• The annual Belleair Bluffs’ Holiday Event, Friday, Dec. 14, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Community Center, 2747 Sunset Blvd., Belleair Bluffs. The Salvation Army Band will be providing music. Following a welcome by Mayor Chris Arbutine, the tree will be lit heralding the arrival of Santa. There will be a hayride until 8 p.m. The Bluffs Business Association will donate refreshments. Residents are asked to bring canned goods, boxed food, baby formula, flour, sugar, peanut butter, rice, pasta, or canned juice or fruit to donate to RCS Food Bank. Anyone who brings a food donation will receive the city’s annual tree ornament.
• The 20th annual Winter Wonderland continues through Sunday, Dec. 23, at the northwest corner of Fort Harrison Avenue and Drew Street, Thursday through Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. View the holiday display with thousands of lights, decorated alpine cottages, pose for photos with Santa and enjoy cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. Other activities include a petting zoo with pony rides, train rides, bounce houses, entertainment, and a hot chocolate shop. Visitors are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy or canned goods to donate to the needy.
• A joyful medieval Christmas celebration, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7, 7 p.m., at Clearwater Christian College, 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Together with the drama department, the college choirs and orchestra will present an evening of medieval music and festivities featuring jugglers and jesters, lords and ladies, and humorous sketches reminiscent of the "merry old medieval days." The evening will conclude with a Christmas pageant and a carol sing-a-long. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, alumni and military. Call 726-1153, ext. 0.
• Simply Sinatra Christmas, Thursday, Dec. 6, 1 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $18 and $25. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com. Part of the 2012-13 Adults at Leisure Series, Steve Lippia returns to re-create Ol’ Blue Eyes just in time for Christmas. The show will blend holiday cheer, memories and jazz/swing standards with the energetic flair that only a big band can provide.
• Bright House Networks' fifth annual Miracle on Cleveland Street, presented by Morgan Stanley, Friday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m., in the Cleveland Street District, Clearwater. This free holiday festival will feature a variety of vendors, as well as food, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of holiday cheer. The street fair will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with entertainment outside until 10 p.m. plus three free screenings of the modern Christmas classic “Elf” in the Capitol Theatre. Downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street District will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with two toboggan slides, holiday crafts, live music and a visit from Santa. Every half hour, snow will fall in front of the Capitol Theatre and the sounds of Christmas choirs will fill the streets. The festivities will extend from the 400 block of Cleveland Street down to the waterfront. Starring Will Ferrell, James Cann and Bob Newhart, “Elf” will screen at the Capitol Theatre at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, is a man raised as an elf at the North Pole. After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, he is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity, spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics as he goes. All screenings of this holiday favorite are free and open to the public.
• Free photos with Santa, Friday, Dec. 7, 5 to 8 p.m., at Engel & Volkers Clearwater Realty, 432 Cleveland St., Suite B, Clearwater. Attendees will have an opportunity to have their child’s photo take with Santa for free.
• Bowzer’s Holiday Rock ’n’ Roll Party, Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. For the fourth consecutive year, Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na fame returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall. This year his show will feature Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jay Siegel and the Tokens, The Crystals, Joey Dee and Johnny Contardo from the “Sha Na Na” television show and original lead singer of that group. Tickets start at $35. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
• Art Trysts Studio First Friday Holiday Emporium, Friday, Dec. 7, 4 to 8 p.m., at Art Trysts Studio, 1190 Kapp Drive, Clearwater. The free event will present a wide array of handcrafted "artzy" holiday gifts made by a number of guest artists and studio artists such as Donna Frost, Lorraine Ulen, Lee Canalizo, Kathy Fessenbecker and Toni Young. Complimentary wine and refreshments will be served. Call 888-727-1190 or visit arttrysts.com.
• Christmas Brass concert, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2:30 p.m., at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 110 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. The concert will feature The Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet playing Christmas classics, traditional carols and wonderful popular tunes of the Christmas and New Year season. These versatile performers are the premier brass group in the Tampa Bay area. The quintet includes Robert Smith and Kenneth Brown, trumpet; Andrew Karr, horn; Dwight Decker, trombone and William Michelson, tuba. Following the concert, there will be a light reception in the fellowship hall. No tickets are required. Seating is first come, first served. An offering will be taken with a $5 minimum suggested. Call 446-3001 or visit www.PeaceMemorial.org.
• Flavor of Jazz VII: A Peter White Christmas comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall with Mindi Abair and Rick Braun on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m. The Ruth Eckerd Hall/Clearwater Jazz Holiday Youth Band opens the show. This popular trio, ambassadors of jazzy Christmas cheer, returns to Clearwater just in time to get you in the mood for the holidays. Guitarist Peter White returns to Clearwater and brings St. Pete’s own saxophonist Mindi Abair and trumpeter Rick Braun along to add to the holiday spirit smooth-jazz style.
Before the concert, local eateries will offer a wide variety of delicious food from fresh seafood to decadent desserts and everything in between, as well as a wine tasting for one to enjoy from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Proceeds benefit of The Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Clearwater Jazz Holiday Jazz Educational Programs.
Reserved tickets priced at $55 are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, by calling 727-791-7400 and online at www.rutheckerdhall.com. In addition, VIP tickets priced at $93 are available that include premium seating, early admission at 5 p.m., complimentary beer and wine during the tasting, and a post-show meet and greet.
• Bagel menorah lighting, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6 p.m., on the Beachwalk in front of the Surf Style Mega Store, 311 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. Hosted by Chabad of Clearwater, the event will feature dancing, singing and food. Donuts, hot latkes, dreidels and chocolate Chanukah gelt will be distributed to all. There will be a special performance by the Dallas The Fire Guy. Throughout the state of Florida, Chabad will be presenting scores of Chanukah events and celebrations, including public menorah lightings, giant menorahs made out of ice and Legos, Menorah Parades, Latkes parties, giant dreidel houses and Chanukah Wonderlands. For information, visit www.JewishClearwater.com/Chanukah.
• A Christmas Carol, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $25 and $35. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com. Part of the 2012-13 Adults at Leisure Series and a cherished tradition, this longest-running production of the beloved Dickens classic is the story about ghosts of Christmases past, present and future who guide Scrooge on a journey of redemption as he discovers the spirit of Christmas and a new life filled with joy and love.
• The Nutcracker comes alive anew Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22, at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Show times are 7 p.m. both dates with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Clara and her Nutcracker family come to life in the all-new production by the Sarasota Ballet accompanied by the full Sarasota Orchestra. Reserved tickets priced at $75, $50 and $35 are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office, 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, by calling 727-791-7400 and online at www.rutheckerdhall.com 24/7.
• Old Fashioned Christmas and Holiday Parade, Saturday, Dec. 8, 4 to 9 p.m., in downtown Dunedin. The parade will take to the streets at 4 p.m. featuring festive floats, bands and entertainers followed by the arrival of Santa Claus. Attendees can then mingle downtown for an “old-fashioned Christmas” with live music, performances, carriage rides, children’s activities and snow. Call 812-4530.
• Holiday Gathering, Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. The Florida Orchestra/North Suncoast Associates invite attendees to eat, drink and be merry at this festive celebration of the holidays. The event will include hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. and a program of seasonal music at 7 p.m. Attendees also may enjoy shopping at the center gift shop. Tickets are $30. Proceeds will benefit The Florida Orchestra. For reservations, send check to The Florida Orchestra/North Suncoast Associates, 602 Lime Ave., No. 102, Clearwater, FL 33756.
• “My Old Home Town Christmas,” presented by Dunedin Concert Band, Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m., in the Edinburgh Hall at Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. The Dunedin Concert Band, under the direction of music director and conductor Louis Alan Zagar, will mark the beginning of its 31st concert season with two performances of the annual Christmas spectacular “My Old Home Town Christmas.”
A Boston Pops-styled concert, it will present some of the holiday season’s most exciting and unique musical selections from hometowns across the country and around the world. The DCB will introduce local soprano and superb jazz stylist, Erica DiCeglie, in a delightful tune called “Snow Day Celebration.” Zagar wrote special lyrics just for this concert presentation. There will be some musical shenanigans too, first with a performance of “Cowboy Christmas.” The concert will be presented free to the public with a free-will donation at the concert’s conclusion. A pre-concert performance by the newly-formed DCB Brass Quintet will begin approximately 30 minutes before each Dunedin Concert Band performance. For information, call 812-4530.
• The Dunedin Fire Department will be escorting Santa on a fire truck through neighborhoods between 6 and 8:30 p.m. starting Dec. 14. Santa will pass out candy and toys to the good girls and boys through Dec. 24 as he’s escorted through the city by off duty firefighters and their families.
Dec. 14 – Fairway Estates, Baywood, and Harbor View neighborhoods
Dec. 15 – Michigan Boulevard to Palm Boulevard, Alt. 19 to CR1, Stirling Heights, Braemoor, Barcelona, and LeGrande Drive, Trails West
Dec. 16 – Waterford, Harbortowne Apartments, Country Woods
Dec. 17 – Royal Oak, Valley, Summit Drive, Pinehurst Road to Patricia Avenue, from Michigan Boulevard south to San Salvador
Dec. 18 – Michigan Boulevard south to San Salvador from San Mateo Drive to the water
Dec. 19 – San Salvador Drive south to Main Street from the water to CR1
Dec. 20 – Lazy Lake, Amberlea, Dinnerbell Lane.
Dec. 21 – Bay Street south to Virginia Street from water to Patricia Avenue.
Dec. 22 – Main Street south to Virginia Street from Patricia Avenue to Belcher Road., Wendemere Apartments
Dec. 23 – Weathersfield, Virginia Street south to Beltrees, from CR1 to water
Dec. 24 – MacAlpine Apartments, Beltrees to Union Street from CR1 to water
Santa will be leaving on his nightly rounds around 6 p.m. from the fire station located on Ed Eckert Drive in Highlander Park. Santa’s helpers will make every effort to keep to the above schedule, weather permitting. Please note that for safety reasons, the fire trucks will not be able to travel down dead-end streets.
• Christmas Collecto-Rama, Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Catherine Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport. Cost is $5. Call 421-0441. Presented by Hula Hula Productions, the collectibles show will highlight vintage Christmas décor and memorabilia. The event will feature antique dealers selling vintage holiday décor and retro Christmas fun, including lectures and oldie holiday flicks, with a cash bar and retro tunes throughout the day to help keep everyone in a jolly mood.
• The Gulfport Merchants association presents the annual Holiday Hoopla on Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Beach Boulevard South. 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 decorated streets filled with talented exhibitors and unique shops and galleries. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Operation Santa and Gulfport families in need. For more information, please visit gulfportma.com or call 727-322-5217.
• The 27th annual Gulfport Lighted Christmas Boat Parade on Dec. 8 proceeds from Gulfport Municipal Marina at about 6 p.m. It will then travel past the William's Pier in Gulfport and into the canals of Town Shores Condominiums and Pasadena Yacht Club Estates. Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club will be included on the route as well. The parade will cross the bay and pass by the club docks.
Indian Rocks Beach
• Home for the Holidays, open holiday show, sale and holiday party, through Dec. 28, at Beach Art Center, 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. The Beach Art Center’s Home for the Holidays Open Holiday Show and Sale offers artists of the community the opportunity to exhibit and sell their best work and a variety of original works of art at a reasonable price for purchase. The exhibit runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 28. Works will be in a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, ceramic and more. The center will host a free reception on Friday, Nov. 30, 6 to 8 p.m. David Shankweiler, Beach Art Center executive director, will grill chicken wings. Attendees are invited to bring a dish to share. Call 596-4331 or visit www.beachartcenter.org.
• Happy Hour Toy Drive, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6 to 9 p.m., at Century 21 Beggins, 1511 Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach. The homeowners’ annual holiday happy hour and toy drive will feature live entertainment and complimentary appetizers. Beer and wine will be available for a donation. Attendees should bring an unwrapped toy. Toys also may be dropped off in the donation box at City Hall, the Beggins office or Slyce Pizza. This year the toys will be going to Grace House.
• Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 15, with boats lining up around 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harborside. At 7 p.m., the parade will proceed north.
• Holiday Lights in the Gardens through Jan. 1, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. With more than 500,000 lights adorning the thousands of plants and trees, visitors will once again get in that holiday spirit. Visitors will enjoy a new laser light show as well as lights decorating the new vinery garden and fountains at McKay Creek. A donation of $2 is requested for adults and children 12 years and older. Admission is free for children younger than 12. Refreshments will be available for purchase. For information, visit www.flbg.org.
• Holiday Traditions at Heritage Village through Dec. 30, at Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N., Largo. The Pinellas County Historical Society will sponsor its annual Holiday Traditions. Visitors to this 21-acre living history museum will find the enchanting historical houses decorated true to their period, locality and lifestyle, from an elaborately decorated Victorian home to a simply adorned 1852 log cabin. Heritage Village is open open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. For information, call 582-2123 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/heritage.
• Very Merry Christmas Party, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo. Attendees will get into the holiday spirit with the eighth annual Very Merry Christmas Party. Eileen and friends will cook up a delicious meal. After dinner, attendees will enjoy a lively holiday show. During the show, organizers will be loading up the golf carts for a tour of the lights in Largo Central Park. Cost is $15. Call 518-3131 or visit largocommunitycenter.com.
• The Lowe Family Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2 and 7 p.m., at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. Tickets are $22.50. Call 587-6793 or visit largoarts.com. By popular demand, the Lowe Family will be back this year with an all-new Christmas show. The multi-talented Lowe Family weaves the magic of Christmas through show-stopping instrumental, spectacular dance and lush harmonies. Attendees will experience the sights and sounds of the holidays with this phenomenal power-packed show, exquisitely costumed and packaged.
• Winter Wonderland, Friday, Dec. 7 at 6 to 8 p.m., at McGough Nature Park, 11901 146th St. N., Largo. Cost is $5 a person; children 2 and younger admitted free. Make holiday memories throwing snowballs with real ice shavings, making winter crafts, going on night hikes and roasting s'mores by the campfire. Preregistration is required. Call 518-3047.
• Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:30 to 11 a.m., at Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. Cost is $5 for residents, $6.25 for nonresidents and $9.25 for guests. Registration is required by Dec. 3. Call 518-3125. The sleigh has just pulled into town. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the man in the red suit, listen to a classic holiday story, get creative with crafts, get active with games and enjoy a holiday snack. Attendees should bring a camera, as time will be set-aside for little ones to have their picture taken with Santa.
• “The Gift of Christmas,” presented by the Indian Rocks Music Department, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 and 5 p.m., in the worship center at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685, Ulmerton Road, Largo. The program is put on by Indian Rocks' Music Department and features the Sounds of Praise choir and orchestra, along with Indian Rocks Christian School's award winning Golden Eagle Regiment Band, as well as the elementary, middle school and high school choirs. The show will feature many classic Christmas favorites. Admission is free. Childcare will be available for children 4 years old and younger. For information, call 595-3421.
• A Big Band Christmas featuring The 10 O'Clock Swing Band, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m., at The Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. Tickets are $24.50 (add $5 at the door). This show will feature cabaret seating. Call 587-6793. Attendees will experience one of the best 18-piece big bands in the area performing a special holiday show in swinging style. Toes will tap and hands will clap as this band plays swinging holiday music for dancing and listening enjoyment. Visit LargoArts.com.
• Pinellas Paws Cause Holiday Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 8, is a great opportunity to share the holiday spirit with the whole family at Pinellas County Animal Services. Meet Captain Barky, the new star ambassador for Animal Services. Enjoy music by Radio Disney, food trucks, K-9 demonstrations, obedience dog training and free drawings. Photos with Santa Paws are available for a $5 donation. Dogs and cats will be ready and waiting to go home to new adopted families with $20 adoption and $5 rabies shot specials. About 30 animal rescue groups, the SPCA Tampa Bay and the Humane Society will be on hand. Vendors will offer crafts and specialty pet-themed items, pet services and animal-related products, and Florida Blood Services will be site. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to pets and families. All proceeds will benefit the Animal Welfare Trust Fund. All dogs must be leashed. Pinellas County Animal Services is located at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo. For more information, call 727-582-2600 or www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices.
• Holiday Show, part of the Sunday Matinee Music Series Dinner and Show, Sunday, Dec. 9, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., at Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo. Cost is $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 518-3131. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon filled with a wonderful show and incredible dinner. Some of the area's best performers will light up the stage for this once-a-month production. The Suncoast Barbershop Harmony Society will perform the holiday show.
• Cool Yule Holiday Show, presented by The Hot Club of San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., at Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. Tickets are $26.50 in advance or $31.50 at the door. The show will feature cabaret seating. Call 587-6793. Attendees will fire up the holidays with a swinging gypsy wagon trip to the North Pole featuring many favorites and some rare seasonal gems. This dazzling holiday offering has something for everyone as the performers make this season bright with the flames of gypsy jazz. Visit LargoArts.com.
• 21st Annual Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 15, 8 to 11 a.m., at St. Jerome Early Childhood Center, 10895 Hamlin Blvd., Largo. Advanced tickets are $6 each or $30 for a family of five or more. At the door, cost is $7 or $35 for a family of five or more. Cost includes breakfast, face painting, kiddie-crafts and a visit with Santa. Children of all ages will enjoy the variety of activities offered. This event is open to the entire community. Raffle tickets also will be available. Call 596-9491 or visit stjeromeearlychildhoodcenter.org.
• Snacking with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Armed Forces History Museum, 2050 34th Way N., Largo. Santa will be on hand and children will go on a scavenger hunt for candy, enjoy take-home arts and crafts projects, and decorate cookies and cupcakes so they can snack with Santa. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths 4 to 12. Call 539-8371 or visit www.armedforcesmuseum.com.
• The Nutcracker, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, 1 and 6 p.m., at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. Tickets are $22.50 in advance or $25.50 at the door for adults; and $20.50 for students age 12 and younger. Call 587-6793. Audience members will join Clara on her journey to save her beloved Nutcracker from the giant mice who battle toy soldiers. Then, it’s on to the palace of the Sugarplum Fairy with dancing candies and waltzing flowers. Visit LargoArts.com.
• Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m., at Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave., Largo. Cost is $8 a child and $3 for adults. Call 518-3016. Santa is making his list and checking it twice to see if area children will join him for breakfast. Santa's helpers will be serving breakfast, helping with crafts and taking pictures. Preregistration is required by Dec. 12.
• 12th annual Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow Holiday Spectacular, Saturday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m., at Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo. Tickets are $12. Call 518-3131. The evening will be filled with dancing, singing and much more. The Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow will be accompanied by the Indian Rocks Christian School High School Ensemble, St. Jerome’s Bell Ringers and Largo's Barbershop Quartet.
• Palm Harbor’s 30th annual Holiday Parade is Saturday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m. The parade kicks off at Nebraska Avenue and Westlake Boulevard and heads west toward downtown Palm Harbor. Santa will visit with the children at Jones Plaza on Florida Avenue immediately following the parade.
• Pinellas Park Recreation presents the 2012 Holiday Hayride Thursday, Dec. 6, 6:30 to 10 p.m., at Forbes Recreation Center, located at 6401 94th Ave. N. Watch holiday movies while you wait for your ride. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Advanced registration and tickets are required. Riders should arrive 30 minutes prior to their ride time. Children 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Call 541-0882 for more information.
• “Every Christmas Story Ever Told ... and Then Some,” presented by the Dunedin Arts and Showcase Foundation; Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m., at Venue Theatre, 9125 U.S. 19 N., Pinellas Park. Tickets are $15. Reservations are recommended. Proceeds will benefit Metropolitan Ministries. Call 822-6194. This holiday show is a rip-roaring romp through all the Christmas stories ever told, recounted in fast succession by three funny and talented guys. There will be costumes, funny hats, silly songs and good plain old fun for everyone.
• Pinellas Park 40th Annual Holiday Parade, Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m. The parade will begin on Park Boulevard between 58th Street and 43rd Street. Admission is free. Attendees are encouraged to come early and dive into a spot along Park Boulevard to catch this year's parade. The theme this year is Christmas. The event will feature bands, floats, soldiers, dancers and equestrian groups. Call 831-3916 or visit www.celebratepinellaspark.com.
St. Pete Beach
• St Pete Beach and South Pasadena Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is Friday, Dec. 7, with a start time of 6 p.m. at the Blind Pass Bridge and heading south ending at the Bayway Bridge. Those interested in having their boat in the parade can contact the St Pete Beach Recreation Department at 727-363-9245. There are cash prizes available and entry is free.
St Pete Beach’s Holiday Festival and boat parade viewing party in Horan Park and Community Center also begins at 6 p.m. Join us as we light up the city holiday tree, enjoy live music, crafts, visit from Santa, see the MADD festival of trees and more holiday fun for all ages. Boats can be seen from the event as they pass south towards the Bayway Bridge. For more information, visit spbrec.com or call 727-363-9245.
• Third annual MADD Festival of Trees & Wreaths is Friday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m., at Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive in St. Pete Beach. View a display of beautifully decorated trees and wreaths sponsored by local businesses. Vote for your favorite tree or wreath by $1 donation that will benefit the Pinellas County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. For more information, call Amber Saltzman, MADD state development officer, at 813-935-2675, Ext. 5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 36th annual Oakdale Christmas Light Display through Jan. 3, 2013. Enjoy “hundreds of thousands of lights,” a walking yard tour that includes a 18-train HO scale model railroad, many moving and animated objects, inflatable and lighted figures and displays, hands-on games for the kids and more. Several Christmas trees tower over the display rising to 70 feet. The display covers about ½ acre. Location is 2719 Oakdale St. S. in St. Petersburg. Lights are on from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.ChristmasDisplay.org.
• “Cool Yule at the City,” Dec. 7-16, at St. Petersburg City Theatre, 4025 31st St. S., St. Petersburg. Performances are Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for students and children. Call 866-1973 or visit www.spcitytheatre.org. Santa's on a skateboard and Frosty is doing the "hand jive." The Chipmunks are having a fruitcake throw-down with jazzy holiday tunes and sentimental favorites. It all makes up City Theatre's offering of "Cool Yule at the City." This two-hour holiday musical treat is the brainchild of David Middleton and Thom Guthrie. The cast of 25 singers includes 9-year-olds to seniors. Many of the soloists have been seen on the City Theatre stage as well as throughout the community.
• Tampa Bay Children’s Chorus Holiday Concert, Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. Call 813-954-3549 or visit www.TBCChorus.org.
• The ninth annual Chanukah Extravaganza, Sunday, Dec. 9, 4:30 p.m., at South Straub Park, 200 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg, the event will feature a giant Menorah filled with jelly beans, interactive olive oil workshop, crafts, latkes, strolling magician, 18-foot-high double-lane inflatable slide, free latkes, music, doughnut bar, raffles, Judaica sale, greetings from local dignitaries and a hot dog concession. There also will be a large Spin for Sandy dreidel with proceeds being sent to victims of Hurricane Sandy. The celebration also will feature entertainment by the Enigma Dance Kru. For more information, call 344-4900 or visit www.ChabadSP.com.
• WMNF and Studio@620 present It’s a Wonderful Life, Radio Theatre Project… and more holiday favorites Sunday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Be part of a live studio audience and participate in authentic radio theatre, complete with sound effects. This benefit show for the Radio Theatre Project will foster the holiday spirit with music, gifts and the magic of radio. Plus a special episode of The Continuing Adventures of Noel Berlin, Cabaret Detective written just for the occasion. Call 727-822-3590 or visit www.spcollege.edu/palladium.
• “A Christmas Carol,” by Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer, Dec. 13-30, 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 are $37 for adults and $34 for students, seniors and military members. There is a $7 surcharge for premium seating.
• Nate Najar’s Jazz Holiday in Hough Hall Saturday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m., at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $35 and $25. Call 727-822-3590 or visit www.spcollege.edu/palladium. Leading an all-star band, consummate guitarist Nate Najar returns with an all-new holiday music show. This year’s band features national jazz artists – Ken Peplowski (clarinet and saxophone) and Chuck Redd (vibes) – plus the legendary John Lamb (bass), local favorite Stephen Bucholtz (drums), and a special guest vocalist. Nate and the band will be doing a portion of Duke Ellington’s Jazz Nutcracker along with holidays favorites. This determined music raconteur with an old soul is singlehandedly reintroducing the finger-style nylon string classical guitar technique to a new generation of music lovers. Channeling the essence of Charlie Byrd, Najar’s expressive blend of phrasing, groove and rhythmic refrain delivers compositions informed with his passion for all music, from traditional jazz, to blues, gospel, and sizzling Brazilian beats.
• Outdoor nativity, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at St. Petersburg Community Church, 4501 30th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Attendees will experience a live, outdoor nativity as they follow a path of luminaries and stroll through an outdoor display of scenes from the first nativity. Along the way, the story of the nativity will come to life as costumed characters portray Caesar Augustus, Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Visitors will hear the scripture from the Bible as they view each scene. Approximate time to complete the walk will be about 30 minutes. The event is free. Call 525-0012 or visit www.gracetograce.org.
• A Christmas Cantata by The Island Singers joined by the Second Winds, Sunday, Dec. 16, 3 and 7 p.m., at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Featured at this free concert will be the Island Singers, an offshoot of the renowned Second Time Arounders Marching Band. The group enters its ninth year of bringing together 80-plus singers from across the Tampa Bay area that have sung in choirs in years past and want to do it again. For more information, email Info@TheIslandChapel.org.
• St. Petersburg Opera presents Seasonal Sparkle with Mark Sforzini as artistic director, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 18-19, 7:30 p.m., in Hough Hall at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $21.50, $34.50, $49.50, $64.50. Call St. Petersburg Opera at 727-823-2040. Seasonal Sparkle returns for another glorious salute to the holidays. The acclaimed St. Petersburg Opera chorus and orchestra will be joined by soloists for a dazzling performance. A treat for the whole family, highlights of the evening will include a portion of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, excerpts from the Nutcracker ballet, some of opera's most beautiful arias and a sneak preview of next season's most exciting music. In addition, the orchestra will play favorite carols and songs to instill the holiday spirit.
• Wynonna Judd, presenting “Wynonna’s Rockin’ Christmas,” Friday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m., at The Mahaffey, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $39. Call 892-5767 or visit www.themahaffey.com. Judd – a five-time Grammy Award winner – combines her smoky vocals and powerful stage presence to bring “Wynonna’s Rockin’ Christmas” to The Mahaffey. Joined on stage with her longtime band, The Big Noise, the fiery redhead blends a mix of classic Christmas favorites and some of her biggest hits. “Wynonna’s Rockin’ Christmas” will infuse Judd’s signature style into traditional holiday classics like “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland” for a completely different holiday performance for the entire family.
• Moscow Ballet, presenting the Great Russian Nutcracker, Friday, Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 29, 2 p.m., at The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $32.50. Call 893-7832 or visit www.themahaffey.com. The Moscow Ballet will perform a unique 20th Anniversary production of the acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker for a two-day engagement at The Mahaffey. The production will include new Stanislov Vlasov choreography called “Dove of Peace,” in which two dancers become one soaring bird. Vlasov, a former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet was the choreographer/ballet master of Moscow Ballet’s inaugural 1993 Great Russian Nutcracker.
• Snowfest, Saturday, Dec. 8, 4 to 9 p.m., at Safety Harbor Baseball Fields, 940 Seventh St. S., Safety Harbor. The event will include rides and games. Featured activities will include a snow slope, bounce houses, rides and carnival games. Entertainment will include a performance by musician Matt Winter. Santa and Mrs. Claus will attend. Cost for a wristband is $7. Proceeds will benefit the Elena Tresh Foundation. Call 210-1019 or visit www.elenatresh.org.
• Two weeks before Christmas and all over town, Safety Harbor is stirring and buzzing around. When all of a sudden, it comes to a stop at the sight of a fire truck with Santa on top. Safety Harbor residents, be on the lookout for the Jolly Old Elf when he rides along with Safety Harbor Firefighters. On Friday, Dec.14 Santa will be visiting neighborhoods north of Enterprise Road, and on Saturday, Dec. 15 he will ride through neighborhoods south of Enterprise Road. In the event of rain, expect to see Santa on Sunday, Dec.16.
Santa’s annual Fire Truck Tour is a beloved tradition among Safety Harbor Firefighters and residents alike. This is the 37th year that Santa will board one of Safety Harbor’s fire trucks to ride through town to wish residents a merry Christmas. For more Safety Harbor holiday fun, check out www.safetyharborevents.com.
• Come out to Main Street Safety Harbor on Saturday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m., to celebrate 95 years of history at the 32nd annual Holiday Parade. Traditionally, the parade draws more than 100 entries including the Shriners, car clubs, antique fire engines, Pinellas County Sheriff's vehicles, clowns, local girl and boy scouts, local dignitaries, local high school band, and much more. Even Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a trip down from the North Pole for this festive event.
• 19th annual Lights of Lake Park, benefitting, Suncoast Hospice, continues through New Year’s Eve, in the Seminole communities of Lake Park Estates between Bryan Dairy Road and Lake Seminole. The lights are on from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Dec. 15. From Dec. 16 through Dec. 31, lights will be on from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The event involves a three-mile span of lights and decorations attendees can drive through.
The display is free. Donations are accepted with 100 percent of proceeds going to Suncoast Hospice programs and services. This event has raised more than $500,000 in support of Suncoast Hospice’s family of programs. The community volunteer project was created in 1993 in honor of Ruby Dow and the support she received from Suncoast Hospice. For information, call Bryn Warner at 727-586-4432 or visit lightsoflakepark.com.
• Freedom Square, 7800 Liberty Lane in Seminole, is ringing in the holiday season with its annual Campus Lighting Celebration Friday, Dec. 7. This event is free and open to the public. At 6 p.m., staff will flip the switch and 50,000 lights will light up the evening sky to turn Freedom Square into a magical wonderland.
• The Seminole Youth Athletic Association plans its sixth annual Soccer With Santa event Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at its complex, 12100 90th Ave., Seminole. Activities include a crafts fair with more than 25 vendors, the Seminole Elks basketball shootout, caricatures, face painting, clowns, bounce houses and food. Kids can also get their photos shot with Santa. For more information, call Sherri McCarthy at 235-3378 or email Andycap1@tampabay.rr.com.
• Bright Before Your Eyes Holiday Parade, Sunday, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. Parade begins at the Seminole Mall on 113th St. and ends at the Recreation Center. Call 727-392-3245.
• Holiday Winter Fest & Tree Lighting, Friday, Dec. 14, 5:30 to 9 p.m., at the Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N. Activities include a snow slide, carolers, crafts, hayrides and more. Call 727-391-8345 or visit www.myseminole.com.
• Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 22, 9 to 10:30 a.m., at the Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. Advance tickets are required. Call 391-8345.
• Annual Lights of Love, Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Florida Hospital North Pinellas, 1395 S. Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs. Presented by the Florida Hospital North Pinellas Auxiliary Volunteers, the ceremony will combine the holiday traditions of celebrating and giving. The Christmas tree will be decorated with ornaments that have been donated by the community, and special this year – a commemorative ornament to honor veterans and those serving in the Armed Forces. Attendees will gather on the front lawn to celebrate the holidays with sounds of the season and the illumination of the Lights of Love Christmas Tree. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with complimentary seasonal refreshments provided in the hospital’s Allspice Café, followed by the ceremony from 6:30 to 8 p.m., which will include live musical entertainment, a dedication to veterans and a visit from Santa and his elves. Call 942-2558.
• Annual Safford House Victorian Christmas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Safford House Museum, 23 Parkin Court, Tarpon Springs. Attendees will enjoy a holiday stroll through the 1883 Safford House beautifully decorated for the holidays in the Victorian style. The event will feature live music, refreshments and a unique holiday gift shop. Governor Anson Safford, portrayed by Bruce Miller, will lead the tours and will describe Victorian holiday traditions and life. Singing Tree will perform holiday folk favorites with a classical twist on Dec. 13; and The Ogle Family Singers will perform carols with piano accompaniment on Dec. 14. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 to 18. Visit www.tarponarts.org.
• The Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs. The quintet will deliver Christmas cheer with virtuoso flair. The ensemble will perform Handel, Bach and a glorious fanfare of Christmas favorites such as "Joy to the World" and "White Christmas." Known for their great versatility, entertaining narratives and musical skill, the quintet is made up of principal players from The Florida Orchestra including Robert Smith (trumpet), Kenneth Brown (trumpet), Andrew Karr (horn), Dwight Decker (trombone), and William Mickelsen (tuba). Cost is $22 for adults and $18 for students and members. Visit www.tarponarts.org.
• “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” performed by the Florida Lyric Opera and including a special madrigalian holiday celebration, Saturday, Dec. 22; and Sunday, Dec. 23, 3 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs. The tender, heartwarming story of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” is one of the most popular American operas. Only an hour in length, this one-act English-language opera with its beautiful score and touching libretto appeals to all. It is an inspiring story of how faith, charity, unselfish love and good deeds can work miracles. The event will include complimentary holiday refreshments. Cost is $22 for adults and $18 for members and students. Visit www.tarponarts.org.
• “T’is the Season,” presented by the South Pasadena Community Band, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., at the Treasure Island Community Center, 1 Park Place and 106th Avenue, Treasure Island. The free concert will include the South Pasadena Community Church’s Pasadena Camerata, under the direction of Bob Dricks. Selections will include “A Vaughn Williams Christmas,” “The Nutcracker Suite,” “March of the Toys,” “Still, Still, Still” and other seasonal pieces.
• Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa is Dec. 8, 14-23, 26-30, 6:30 to 10 p.m. Meet Santa and his merry mammals, including real reindeer. Chill out on the new Artic Blast Ice Slide, 100 feet of frozen fun in the Reindeer Games area. The penguins are dressed in their black and white best, and for the first time, African animals will be on exhibit under the starry night sky. More merriment awaits with charming animated displays, a million twinkling lights, free Zoo rides and traditional holiday treats. General admission is $13 for adults and $11 for children (ages 3-11). Annual Zoo Pass holders receive discounted admission. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit visit LowryParkZoo.com. The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48).
• Presents for Primates at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Friday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. Watch the primates open special presents from Zoo staff and docents as part of their enrichment program. Presents for Primates is included free-of-charge with Zoo admission. Zoo daytime admission prices are: adult - $24.95, seniors (60-plus) - $22.95, children ages 3-11 - $19.95, and children 2 and under admitted free. Daytime admission includes amusement rides. Parking is free. For more information, visit LowryParkZoo.com.
• MOSI the museum of science & industry is hosting a Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 to 11 a.m. This event is a fundraiser for the museum’s educational programs and we are working with the Make a Wish Foundation as well. Activities include photo opportunities with Santa free with admission to the event, a performance by the Lennard High School BELLA VOCE chorus and special performances by Tampa Bay School of Circus and Dance. Pre-Purchased tickets are $13 adult and $10 child for non-museum members, $11 adult and $8 child for museum members and $15 adult $12 child on the day of the event. For more information and to purchase tickets guests can call 813-987-6000.
• Noon Year’s Eve at Lowry Park Zoo, Monday, Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ring in the New Year family style at the annual “Noon” Year’s Eve daytime celebration hosted by the Zoo and Radio Disney AM 1380. The party begins when the Zoo opens with games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, educational displays and more. Families can ring in the New Year with noisemakers, hats and a juice toast as they watch the clock strike noon. Activities are included with Zoo admission. Zoo daytime admission prices are: adult - $24.95, seniors (60+) - $22.95, children ages 3-11 - $19.95, and children 2 and under admitted free. Daytime admission includes amusement rides. Parking is free. For more information, visit LowryParkZoo.com.