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There’s a feeling of excitement in the air - a bit of holiday magic some might say, as Pinellas County gears up for the season. Enjoy light displays, parades, tree lightings and more. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Oakdale Christmas Light Display

ST. PETERSBURG - The 2014 Oakdale Christmas Light Display runs nightly, Nov. 28 through Jan. 3, 6 to 10 p.m., at 2719 Oakdale St. S. Now in its 38th year, this light show is among the largest and longest running home displays in the United States.

The show is one half acre in size and boasts approximately half a million lights and features a walking yard tour includes a small pond, several waterfalls and fountains, an 18-train HO scale railroad with carnival rides and many animated and lit up figures and inflatables.

The house is covered with lights and there are also window and cabinet displays. Several Christmas trees tower over the display, including one rising to 70 feet. Hands-on games and bubble machines are on hand for the kids. Admission is free. For information, visit ChristmasDisplay.org.
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LARGO - Even the butterflies are glowing, as Florida Botanical Gardens lights up for the 2014 holiday season.

Holiday Lights in the Gardens opens Friday, Nov. 28, and runs through Dec. 31, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Last year, more than 76,000 visitors from across the globe strolled through garden paths illuminated by more than 750,000 environmentally friendly LED lights. Oohs and aahs are common sounds as groups discover light displays tucked into garden beds, under bridges and on the water in the 30-acre venue.
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TARPON SPRINGS - The 24th annual Thanksgiving Art & Craft Festival, sponsored by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce, returns on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 29-30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, at 111 E. Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs.

The outdoor showcase has been a holiday favorite for more than 23 years, and has always been held during Thanksgiving weekend on Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. The event encourages holiday shoppers to patronize businesses that are small and local. With the holidays right around the corner, the Thanksgiving Art & Craft Festival is the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors alike to shop small for their gift giving needs and avoid getting mauled at the mall.
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ST. PETERSBURG - A gala holiday-themed party will set the scene on Friday, Dec. 5, to usher in the Saturday, Dec. 6, tour of six elegantly and festively decorated residences on Snell Isle and Brightwaters Boulevard in Northeast St. Petersburg.

All proceeds from this popular Holiday Tour of Homes annual event, sponsored by the Florida Orchestra Guild, St. Petersburg, will benefit The Florida Orchestra.

Advance donations for Holiday Tour of Homes tickets are $20 per person, payable by check to The Florida Orchestra Guild and sent to Alexandra Kaan, 130 4th Ave. N., #114, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Individual tickets the day of the event, available at all tour homes, will be $25, payable by cash or check.

Event co-chairs, Emily Gillespie and Ginger Hanner, have set the Gala Preview Party for Friday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the home of television personality and entrepreneur Rhonda Shear and her husband Van Hagan, owners of Shear Enterprises. The evening will feature fine wines and hors d’oeuvres catered by Parkshore Grill’s award-winninig chef Tyson Grant, as well as music by Florida Orchestra musicians. A $75 individual donation for the Preview Party includes a Tour ticket. Individual patron tickets at $150 are also available and include a listing in the printed Tour program.
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DUNEDIN - The owners of five houses decorated for the holidays will open their doors to families who take the Dunedin Youth Guild’s 45th Annual Tour of Homes, Saturday, Dec. 6.

This year’s tour theme is Lighting up the Holidays, intended to brighten holiday memories. One house on the tour has several Christmas collections ranging from carved Santa purses to Christmas rugs.

Also this year, the guild will have a raffle for a beach-themed “Giving Tree” that a visitor on the tour will win.

Advance tickets are available for $20 at various locations in town, including The Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, The Dunedin Community Center, The Hale Center and the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
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GULFPORT - Support small business and shop local at the annual Holiday Hoopla Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 3129 Beach Blvd. S. in Gulfport.

Sponsored by the Gulfport Merchant's Associations and Bright House Networks, the event Holiday Hoopla is a celebration of arts, crafts, foods, live music and roving holiday characters set in a waterfront atmosphere amid bright, twinkling, colorful lights. Stroll the decorated streets filled with talented exhibitors and unique shops and galleries.

Visitors will be enchanted by a variety of festive and fun holiday-themed music, holiday carolers, dance performances, and roving street performers. Many types of entertainment will perform during the Hoopla, from local school bands & Choral groups and local musicians to area performing arts groups. Roving performers include Dickens characters and carolers.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Operation Santa and Gulfport families in need.
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PINELLAS PARK - Preparations are underway for the 12th annual Holiday in the Park celebration, which takes place at England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N., Friday, Dec. 5, 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 6, noon to 10 p.m.

This yearly tradition is a free, family-friendly event that offers hayrides to view holiday lights, children’s games, bounce houses, train rides for children and photos with Santa.
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ST. PETE BEACH - The 20th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Art & Craft Festival returns Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Corey Avenue and Gulf Boulevard in Downtown St. Pete Beach.

This two-day outdoor event transforms Corey Avenue into a craft showcase featuring quality-handcrafted art, original crafts, unique functional pieces and affordable gift items. A Green Market will offer exotic live plants, handmade soaps, savory dips, and gourmet sauces. This is a wonderful alternative for holiday shoppers who want a break from the crowded malls and are eager to find one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for family and friends. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit www.artfestival.com, email info@artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.

The juried outdoor craft showcase feature original crafts handmade in America. More than 100 crafters will be onsite selling unique and affordable gifts, ranging in price from $3 to $3,000.
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CLEARWATER - Ruth Eckerd Hall Inc. and Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced that Winter’s Miracle on Cleveland Street: Season of Hope is Saturday, Dec. 6 from 5 to 10 p.m.

This free holiday festival returns for the seventh year when the 400 to 600 blocks of downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street District will be transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with falling snow, a skating rink, two snow slides, holiday crafts, train rides, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, inflatable attractions and more.

The first 300 children (age 12 and under) will receive a 2014 Holiday Limited Edition Winter plush toy courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Entertainment will include performances by the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts students, American Idol finalist Shannon Magrane and a free concert by The Little River Band (Cool Change, Happy Anniversary).
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GULFPORT - Organizers of Gulfport’s annual Gecko Ball announced results of public voting for the theme of the 2015 Gecko Ball: “Gecko Gras.”

The Seventh Annual Gecko Ball is scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom. The Gecko Ball is one of a trio of whimsical, celebratory Gecko-themed events in late summer each year, beginning with the Gecko Pub Crawl, and ending with Gecko Fest, Gulfport’s largest annual free street festival held on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

All events are sponsored by the Gulfport Merchants Association and a portion of proceeds from events are dedicated each year to community charities and public art projects. Other 2015 themes up for consideration during online public voting were “Gecko Grease,” “Rocky Horror Gecko Show,” and “Cirque de Gecko.”

“Gecko Gras” will celebrate Mardi Gras, including its festivities and pageantry, high energy dancing, New Orleans-style music, food and more. Expect to experience over-the-top revelry and a multitude of costumes, including outrageous headdresses, glitter, a rainbow of make-up, wigs, feathers, masks, beads and baubles, kings and queens, clowns, jesters, geckos and a host of other fantasy-inspired creatures. The Casino Ballroom will be transformed with a kaleidoscope of colorful décor.
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Movie News & Reviews
•  Movies opening this weekend - Nov. 28
•  TBUFF 2014 - Seminole 8 Theaters to host Underground Film Festival
•  Cobb Theatre coming to Tyrone area
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Dolphin Watch - How dolphins, sharks might meet at sea
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  Entertainment Calendar
  Live Music Calendar
  Community Calendar
Entertainment Calender
• Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Friday, Nov. 28, 8 p.m., at The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $29.50. Call 893-7832 or 800-874-9020, or visit www.themahaffey.com.
Laughter on the 23rd Floor
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” by Neil Simon; Nov. 21 through Dec. 14, with previews Nov. 19 and 20; at American Stage Theatre, in the Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. Call 823-7529 or visit www.americanstage.org.

Generally, main stage performances are Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29 to $59 depending on the date and time of the performance.
 ... Read More 
Miracle on South Division Street
“Miracle on South Division Street,” by Tom Dudzick, Oct. 25 through Dec. 21, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater.

Matinees are Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Evening performances are Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cost is $32 for dinner and the show.

Call 446-5898 or visit www.earlybirddinnertheatre.com.
 ... Read More 
• Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014
Madeira Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Festival
The third annual Madeira Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 29-30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Madeira Way between Gulf Boulevard and 150th Avenue. Admission is free. Visit www.artfestival.com.
 ... Read More 
“A Christmas Carol
“A Christmas Carol,” with book and lyrics by Keith Ferguson and music by Bruce Greer; Nov. 29 through Dec. 24, at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 498-5205 or visit www.freefalltheatre.com.

Performances are Thursday, 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets prices vary depending upon performance time.
 ... Read More 
Dave Koz Christmas
Dave Koz Christmas, Saturday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $35. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.

The 2014 Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour features Dave Koz along with three special guests: Jonathan Butler, who has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields, plus Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, known for such Top 10 hits as “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind” and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” and Soul Train award-winner and Grammy nominee Maysa, who has released 10 solo albums and collaborated with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan to Incognito and Angela Bofill.
 ... Read More 
Directors’ Spotlight Double Feature
Directors’ Spotlight Double Feature, Saturday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets start at $7. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com. The featured films will be “Uncle Buck” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” both directed by John Hughes.
 ... Read More 
Laughter on the 23rd Floor
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” by Neil Simon; Nov. 21 through Dec. 14, with previews Nov. 19 and 20; at American Stage Theatre, in the Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. Call 823-7529 or visit www.americanstage.org.

Generally, main stage performances are Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29 to $59 depending on the date and time of the performance.
 ... Read More 
Miracle on South Division Street
“Miracle on South Division Street,” by Tom Dudzick, Oct. 25 through Dec. 21, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater.

Matinees are Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Evening performances are Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cost is $32 for dinner and the show.

Call 446-5898 or visit www.earlybirddinnertheatre.com.
 ... Read More 
• Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014
Madeira Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Festival
The third annual Madeira Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 29-30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Madeira Way between Gulf Boulevard and 150th Avenue. Admission is free. Visit www.artfestival.com.
 ... Read More 
“A Christmas Carol
“A Christmas Carol,” with book and lyrics by Keith Ferguson and music by Bruce Greer; Nov. 29 through Dec. 24, at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 498-5205 or visit www.freefalltheatre.com.

Performances are Thursday, 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets prices vary depending upon performance time.
 ... Read More 
Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits
Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits, Sunday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m., at The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $39. Call 893-7832 or visit www.themahaffey.com.
Laughter on the 23rd Floor
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” by Neil Simon; Nov. 21 through Dec. 14, with previews Nov. 19 and 20; at American Stage Theatre, in the Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. Call 823-7529 or visit www.americanstage.org.

Generally, main stage performances are Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29 to $59 depending on the date and time of the performance.
 ... Read More 
Miracle on South Division Street
“Miracle on South Division Street,” by Tom Dudzick, Oct. 25 through Dec. 21, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater.

Matinees are Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Evening performances are Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cost is $32 for dinner and the show.

Call 446-5898 or visit www.earlybirddinnertheatre.com.
 ... Read More 
Music for Mutts
ST. PETERSBURG – Music For Mutts will be presented Sunday, Nov. 30, at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N. The event will feature performances by The Black Honkeys, Stormbringer and the Pat Dolton Gang.

The music will begin at 5:30 p.m. Attendees may come early and enjoy festivities, games and a 50/50 drawing. Advanced tickets are $10. Visit www.ticketfly.com.

General admission at the door is $15.

VIP suites also are available. Email Director@canineestates.com.
 ... Read More 
For more music and concert events, visit the live music calendar.
Send entertainment news to webmaster@tbnweekly.com.
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