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Hanukkah events in Tampa Bay

Hanukkah comes early this year.
Members of Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Petersburg celebrate lighting the largest menorah in St. Petersburg in 2017. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, comes early this year. It runs Nov. 28-Dec. 6. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]  12/12/2017
Members of Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Petersburg celebrate lighting the largest menorah in St. Petersburg in 2017. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, comes early this year. It runs Nov. 28-Dec. 6. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times] 12/12/2017 [ Tampa Bay Times (2017) ]
Published Nov. 23

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, comes early this year. The exact dates change every year because Hanukkah is always on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. This year, it runs eight days and nights Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. The following is a list of some Hanukkah-related activities in the Tampa Bay area.

Festival of Lights: A nearly 2-mile drive-thru of continuous light features followed by a festive walking visit to Santa’s Village. The elaborate light displays themed to Florida and traditional winter holidays are complemented by individual representations of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. $25 per car (up to eight people). 6-10 p.m. Nov. 25-28, Dec. 2-5, 9-12 and 16-26. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Brandon. 813-737-3247.

Hanukkah Spectacular: Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard greets the crowd for the lighting of a surprise-themed menorah. There will also be hot latkes, doughnuts, an appearance by ThunderBug, a gelt drop by the Clearwater Fire Department, children’s entertainment and more. Free. 4 p.m. Nov. 28. Surf Style Mega Store, 311 S Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. 727-265-2770.

Hanukkah Street Fair: Hit the street at the mall for a Hanukkah party that includes DJ music, a stilt walking robot, rock climbing, an obstacle course, face painting, latkes, doughnuts and a menorah lighting. Free. 5-7 p.m. Nov. 28. The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd. 813-642-3244.

Hanukkah Celebration: Pasco: The public is invited to attend the lighting of the menorah at this celebration with Hanukkah crafts, doughnuts, latkes and live music. Free. 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28. Chabad Jewish Center of West Pasco, 10733 Maple Creek Drive, New Port Richey. 727-376-3366.

8 Crazy Nights: Celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with themed foods including matzo ball soup and other Jewish-inspired fare. No cover (food/drink additional). 6-11 p.m. Nov. 28-Dec. 5. The Wheelhouse, 7220 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-623-0589.

Hanukkah Celebration: Brandon: Bring your personal hanukiah for a mass lighting with dancing, music and Hanukkah presentations. Free. 7 p.m. Nov. 29, 11 a.m. Dec. 4. Beit Tehila Congregation, 1705 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Brandon. 813-654-2222.

Trivia Night: Hanukkah Edition: Trivia night celebrates the Festival of Lights with the addition of challenging Hanukkah questions. No cover (food/drink additional). 8:30-10:30 p.m. Nov. 29. The Wheelhouse, 7220 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-623-0589.

Hanukkah in the City: The Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg holds the 19th annual event with a menorah lighting, aerial show, music, doughnuts and latkes. Free. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2. North Straub Park, 400 S Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. 727-344-4900.

Hanukkah Party: Area Jews in their 20s and 30s celebrate the fifth night of Hanukkah with a latke bar, sufganiyot, Hanukkah-related activities, a raffle and the lighting of the hanukiah. Registration required. 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 2. Congregation Schaarai Zedek, 3303 W Swann Ave., Tampa. 813-876-2377.

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Jewish Heritage Night: The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the St. Louis Blues and acknowledge Hanukkah with Jewish Heritage Night, which includes a free kosher meal, collectible Lightning menorah pin and a pregame menorah lighting on the plaza (6:15 p.m.). $35. 7 p.m. Dec. 2. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6623.

Hanukkah Celebration: Join the congregation to light the giant menorah outside and hanukiahs inside, sing songs, eat latkes, play dreidel games and review the Hanukkah story. Free. 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Beth-El Shalom Messianic Congregation, 1701 29th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 727-345-7777.

Hanukkah Celebration: Bring the family and join friends for a day of worship, fellowship, dance, flag worship and food. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 4. Shoresh David Messianic Synagogue, 7107 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel. 813-270-6361.

Hanukkah at the Green: Indulge in chocolate gelt, fresh latkes, doughnuts and other holiday food and enjoy entertainment, story time, crafts, activities and appearances by Judah Maccabee, Hanukkah Harry and a human dreidel. Bring new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Free. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The Green at University Town Center, 127 N Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. 941-371-2788.

Real to Reel: Hanukkah Edition: In the animated film An American Tail, mice represent Jewish immigrants and cats their anti-Semitic tormentors. Includes Hanukkah treats and a community discussion after the screening of the film. Free. 7 p.m. Dec. 4. American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-530-3223.

Chase the Dreidel Run: Runners chase after a life-sized dreidel as it spins along the streets of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Trail on this chip-timed 5K that includes T-shirts and a potato pancake latke supper. Register at $30-$36. 4-7 p.m. Dec. 5. Congregation B’nai Israel, 300 58th St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-324-8022.

Hanukkah on Ice: Meet at the ice skating rink and join Chabad of Pinellas County for a party with a Crypto-Menorah lighting, music, doughnuts, latkes, balloons, Hanukkah gelt and a Poppit dreidel fidget toy for kids. Free (RSVP required). 5:15-7:15 p.m. Dec. 5. Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-789-0408.

Santa’s Holiday Review: This musical takes an around-the-world tour of the dances, songs and stories from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more $8.50. 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 11. Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. 727-587-6793.