Sunday, May 27, 2018
Events

Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies begin this week in Tampa Bay

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

Comments
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 29

Sacred Art Tour of the Tibetan Monks: Eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India are creating a sand mandala of the Green Tara, a female representation of the Buddha of Compassion. During opening ceremonies, the monks will chant, play long Tibetan ...
Published: 05/25/18
Veterans get in free at Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and more with Memorial Day deals

Veterans get in free at Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and more with Memorial Day deals

Memorial Day is a time to say "thank you" to our veterans. The following is a list of free offers for them to enjoy. Some even last all summer.• Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are offering U.S. veterans and up to three guests get free admission to the th...
Published: 05/25/18
Professional wrestlers are telling their stories through comic books

Professional wrestlers are telling their stories through comic books

Due to its salacious scripted story lines mixed with choreographed violence, professional wrestling is often referred to as a kind of soap opera. But Palm Harbor’s John Crowther sees it differently. Professional wrestling, he said, is a comic book st...
Published: 05/25/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on May 27

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on May 27

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: In addition to cocktails, music headliners today are Everclear and Fastball. 11 a.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $20-$30 single day; $35, $40 at door (if available) for two-day tickets; VIP $100-$225. ...
Published: 05/25/18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on May 26

97X Barbecue, Music and Arts Festival: Alt-rock station 97X expands the annual Memorial Day weekend music festival to show love to all arts with a display by local artists and a music line-up including The Dirty Heads, Awolnation, Judah and the Lion,...
Published: 05/25/18
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Published: 05/24/18
Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

TAMPA — The Ballet Nacional de Cuba performed Giselle, its signature ballet, on Wednesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Fifty-four dancers charmed a packed house, culminating in about two hours an effort that took more tha...
Published: 05/24/18
Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Lakeland’s a little out of the way, but I’m always eager to check out the bar scene there when passing through or attending an event. Every place I’ve visited just seems so pleasant.I regret missing the boat on the city’s first brewery, Lakeland Brew...
Published: 05/24/18
tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

The saga of Barley Mow Brewing Company and its eventual offshoot/successor Sea Drift Ales & Lagers is a complicated one. The most interesting part is how the latter came to be as a result of brewery-distributor tensions, in which Barley Mow pulled an...
Published: 05/24/18