LARGO — The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation will not be hosting its annual Holiday Lights in the Gardens event this year.
The lighting of the gardens during the holiday season has been a tradition since the grand opening of Florida Botanical Gardens. This will mark the first time in 20 years that the event does not take place. Due to safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation made the difficult decision to cancel.
“After several deliberations, the decision not to hold the event was deemed to be in the best interest of the foundation, our members, Pinellas County Parks and the general public,” a press release from the foundation stated. “This is particularly problematic for the foundation, as the event generates a significant part of our annual operating revenue. Therefore, we must find additional ways to cover that loss.”
The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation will host a number of small events in the coming months, including the annual tour of public and private gardens, Pumpkin Fest, and Yoga in the Gardens. For details on upcoming events, visit www.flbgfoundation.org/events. The foundation is also on target to break ground in December for the new Children’s Discovery Garden. For information on the project, visit www.flbgfoundation.org/childrensgarden.
According to the press release, the foundation intends to revive the Holiday Lights in the Gardens tradition in 2021 and that it will be “bigger and better than ever.” The foundation still intends to decorate the gardens for the 2020 holidays. Visitors can stroll through the gardens daily from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Florida Botanical Gardens is at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Call 727-582-2100 or visit www.flbg.org.
Largo Central Park to host holiday light display
For families in search of much-needed holiday cheer this year, the city of Largo will once again host one of Pinellas County’s largest holiday displays. The event is expected to get underway on Thanksgiving evening, Thursday, Nov. 26, and will run through Sunday, Jan. 3, at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive.
Guests are invited to stroll through over 2 million twinkling LED lights safely and should practice social distancing when visiting the 70 acres of green space. Individuals are encouraged to wear a holiday face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Largo’s Recreation, Parks, & Arts Department is closely working with the city’s Emergency Recovery Team and following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to safely and strategically continue a phased approach for reopening. This includes planning for larger and traditional holiday events.