Holiday excitement builds as communities and organizations throughout Pinellas County celebrate with a myriad of events designed to delight young and old alike. December calendars are filled with the unique and the traditional, including the following.
Largo Old Fashioned Christmas Parade
LARGO — The Old Fashioned Christmas Parade will make its way through the streets of downtown Largo on Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at noon.
Because of the pandemic, the Largo tradition is going to be a little different this year. Organizers encourage spectators to spread out along the 1-mile route and wear a mask when near others.
The entire parade will also be streamed live on Facebook at Facebook.com/largoparade.
The annual parade features dozens of participants, including various businesses, bands, dancers, nonprofits and community organizations, who will be marching or riding floats, vintage cars, decorated vehicles and festive motorcycles.
The route will start and finish at First Avenue and Fourth Street Southwest. After traveling six blocks down Fourth Street, the route heads east on Seventh Avenue Southwest, continues back north on Second Street Southwest and then heads west on First Avenue Southwest.
Lopez Holiday Craft Show set
PINELLAS PARK — The inaugural Lopez Holiday Craft Show will take place Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lopez Hall, 7177 58th St., Pinellas Park.
Social distancing will be enforced. All participants will be required to wear a mask or face protection at all times. Sanitization stations will be placed throughout the hall, but we ask that each vendor have sanitizer at their booth.
All items offered for sale must be homemade. Vendor cost is $10 a table. For information or to reserve a table, call Donna at 727-742-4712.
Breakfast with Santa set at Seminole Recreation
SEMINOLE — Seminole’s Breakfast with Santa will take place Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Seminole Recreation Center, 9199 113th St. in Seminole.
Fill up on holiday cheer and all-you-can-eat pancakes and then join in the fun with holiday crafts and a special opportunity to meet Santa. Two seating times are available with reduced seating capacity to allow for social distancing. The seating times will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event, tickets will be $5 for participants aged 2 through 12 years old and $7 for participants ages 13 and older. Tickets are available for purchase through Thursday, Dec. 18. This event will be conducted in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Face masks are required for this event, and hand sanitizing stations will be available.
For information, call 727-391-8345.
Santa Claus is coming to Clearwater
CLEARWATER — Santa Claus is trading in his bright red sleigh for a bright red fire truck as he prepares to swing by a variety of Santa Claus Lanes around the city of Clearwater.
Santa will be making appearances around town Dec. 17 and 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., waving to boys and girls as he passes by on a Clearwater Fire & Rescue fire engine, escorted by elves from the Clearwater Police Department. He will be cruising around neighborhoods being followed by Clearwater's jolliest trolley, the Jolley Trolley, filled with physically distanced mask wearing special guests — spreading holiday cheer around the entire community.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to keep everyone safe, Jolly Ol' St. Nick asks everyone to gather safely — physically distanced — in their driveways and yards and cheer loudly as he comes by.
Please maintain 6 feet of safe distance from neighbors or people who don't live in your home. Face masks are also encouraged.
The following are the city's recreation centers closest to the neighborhoods that Santa will visit:
Thursday, Dec. 17
• The Morningside Recreation Complex neighborhood, 2600 Harn Blvd.
• The Long Center neighborhood, N. 1501 Belcher Road
• The Countryside Recreation Center neighborhood, 2640 Sabal Springs Drive
Friday, Dec. 18
• The Clearwater Beach Recreation Center neighborhood, 69 Bay Esplanade
• The North Greenwood Recreation Center neighborhood, 900 N. MLK Jr. Ave.
• The Ross Norton Recreation Center neighborhood, 1426 S. MLK Jr. Ave.
Restoration Café hosts ‘Celebrating Christ at Christmas’ exhibit
CLEARWATER — The For the Love of God Art Series is presenting “Celebrating Christ at Christmas” at Restoration Café, 38 N. Fort Harrison Ave., in downtown Clearwater.
Local artists of faith showcase their work during the season of Christmas. Artwork can be viewed during Restoration Cafe open hours, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Clearwater Beach business kick off 12 Days of Christmas
CLEARWATER — On Dec. 12, Clearwater Beach kicked off 12 days of free events to help people enjoy the businesses at Clearwater Beach and to help the economy.
The following events are scheduled in coming days:
• Wednesday, Dec. 16, 5 to 8 p.m. — Pet photos with the Grinch at Island Way Grill
• Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 17-19, 5 to 8 p.m. — Holiday photos with Santa Claus at the District on the 400 block of Cleveland Street
• Saturday, Dec. 19, 5 to 9 p.m. — Holiday photos with Santa Claus at Pier 60
• Sunday, Dec. 20, 5 to 8 p.m. — Christmas carolers visiting participating businesses at North Beach
Businesses involved in the event include Island Way Grill, Hampton Inn & Suites, Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club, Pier 60, Taco Bus, Shephard’s, Cooters, Marina Cantina, A Slice of Rome, Edge Hotel, Club Wyndham, Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber, Heilman’s Bistro & Wine Bar, SpEGGtacular, Gondolier Pizza, Pier House 60, Jimmy’s Fish House, Pearly’s Beach Eats, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, Ryan’s Island Cafe, Beverly’s Ice Cream, Coconut Grove All Suite Resort, and Clearwater Wine Bar & Bistro.
For information, visit the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clearwaterbeach12daysofchristmas.
Breakfast with Santa in Largo
LARGO — The sleigh has just pulled into town with the man in the big red suit, and he’s ready to have breakfast with children ages 8 and younger.
Breakfast with Santa will be presented Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo. Two time slots are available, including 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 10 to 11:30 a.m. The event will include breakfast with Santa, crafts, games, a story from Mrs. Claus and a Santa selfie. The cost is $7 per person. Advanced ticket purchase is required by Dec. 14 due to limited capacity. Each time slot will be limited to 50 patrons.
For more information, visit LargoEvents.com or call 727-518-3131.
For more information on how Largo is playing smart and staying six feet apart, visit PlayLargo.com/PlaySmart or call 727-587-6720.
Holiday lights, rides in Largo Central Park
LARGO — The city of Largo will present holiday lights and rides in the park, running through Jan. 3, at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo.
This family-friendly annual tradition features spectacular holiday light displays, the whimsical flying elephant-themed Jumbo ride, and a seven-story Ferris wheel that offers a breathtaking aerial view of the 70-acre Largo Central Park and more than 2 million twinkling LED lights. Park admission is free. Rides are $5 each or five for $20. Food and beverage vendors will also be on site. The rides are open nightly from 5 to 11 p.m. through Jan. 3. The holiday light displays are on till 10 p.m.
Park visitors are encouraged to wear a holiday face covering and practice social distancing. For more information, call 866-666-3247.
Safford House Museum decorations
TARPON SPRINGS — The “elves of Tarpon Arts” and volunteers have beautifully decorated the Safford House, and it is ready to welcome Tarpon Springs residents and visitors through Jan. 6 for docent-led tours.
The Safford House Museum is at 23 Parkin Court off of Grand Boulevard in Tarpon Springs. The museum is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with docent-led tours. Tickets are $5 per person for ages 18 and older. As a special holiday gift for Tarpon Springs residents, the ticket price is only $3 per person for ages 18 and older. Tarpon Springs residents are asked to show a driver’s license or a form of identification to prove residency to receive the discount. Tarpon Arts members are free per their membership benefits. The final tour begins at 2:30 p.m. Masks are required and group size is limited.
For information, visit TarponArts.org or call 727-942-5605. The Safford House will be closed during city holidays, including Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1.
‘The Santa Clause’ at Centre Field
PALM HARBOR — A free family movie night will take place Friday, Dec. 18, at Centre Field at the Centre, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor.
The movie will be “The Santa Clause.” Gates will open at 5:15 p.m. Food sales will start at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be available for $5, which includes the choice of a hot dog, hamburger or cheeseburger with chips and dessert. The movie will begin at sunset. Guests will receive free popcorn with a donation of a new, unwrapped gift or giving tree donation.
Celebration of Lights in Shady Hills
SHADY HILLS — The Celebration of Lights event will be presented through Dec. 20 at the Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road, Shady Hills.
The event will be open Friday and Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $20 per carload. This year’s Celebration of Lights will be a safe and magical drive-thru event throughout the Concourse and Pasco Safety Town. Attendees will have a chance to wave to Santa as they pass Smokey’s Cabin. Tickets are available at the Train Depot for the Grand Concourse Railroad miniature Holiday Train for a festive ride on a brand-new section of track with seasonal decorations and lights. Attendees will receive 50% off a Holiday Train ride ticket when they enter the Celebration of Lights. The Grand Concourse Holiday Train will run on Friday and Saturday nights of the event only.
This community event was founded by Dave Parris, who passed away in 2014. He fashioned this holiday light show after the one in his hometown, with hopes young families would create memories and someday bring their grandchildren.
The Concourse is a private nonprofit unique park venue. The 2020 Celebration of Lights is produced by the Concourse in partnership with Pasco Safety Town, Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, the Grand Concourse Railroad, West Pasco Sertoma and Friends of Dave Parris, for the enjoyment and benefit of the community.
Tickets are available at the gate only. Cash, debit and credit cards will be accepted.
For more information, visit www.CelebrationofLightsFL.org.
Celebrate the season safely with the city of Largo
LARGO — Although annual holiday events like the Holiday Tree Lighting in Largo Central Park have been canceled, the city of Largo is working to create a safe, healthy, and jolly environment for families to create meaningful memories this holiday season.
There are many safe ways to celebrate the season. From virtual celebration ideas, tips on hosting a virtual movie night, and a holiday playlist, Largo.com/HollyJolly features several ways to celebrate safely with loved ones. Here you can also find holiday safety tips to avoid theft, fire safety, and ways to stay sustainable during the holidays.
To help residents stay connected with family and friends, the city is encouraging residents to enter to win one of five Amazon Fire HD tablets. Through Dec. 20, complete a sign-up form at Largo.com/HollyJollyPromo. Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, Dec. 21. Please submit one entry per person.
Are your holiday lights the envy of the neighborhood? The city of Largo is encouraging residents, neighborhoods, and businesses with storefronts to decorate and share their holiday lights this year. Simply email a photo or video of your display to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message on the city of Largo Facebook or Instagram page (@CityofLargo). Photo entries will be shared on the city’s social media pages.
Harbor Holiday Nights
SAFETY HARBOR — Harbor Holiday Nights got underway Dec. 4 at Folly Farm Nature Preserve, 1562 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N., Safety Harbor.
The event will continue Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is $4 a person, which includes a light-up necklace or glasses to view the lights.
Harbor Holiday Nights is a new, all-ages event that features food and craft vendors, crafts, s’more making at the campfire, family activities, live entertainment and beautiful lights. Live music will be provided on select evenings, with performances by the Three Masketeers and Blue Skies.
For information, visit www.SafetyHarborRecreation.com.
American Victory Ship’s Holiday Spectacular
TAMPA — In conjunction with the Tampa Riverwalk’s Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 19, the American Victory Ship will host its annual Holiday Spectacular from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Experience the Boat Parade from the decorated decks of the American Victory, where the incredible views are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
See how Santa gets his presents delivered — experience the Christmas Cargo Hold. Celebrate the season aboard the American Victory Ship for the merriest place to view Tampa’s sparkling parade of boats decked in holiday cheer. Enjoy festive DJ entertainment, visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and their crew, adult refreshments available for purchase by Spunky Spirits, food trucks, auction items to bid on, and other holiday festivities with your family and friends.
The boat parade is expected alongside the American Victory at 7:45 p.m.
This event is predominantly outside in the open air and operating at reduced and limited capacity to allow for open-air social distancing throughout the ship. CDC best practices will be observed, and masks will be required when social distancing is not possible. Tickets are available now at Eventbrite, and Facebook. Tickets are $15 for adults; $14 for veterans, first responders, and seniors; $10 for kids age 4-12. Children age 3 and younger free.
For information, visit www.americanvictory.org.