Many holiday seasons wouldn’t be complete without a drive around town to see light displays. Sandi, a 35-foot-tall, 700-ton sand holiday tree made of 100% of sculpted sand, is the perfect reason for locals and visitors to spend the holidays in West Palm Beach. It’s an experience like no other coming to see Sandi’s spectacular light show, which also includes entertainment pop-ups, sing-alongs with Sandi, and a synchronized dancing water show.
Now, the City’s annual Holiday in Paradise campaign has been crowned the winner of the 2021 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice poll for “Best Public Holiday Lights Display.” And this incredible award comes during the iconic tree’s 10th anniversary year.
“We are so thankful for this amazing community that has helped us achieve yet another national recognition for one of our signature event series,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “Holiday in Paradise, and our beloved Sandi, has been a local fan favorite for years, and we are honored that our little slice of holiday paradise has drawn national attention.”
USA TODAY’s contributors and editors combed the nation for the 20 best, brightest, and most beautiful holiday light shows put on by neighborhoods, cities, and parks. Then readers voted for their favorites.
But since her debut in 2012, Sandi has received numerous international and regional awards and accolades including “Best New Event” and “Best Event within an Existing Festival” by the International Festivals and Events Association, “Most Innovative Project” by the Florida Festivals and Events Association and a Henry Award from VISIT FLORIDA. Sandi has been featured by The Huffington Post, Thrillist, CNN, Martha Stewart, Travel + Leisure, and The Ellen Show.
“When we asked Sandi what she wanted for her milestone 10th birthday, this was exactly it – to be number one in the country for her beautiful lights display,” said Mary Pinak, community events manager for the City of West Palm Beach. “We are so proud of how this event has grown over the years. It is such a joy to watch the smiling faces of families from all over as they incorporate Sandi into their holiday traditions.”
USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards highlight the best of the best in categories such as destinations, dining, hotels, and entertainment. 10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top national and international destinations.
Holiday in Paradise takes place on the Great Lawn, 100 N. Clematis Street. For more information about HIP or other City of West Palm Beach events, visit www.wpb.org/events, or follow @westpalmbch on Instagram.