1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Dec. 13-15

CeeLo Green headlines the Winter Wonder Ride, plus holiday-themed runs and parades fill the calendar.
The Boley Centers' annual Jingle Bell Run will return to Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg on Dec. 13. [Tampa Bay Times (2017)]
The Boley Centers' annual Jingle Bell Run will return to Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg on Dec. 13. [Tampa Bay Times (2017)]
Published Dec. 11, 2019


This is one way to burn off that eggnog energy. This week brings the return of the popular Jingle Bell Run on Friday in downtown St. Petersburg. Runners will have bells on their toes and Santa hats, antlers and even costumes such as the Grinch and all nine reindeer in formation. The streets will be lined with 1,500 luminarias, 15 bands, three glow zones, snow and DJ dance zones and thousands of merry runners. And the race is for a good cause, the Boley Centers, which provide services and support for people with mental illness and substance abuse issues. $30-$35, $25-$30 ages 12 and younger. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Albert Whitted Park, 107 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg.

At SeaWorld, runners are invited to dress in wild holiday attire for a 3-mile Reindeer Run through the theme park before it opens. There will be course entertainment, holiday treats and cookie cutter medals for all finishers. Bring new, unwrapped toys to benefit Toys for Tots. $35-$38; free kids run for age 3 and younger. 7:15 a.m. Saturday. 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando. (407) 896-1160.

And Safety Harbor will have a sea of Santa hats for Santa’s Twilight Run, a 5K night run with glow sticks, hot chocolate, cookies and holiday-themed finishers medals. $39. 7 p.m. Saturday. Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane.


Expect to find some streets closed Saturday, when a number of communities will be lining up the marching bands and floats for their holiday parades.

The Pinellas Park Christmas Parade, on the south side of Park Boulevard, is in its 47th year. Good viewing spots fill quickly since it can only be seen from one side of the road before it steps off at 6 p.m. Saturday near Park Place Mall, 7200 U.S. 19 N.

The Snow on 7th holiday parade hits Seventh Avenue in Ybor City at 7 p.m. Saturday with marching bands, floats, community leaders and lots of “snow” falling.

The Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade, on Orange Street between Safford and N Pinellas avenues, gets rolling at 10 a.m. Saturday. After the parade, ages 12 and younger can hunt for lucky candy canes, while everyone enjoys crafts, hot chocolate and visits with Santa in downtown Tarpon Springs.

Watch Santa arrive at Dunedin’s Old Fashioned Christmas & Holiday Parade then stay downtown for carriage rides, train rides, kids crafts, old-fashioned games, live music, entertainment, snow flurries and a snow slide. Starts at 4 p.m. Saturday along Main Street.

New Port Richey’s 43rd annual Holiday Street Parade of floats and marching units starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at Main Street and Grand Boulevard.

Santa and some of his elves make an appearance at the 2010 Dunedin Holiday Parade. [Tampa Bay Times (2010)]


The train that winds through Largo Central Park becomes a party train as the North Pole Express. Kids can play games and enjoy treats in between train rides. Meet Santa, decorate cookies and more. $25. 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. (727) 587-6720.

New this year is a North Pole Express After Dark, a date night ride through the holiday lights to the North Pole for wine and chocolate. $35 (reservations recommended). 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday’s Winter Wonder Ride, a charity bike ride, with a post ride-party, will bring Grammy-winning Voice judge CeeLo Green as the headliner. Crazy. The nonprofit On Bikes buys bicycles and helmets for at-risk kids. Last year’s ride saw a record number of riders who turned out for DJ Jazzy Jeff and Salt-N-Pepa. So how do they top that? With the groundbreaking Southern rapper who produced hit songs like Forget You, Crazy, Bright Lights and Cry Baby. Now in its ninth year, the Winter Wonder Ride starts with a bike ride through downtown Tampa, and ends at Curtis Hixon Park for a post-ride celebration. Tickets are $55-$125, plus $15 for a bike rental if needed at Free for ages 12 and younger. Costumes are encouraged and we know CeeLo always dresses with flash. Check in by 4 p.m. for the 4:30 ride Saturday. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.

CeeLo Green, pictured at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting in 2012, will headline Tampa's Winter Wonder Ride on Dec. 14. [AP]


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