It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but tonight the lights get powered up on the massive tree in Ybor City, marking the start of many, many local holiday events through the end of the year. Below are the details on that tree-lighting ceremony and some others coming up across the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.
Ybor Tree Lighting: Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be there to flip the switch on the 37-foot-tall Ybor City tree along with other community leaders and Santa Claus. There will be free hot chocolate after the lighting and free photos with Santa. 6:30 p.m., Nov. 16, Centro Ybor, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, free
Hyde Park Village Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony: Hyde Park Village celebrates the arrival of Santa and the lighting of their Christmas tree with live music by Late Night Brass, balloon artists, food trucks, beer, a kids zone and face painting. 5 p.m., Nov. 19, Hyde Park Village, 1621 W. Snow Circle, Tampa, free
St. Petersburg Tree Lighting: Mayor Kriseman flips the switch to illuminate the city's Christmas tree at this celebration with live entertainment, interactive games and vendors with food available for purchase. 5 p.m., Nov. 25, North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue N.E. and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg, free
Tampa Tree Lighting: Chadd and Kristi, from Magic 94.9's The Morning Show, serve as host for the ceremony with free sandwiches from Chick Fil-A Cows and music by The Late Night Brass band. Mayor Bob Buckhorn lights the tree at approximately 7:50 p.m. A screening of the holiday classic A Christmas Story follows. 6 p.m., Dec. 2, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, free
Safety Harbor Tree Lighting: Bring out the family and friends to enjoy the lighting of Safety Harbor's giant Christmas tree. Choirs will warm up the crowd for a visit from Santa Claus that is arranged by the Safety Harbor Fire Department. 11 a.m., Dec. 2, John Wilson Park Gazebo, 401 Main St., Safety Harbor, free
Largo Tree Lighting at Largo Holiday Stroll: Enjoy lights, Santa, live performers, a kids craft tent and a holiday chalk art festival during family fun night at the Largo Holiday Stroll. 6:30-9:30 p.m. (tree lit at 7 p.m.), Dec. 3, Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo, free.
Dunedin Lighted Boat Parade & Tree Lighting: Enjoy holiday decorations, live entertainment and concessions while waiting for Santa to cruise by in a boat parade. After the parade, Santa will lead the countdown to the lighting of the city's Christmas tree. 6 p.m., Dec. 7, Dunedin Marina/Edgewater Park, 51 Main Street, Dunedin, free
City of Gulfport Holiday Tree Lighting: Bundle up for an evening of festive music and refreshments and caroling. Join the mayor, city council and Yvonne Johnson as they light the tree for another holiday season with a visit from Santa Claus to end the night. 7 p.m., Dec. 7, Clymer Park, Gulfport Boulevard and Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, free
Center Place Brandon Tree Lighting: The night will begin with the Boy Scouts Color Guard and include performances by dancers, singers and a theater troukpe. The evening will end with the 32nd annual lighting of the Christmas tree and a visit from Santa. Community Roundtable and Boston Market will serve refreshments. 7 p.m., Dec. 7, Center Place, 619 Vonderburg Drive B, Brandon, free