Pompano Beach holds a Christmas tree lighting ceremony each year.


Staff Report

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – It’s Christmastime again and the Pompano Beach CRA is kicking off the holiday season in grand style. On Dec. 2 beginning at noon, the CRA will present the 8th Annual Light Up MLK event featuring live musical performances, a new MLK Holiday Market, a beautiful tree lighting ceremony and exciting before-and-after-events throughout the day.

“Light Up MLK is a fun and festive day for the entire family,” said Tiara Striggles, CRA special events and marketing manager. “It is an opportunity for residents and visitors to experience what Downtown Pompano Beach is becoming; a lively and exciting, walkable district with a variety of activities to enjoy including live music, shopping, dining and cultural exhibits.”

During the day, attendees will enjoy live entertainment hosted by Hot 105.1 radio personalities Tamara Gant and Rodney Baltimore. Among other amazing performances is national recording artist Jimmy Bo Horne.

Children are invited to participate in an array of interactive holiday festivities that include: live holiday characters, stilt walkers, sugar cookie decorating, holiday card and ornament making, and interactive art.

Santa will make a special appearance in the city’s antique fire truck to spread his jolly good cheer throughout the park, while distributing candy and taking holiday gift wishes from kids of all ages.

Event attendees will enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and bites that will be available from neighboring restaurants including Bojo’s Seafood and Finley’s Taste of the Real Bahamas Restaurant, both tenants in the CRA’s 731 Retail Shoppes on Martin Luther King Blvd.

Additionally, the CRA will have stations to share information and gather public input regarding redevelopment ideas to improve the Annie Adderly Gillis Park and create a more inviting community-gathering plaza.

This year’s event will also feature the new MLK Holiday Market, a popup retail market at Annie Gillis Park and along MLK Boulevard, established for local entrepreneurs to showcase their creations and discover new opportunities to grow their businesses.

“Providing a pop-up retail opportunity like this for local artisans and entrepreneurs is one of the many ways CRA’s activate redevelopment areas and showcase the area’s potential to residents, future business owners and investors,” said Idella Grisset, CRA communications director.

The Holiday Market vendors will feature a variety of specialty gift items and attendees will have the opportunity to shop with and support small, local businesses in Pompano Beach.

To round out the festive evening, the Historic Ali Cultural Arts Center will present a special Light Up MLK Ali After Hours event.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m., opening with Ali’s house band, Ali Soul Connection. They will be followed at 9 p.m. by the Miami Sound Byte Band, who will play R&B, Motown, funk and pop hits.

The events will take place in the following order:

• 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Esther Rolle Exhibit Closing Reception at the Historic Ali Cultural Arts Center

• 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – 8th Annual Light Up MLK and Holiday Market at Annie Adderly Gillis Park

• 7 p.m. – Official 36’ Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Park

• 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – Light Up MLK Ali After Hours free concert event Annie Adderly Gillis Park is located at 601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and the Historic Ali Cultural Arts Center is located at 353 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Both are in Pompano Beach.

The festivities are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Tiara Striggles at tiara.striggles@copbfl.com or call 954-786-7824. To learn more about the venues, visit www.pompanobeachcra.com or www.aliarts.org.