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Out & About
2013 holiday happenings
Pinellas County celebrates with glee!
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Article published on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
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There is two more chances to watch a boat parade this year. The city of Treasure Island’s Christmas Boat Parade and Holiday Celebration is Saturday, Dec. 21 at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. Indian Rocks Beach's Lighted Boat Parade begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 from the Holiday Inn Harbourside.
There’s two more chances to see a holiday boat parade in Pinellas County this year, and light displays continue to the New Year. No snow is in the forecast, but who cares? Holiday fun is aplenty in Tampa Bay.

Holiday boat parade

• Indian Rocks Beach Lighted Boat Parade

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The 27th annual Indian Rocks Beach Lighted Boat Parade is Saturday, Dec. 21. Boats will line up about 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and at 7 p.m. Suggested viewing for those who don't live on the water is the Holiday Inn deck. For information on the parade or participating, call Randy Schwab at 595-6889 or email rschwab@irbcity.com.

• Treasure Island Christmas Boat Parade and Holiday Celebration

TREASURE ISLAND – The city of Treasure Island’s Christmas Boat Parade and Holiday Celebration is Saturday, Dec. 21 at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. The holiday celebration begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by the boat parade at 6:20 p.m. Live entertainment, a visit by Santa Claus, and complimentary hot dogs, chowder, hot cider and cookies will be served poolside. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 22. For additional information, call The Club at 367-4511.

Holiday events and light displays

• Boy Scout Troop 371 Christmas tree sale

LARGO – Boy Scout Troop 371 is selling Christmas trees, wreaths, door swags and mantelpieces at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 11220 Oakhust Road, Largo. The sale will be open weekdays, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 9 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 22. The trees offered will be 5- to 14-foot Fraser firs. The sale is a troop fundraiser. For more information, call 365-3986 or 585-5089.

• Kiwanis of Seminole Christmas tree sale

SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole is selling Christmas trees through Dec. 23 at 84th Avenue and 113th Street. Trees will be sold on Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 12 to 6 p.m. Trees range from 4 to 10 feet tall. Prices start at $30

• Holiday lights in Largo Central Park

LARGO – Families can enjoy an amazing light display of more than a million lights in Largo Central Park through Friday, Jan. 3. It’s free to stroll through the park and see the dazzling displays of trains, toy bears, carolers, toy soldiers and many more. There will be a campfire each night to enjoy after strolling through the park. Call the Largo parks department at 586-7415 or visit LargoParks.com.

• Holiday Lights in the Gardens

LARGO – The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation’s Holiday Lights in the Gardens continues through Wednesday, Jan. 1, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Stroll through this year’s display of more than 750,000 twinkling lights and holiday decorations. A donation of $2 per person (13 years and older) is recommended. The Florida Botanical Gardens is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo, with an alternate entrance at 12211 Walsingham Road. The gardens remain open from 7 a.m. until dusk every day, with free admission during daylight hours. For more information, visit www.flbg.org or call 582-2100.

• Oakdale Christmas Light display

ST. PETERSBURG – The Oakdale Christmas Light continues through Jan. 3, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at 2719 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg. The display includes about 500,000 lights on a half-acre lot. A walking yard tour includes an 18-train HO scale model railroad, moving and animated items, inflatables, lighted figures and displays. Enjoy hands-on games and bubble machines for the kids. Several trees tower over the display, including one rising to 70 feet.

The free Christmas display started in 1977 and was among the top three finalists on NBC's Today Show, “I'll Be Home for Christmas.” It also was featured on HGTV's All Out Christmas Special and in People Magazine. It takes 10 people about three months to install. About 10 trailer loads bring items from storage. The display is powered by three electrical meters.

To get to the display, take I-275 to exit 22 (old exit 9), which is 175 E. Turn right on Fourth Street, heading south. Go 1 mile, crossing over 22nd Avenue South. The next street on the left is Oakdale. Go two blocks, park or look. For more information, visit ChristmasDisplay.org.

Holiday entertainment

• Holiday Party of One

CLEARWATER – “Holiday Party of One,” by Alison Burns with musical arrangements by Stan Collins, continues through Dec. 20, at New Stage Theatre, inside Country Day World School, 11650 131st St. N., Largo. For performance times and ticket information, call 813-817-2585 or visit newstagelargo.org. This Tampa Bay holiday traditional finds a home at New Stage Theatre after its highly acclaimed run in 2012. Written by local talents Alison Burns and Karla Hartley, this hilarious holiday treat follows three overworked, out of touch, people as they, once again, get caught up in the mad rush of the holidays – that is until Lucky, a Christmas elf, comes to the rescue. The second half of the evening is a unique cabaret of holiday favorites. This production is fun for the whole family.

• The Last Room

PINELLAS PARK – Venue Theatre presents a new Christmas musical, “The Last Room,” through Sunday, Dec. 22. This story, written by former Pinellas County resident, Donna Tripp, relates her interpretation of the Nativity of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of the Innkeeper. The show will run Friday through Sunday through Dec. 22. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 with group rates available. Venue Theatre is located at 9125 U.S. 19 N, in the Hudson's Furniture Plaza at Mainlands Boulevard. Reservations can be made by calling 727-822-6194 or email VenueActorStudio@gmail.com.

• It’s a Wonderful Life

ST. PETERSBURG – It’s a Wonderful Life runs through Dec. 22 at St. Petersburg City Theatre. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 and available by calling 727-866-1973 or visit www.spcitytheatre.org. The theatre is located just off I-275 at 4025 31st St. S., St. Petersburg.

• Santaland Diaries

ST. PETERSBURG – Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris plays through Dec. 29 on the Mainstage at American Stage Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. The holiday season has been called the most wonderful time of the year. Not so says Crumpet, the unemployed, chemically dependent writer who takes a job as a "helper elf" at Macy's Santaland in NYC! His tale of mass marketing, stressed out sales clerks, drunken Santas, screaming kids and the general insanity of the holidays is hilarious. The show is meant for mature audiences only. The Santaland Diaries plays Dec. 15-17, 22-23, 27-29 at 8 p.m. with a 3 p.m. matinee on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and Dec. 29. Tickets are $19. Full cash bar service is available. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 727-823-PLAY (7529).

• A Christmas Carol

ST. PETERSBURG – A freeFall holiday tradition continues with Keith Ferguson's and Bruce Greer's enchanting new musical adaptation of the Dickens classic. A Christmas Carol runs through Dec. 24 with special holiday performances on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23-24. Ticket prices range from $16 to $44 plus ticketing fee (waived for members). freeFall Theatre is located at 6099 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. Visit www.freefalltheatre.com for show times and exact ticket prices.

• Sleigh

TARPON SPRINGS – “Sleigh,” written by PB&J Theatre Factory, is presented Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 19-22, at Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S. Pinellas Ave. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for members and students. Directed by Rick Bronson, this G-rated comedy will have audiences laughing through the holidays and will do it without the spoken word. Call 942-5605 or visit TarponArts.org.

• Rockapella's holiday show

CLEARWATER – Rockapella performs Friday, Dec. 20, 8 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets start at $30. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com. The world’s most loved five-man contemporary pop vocal phenomenon is known for its astonishing live performances and Rockapella's holiday show is a “must see” event. With their completely original take on the holidays, Rockapella creates a light-hearted and unforgettable holiday experience as they travel the country spreading musical holiday cheer. From unique takes on classic favorites to brand new originals destined to become classics, audiences of all ages can expect to be charmed by a holiday performance like no other.

• The Nutcracker Twist

ST. PETERSBURG – Artz 4 Life Academy brings back its annual production, a spin on Tchaikovsky's classic Russian Nutcracker two-act ballet, for two shows at The Mahaffey Theater Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Formerly The Chocolate Nutcracker, The Nutcracker Twist has been, over the years, a community project consisting of more than 200 children from the Tampa Bay Area. Tickets are $17, $27 and $37; groups of 30 or more can save by calling 813-451-4410. Tickets may be purchased online at TheMahaffey.com, charge by phone at 727-893-832 or in person at The Mahaffey Theater Box Office.

• Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet holiday concert

TARPON SPRINGS – Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet, Sunday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for members and students. Attendees will have an opportunity to ring in the holidays with the Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet, who 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, French horn; Dwight Decker, trombone; and William Mickelsen, tuba. Call 942-5605 or visit TarponArts.org.

• Scott & Patti Christmas Special

ST. PETERSBURG – Put on the Andy Williams sweaters and join Scott & Patti (Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel) as they present The Scott & Patti Christmas Special Dec. 22, 7 p.m., at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. Scott & Patti put on their final show for 2013 with a cornucopia of classic carols and a bevy of favorite local guest stars. Join Scott & Patti as they sing all your favorite hits and delight in their being joined onstage by Eric Davis, Kelly Pekar, Susan Haldeman, Coya Bailey Jones, Emanuel Carrero and more. General admission tickets are $18 and available by visiting freefalltheatre.com or by calling the freeFall box office at 727-498-5205.

• A Christmas Carol

CLEARWATER – Nebraska Theatre Caravan presents “A Christmas Carol,” Monday, Dec. 23, 2 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com. Tickets start at $35. A cherished tradition, this is the longest-running production of “A Christmas Carol” in the United States. In this beloved Dickens classic, ghosts of Christmases past, present and future guide Scrooge on a journey of redemption as he discovers the spirit of Christmas and a new life filled with joy and love. This show is part of Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Adults at Leisure Series.

Events outside Pinellas

• Christmas Town

TAMPA – Christmas Town transforms Busch Gardens Tampa into a holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas through Dec. 23. Special Christmas entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and thousands of twinkling lights will fill the senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors to create a memorable new family tradition. Everyone’s favorite attraction, SnowWorld presented by Coca-Cola, returns with three times as much snow! Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and families with children ages 3 to 9 will enjoy special $10 advance tickets for their youngest members. Visit www.buschgardens.com.

• Victorian Christmas Stroll

TAMPA – Experience the warmth and charm of an old-time holiday at Henry B. Plant Museum’s 32nd annual Victorian Christmas Stroll, through Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. There are 14 exhibit rooms, each dazzling with trimmed trees uniquely designed in 19th century themes and antique holiday accessories. This year there will also be a special exhibit, Toys Then and Now, featuring antique toys and toys from modern times. Complimentary spiced cider and savory cookies will be served on the veranda every day, and each evening carolers will perform. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 seniors and $7 youths (4-18 years). Discount Days are Dec. 2, 3, 9, and 10 when admissions are reduced to $9 adults, $8 seniors, and $5 youths. Visit plantmuseum.com.

• Holidays at Lowry Park Zoo

TAMPA – Meet Santa and his merry mammals – real reindeer – at Wild Wonderland at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Animated displays, a million twinkling lights, free Zoo rides and traditional holiday treats create a whimsical world of holiday magic from 6:30-10 p.m. on Dec.13-15, 17-23 and 26-30. Visit lowryparkzoo.com.

• Holiday FantaSea

TAMPA – The Florida Aquarium will host Holiday FantaSea, a family-friendly celebration featuring real snow, dazzling holiday lights and more. From Dec. 26-30, Santa and his swimming elves, as well as special holiday mermaids, will swim throughout the massive tanks alongside all the amazing aquatic creatures each night during Holiday FantaSea. In addition, the Florida Aquarium will host two dazzling light shows each night, a huge holiday model train display, and extended hours during the Holiday FantaSea event. Visit flaquarium.org.

Revised to include Indian Rocks Beach boat parade.

Article published on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
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