Lighted Boat Parades
Tampa: Festive boats will motor and sail around Davis Islands, Harbor Island and through Garrison Channel. Good viewing spots include Channelside and the Convention Center, plus the SS American Victory ($12, $7 ages 4 to 12; (813) 228-8766). Free. Sunday 6:30 p.m. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 404-3471.
New Port Richey: Part of Main Street Holidays, a shop 'n stroll featuring art, crafts and trolley rides (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the Holiday Joy children's choral concert (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the 11th annual Riverlights Boat Parade, with a sing-along to your favorite tunes via a radio broadcast (6-9 p.m.). Free. Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sims Park, 6341 Bank St., New Port Richey. (727) 842-8066.
Dunedin: Decorated boats will leave Marker 1 Marina and travel south on the Intracoastal Waterway to the Dunedin Marina. Santa will ride on the last boat and light the city's largest tree upon his arrival. Saturday 6 to 9 p.m. The Dunedin Concert Band performs in Edgewater Park beginning at 7 p.m. Free. Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St. (727) 298-3030.
Tierra Verde: Decorated boats, and maybe even some paddle boards, start just east of Billy's Stone Crab and tour the Grand Canal areas to the Tierra Verde Bridge. Free. Wednesday 6 p.m. Billy's Stone Crab Seafood, 1 Collany Road, Tierra Verde. (727) 458-8512.
Sharon Scott stars in Black Nativity, which tells the Christmas story as a "gospel song play'' by Langston Hughes. Bob Devin Jones will direct the production as a community outreach project of the [email protected] in free performances at the Palladium Theater. Scott will play the narrator and sing songs like I Can't Give Up Now and Mary Did You Know. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free tickets are available at the Palladium box office or at the [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic
We think we've cornered decorative holiday excess? Sorry, but the Victorians had it all over us. The Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa (on the University of Tampa campus), provides the grand setting for a re-creation of a lavish 19th century Christmas through Dec. 23 at its 29th annual Victorian Stroll. Fourteen rooms in the former Tampa Bay Hotel, built in 1891, are all decked out and Santa himself will make an appearance on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. He'll be on the veranda and, of course, will not charge for his services. Admission to the decorated museum is $12 adults, $10 seniors and $6 kids 4 to 18. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. (813) 254-1891; plantmuseum.com.
Jingle Bell Runs
There are two opportunities to run in reindeer hats and bells — and sing. Giddyap, giddyap let's gooooooo!
Boley Centers' Annual Jingle Bell Run in St. Petersburg: This one is in the evening, so please glow. Bring along the kids and the dog for 3-mile and 1-mile run/walks along St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront. (Note to the musicians along the candlelit route: Can you play something besides Jingle Bell Rock this year? Thanks!) $18, $20 race night; $13 11 and younger, $15 race night. Wednesday 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-4819; boleycenters.org
Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for Arthritis in Tampa: Walk/run among the holiday displays while raising money for arthritis. There is a separate 1-mile walk for children. Refreshments and raffles to follow. Registration starts at 6 a.m. $25, $30 event day; $10 for 12 and younger, $15 event day. Saturday 7:30 a.m. International Plaza and Bay Street, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 342-3790.