Winter Waterland this weekend at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

At the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s annual holiday festival, there’s “A Mermaid’s Christmas” presented in the 90-foot deep spring. On land, there’s
a living nativity scene, live performances including the “Adventures in Candyland” show and a visit with Santa — once he dries off.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2009)

At the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s annual holiday festival, there’s “A Mermaid’s Christmas” presented in the 90-foot deep spring. On land, there’s a living nativity scene, live performances including the “Adventures in Candyland” show and a visit with Santa — once he dries off.

WEEKI WACHEE — Nothing says Christmas in Hernando County like Santa and the mermaids.

While others may dream about white Christmases and chestnuts roasting, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park annually plays host to one of the area's most beloved holiday celebrations.

"It's one of our biggest weekends of the year," park spokesman John Athanason said of the Winter Waterland holiday festival, which kicks off at 6 p.m. today. "It's become a tradition with a lot of people in the community over the years."

In operation since 1947, the storied park has always come up with unique ways to celebrate major holidays. But the Christmas season is special in that the park's natural beauty offers a perfect enhancement to the holiday atmosphere.

The park's celebrated mermaid theater turns into a nighttime magic palace as Santa and the mermaids perform an underwater holiday song and dance presentation called "A Mermaid's Christmas" inside the 90-foot-deep spring.

Visitors who walk the grounds will find plenty of activities as well. The entire park will be lit up in yule splendor with a myriad of Christmas lights. Additionally, visitors will experience a live nativity scene, outdoor live performances that include the AK Dance Away "Rockin' Christmas" dance presentation and the "Adventures In Candyland" stage show.

The festivities include of games and contests, and for the little ones there's even an opportunity to get up close and personal with Santa himself.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

.if you go

Winter Waterland

What: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park's Winter Waterland holiday festival

Where: The park is at U.S. 19 and State Road 50 in Weeki Wachee.

When: 6 to 10 p.m. today and Saturday.

How much: Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 6 to 12. Kids 5 and under are free.

For more information: Call (352) 592-5656 or visit weekiwachee.com.

Winter Waterland this weekend at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park 12/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 9:16pm]

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