Christmas at Harder’s Park returns

Christmas in the Panhandle

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Christmas is less than two weeks away and Bay County is full of holiday spirit.

On Sunday, Bay County Parks and Recreation hosted its “Christmas at Harder’s Park” festivities.

Adults and kids alike seemed to have a great time with all of the Christmas activities, the highlight being getting to watch Santa arrive by helicopter courtesy of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

The event also featured pictures with Santa, a candy cane hunt with prizes, a “letters to Santa” station, and free hot chocolate.

The Bay County Library also held a mobile storytime program during the event.

“Having these kinds of events in Bay County just enhances the quality of life,” Bay County Parks and Recreation division manager Travis Barbee said. “Bay County commissioners are firmly behind us having these things that appeal to everyone. We got grandparents here who are just enjoying their grandkids with Santa and it’s got nothing to do with athletics. You still get people who come out to the park and they go ‘Oh it’s so nice how much they’ve rebuilt since the hurricane’ so having these events in the community you live in just makes Bay County a great place to be.”

Local children were thrilled the event is back after it was canceled last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Christmas is my favorite time of year because we get to see Santa and make cookies for him and we also get to give gifts to others and get gifts for ourselves from the people that we love,” Emma Lombardi said.

Other Christmas events coming up include the first annual Second Chance of Northwest Florida Christmas ball this Friday.

Tickets are $20 and attire is business casual. More information can be found here.

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