The City of Kissimmee has finished decorating for the holidays, and if the city is wearing a festive holiday outfit, it wouldn’t be an ugly Christmas sweater, because it did that before it was cool. It would probably be a t-shirt with a fun saying, like, “Keep Calm and Christmas On.”

The city’s festive Christmas tree was officially lit Tuesday night, thanks to an assist from Santa Claus, Kissimmee Public Affairs Officer Melissa Zayas Morena, Mayor Jose Alvarez, and City Council members, Angela Eady, Felix Ortiz, Jim Fisher, and Olga Gonzales . It’s the last time Mayor Alvarez will preside over that ceremony, as well as the annual Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade next Saturday night, the day of the year when Kissimmee invites all its closest friends — about 7,000 of them — to its house for a holiday party.

“It’s the last time I’ll preside over all this, so I’m a little sad,” he said, noting 2020 is his last year as the mayor while he runs for the Osceola County Commission district 1 seat. “I’ll still be around, the city won’t be able to get rid of me easily! I’m grateful to be with everyone ready to start the holiday celebration.”

Jose Alvarez

Mayor, City of Kissimmee

Now that the porch is decorated, the place is ready for company. The Festival of Lights Parade will begin at Broadway and Ruby at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14, and wind down the main drag to Dakin Street and in front of Kissimmee Civic Center.

The party starts earlier with a gathering at the Holiday House at the Kissimmee Civic Center starting at 4 p.m. The kids will love decorating cookies, creating their own make-it-take-it ornaments, giving Santa Claus their Christmas wish lists and taking a family photo with jolly St. Nick.