafted products,” said Tori Haundenschild, Education and Events Manager for Bay Arts Alliance. “It makes my heart extremely happy to see the unconditional support for the creatives in this community by shopping small and supporting local artisan businesses!”

Along with the tree lighting ceremony and the Holiday Bazaar, residents can enjoy wagon rides organized by the Downtown Improvement Board, musical performances by the Bay High School Choir, cookie decorating, and so much more. Festivities begin at 5pm, with the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 6pm.

Bay Arts Alliance

Since 1978, Bay Arts Alliance has served as the local arts agency for Bay County and provides opportunities for cultural enrichment through broad based educational experiences, music and arts programs, exhibitions, and events. Bay Arts Alliance has brought countless national touring performances to the area and provides many cultural opportunities for Bay County schools and non-profit organizations.

Panama City Center for the Arts

Panama City Center for the Arts in downtown Panama City is housed in the beautiful 1925 historic City Hall building. Panama City Center for the Arts is managed by Bay Arts Alliance. In the Center for the Arts, Bay Arts Alliance provides visitors and the local community with creative enrichment through monthly art shows and exhibitions, films, concerts, educational art classes for all ages, and special focus classes for Bay County school trips. The facility and grounds are under the ownership of the City of Panama City.

Information provided by the Bay Arts Alliance.

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