In 2015, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s annual Light Up The Beach celebration welcomed a most popular guest to Fort Lauderdale Beach. Since then, the iconic 20-foot tall, Olas the Sandman, has turned out to be one of the most photographed holiday displays in the area. Making his return again on Tuesday, November 23, to usher in the holiday season, we felt it an opportune time to look back at Olas’s humble beginnings and his many incarnations over the years.
Should your holidays include a visit to Fort Lauderdale Beach, we ask you to #showusyourolas by tagging your photos and sharing them with us on Instagram. We will be sharing your selfies and family photos with Olas on our social channels to spread some sunny holiday cheer.
As home to 24 miles of coastline, boasting year-round ocean temperatures from 72 to 80 degrees, Olas traded his sled for a surfboard and captured our heart for the first time in 2015.
It was no surprise when Olas showed up in 2016 with his family in tow. After all, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a popular and family-friendly vacation destination, welcoming all from around the globe.
Hey, Olas! What’s SUP? Where did the family go? Olas paddled his way back to the beachfront in 2017, although this time flying solo.
With a new hat and new found passion, Olas let the ocean breezes be his guide. In 2018, down went the paddle and up went the sail as he windsurfed back into our lives.
Much debate ensued in 2019 if Olas’ outstretched arms told the untold tale of “the big one” that got away. Never less, the stylish sandman’s return for the 5th year in a row, solidified Fort Lauderdale Beach was becoming Olas’s favorite vacation destination to go.
2020 proved a rough and rocky year, but it didn’t keep Olas away. Riding his jet ski onto our shoreline, and with a raised arm giving a wave, all seemed right again in the world, as he helped us welcome the holidays.
Light Up the Beach through the Years
View more videos, as well as watch Olas come to life, on our YouTube Channel
Olas the Sandman and the annual Light up the Beach ceremony is sponsored by the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Parks and Recreation Department and Fort Lauderdale Beach BID.