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Top Tampa Bay area events for the week of Dec. 4-10

Find a good spot along Park Boulevard to view the Pinellas Park parade, or listen in as the Florida Orchestra presents Handel’s “Messiah.”
 
Crowds will gather along east bound Park Boulevard for the Pinellas Park Christmas parade Saturday night.
Crowds will gather along east bound Park Boulevard for the Pinellas Park Christmas parade Saturday night. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Dec. 4, 2023

Pinellas Park Christmas Parade: The 50th annual, one-sided holiday parade takes on a 1970s theme. All floats will be decorated to represent something from that era. The parade starts at the railroad tracks and travels east on Park Boulevard to U.S. 19, disbanding at the overpass near Shoppes at Park Place. Eastbound lanes will be closed and the westbound lanes will travel both directions during the parade. Free. 6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). McDonald’s, 5170 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park.

Nate Bargatze: The 2021 Grammy-nominated comedian and podcaster who recently hosted “Saturday Night Live” performs. $36-$76. 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6500.

On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan: This is the true-story musical about two people who believed in their talent and each other and became an international sensation. $58-$98. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday (Dec. 7-8). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000. themahaffey.com.

Kids throw snowballs at targets at Snow Days at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa.
Kids throw snowballs at targets at Snow Days at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. [ Courtesy of Florida Aquarium ]

Snow Days at the Aquarium: The “Snow Fly Zone” this year has added activities including a snowball toss, snowball slingshot, snow painting and a snow maze. Aquarium staff will constantly be making new snow to keep it fresh. There will be a snow maze, snowball cornhole, dancing on the rooftop terrace and more. Included with admission; $29.70 and up. 9:30 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (Dec. 9-10). The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000.

IRB Holiday Tour of Homes: Enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt of beach homes decorated for the holidays with music, art, decorations, refreshments, raffles and more. Upgrade to VIP tickets for a tour guide experience on the Jolly Trolley. Benefits the Beach Art Center. $30-$100. 1-6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Beach Art Center, 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. 727-596-4331.

Hanukkah in the City: The Chabad Center of Greater St. Petersburg celebrates the first night of Hanukkah with aerial performances, live music, a gelt drop, face painting, latkes, doughnuts and a menorah lighting with elected officials. RSVP to chabadsp.com/Chanukah23. Free. 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). South Straub Park, 198 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

Christmas at Coachman: Enjoy music as you shop from more than 125 local artisans and small businesses at this market with an interactive play area, pet adoptions, fresh produce, a splash pad, playground, photos with Santa, stories by Mrs. Claus, appearances by the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who and a pet parade. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater.

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Christmas in the Country: Bring the family to experience the sights, sounds and smells of an old-fashioned country Christmas. Learn how the holiday traditions of the 19th century differ from those of the 21st through hands-on crafts, holiday activities, historical interpretations, carols and decorations. $14, $12 seniors/students, 5 and younger free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Cracker Country at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 N. U.S. 301, Tampa. 813-627-4225.

View tens of thousands of lights week at the Oakdale Christmas house in St. Petersburg.
View tens of thousands of lights week at the Oakdale Christmas house in St. Petersburg. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Oakdale Holiday Light Display: People come from around the world to see this giant walk-through holiday light show. The 46th anniversary edition covers approximately half an acre and features more than 500,000 lights, an 18-train HO scale model railroad, a 150-piece manger scene, four giant Christmas trees, a bubble machine, a dancing life-sized snowman and more. 6-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 3. Free. Kresge House, 2719 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg.

Merry Beach Market and Holiday Festival: There will be more than 150 local vendors, live entertainment and food and drink stands. The Merry Beach Market is also a good spot to watch the start of the 57th annual Madeira Beach Lighted Boat Parade and the official lighting of the Madeira Beach Christmas tree. Other activities include photo ops with Santa and snow for the kids to play in. Free. 2-8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). ROC Park, 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach. 727-392-0665, ext. 503.

Jingle Y’All: Six of country music’s newest and biggest stars are featured, including Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Elle King, Corey Kent, Kassi Ashton and Neon Union. Benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. $60 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5). Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. 813-627-7625.

Plays in the Park: For this theatrical picnic, Clearwater library staff will be reading an act of a famous play aloud as a group, with parts randomly assigned. No acting experience is required. Bring a picnic blanket or towel to sit on. The group will meet on the first floor of the Clearwater Main Library lobby and move to Coachman Park (weather permitting). Free. 2-3:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. 727-562-4970.

Ho-Ho Holiday Party: Take your photo with Santa and enjoy crafts, inflatables, games, prizes and a holiday hayride to see the neighborhood lights. Free. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Morningside Recreation Complex, 2400 Harn Blvd., Clearwater. 727-562-4280.

Take a spin around the ice rink at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa.
Take a spin around the ice rink at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Winter Village: This year features a cafe, shops, ice skating, movies, boat parade viewing, silent disco (Fridays only), Winter Village Express on the TECO Trolley, hourly light shows (7-10 p.m.), curling, visits with Santa, theme nights and more. Hours given are for the shops and cafe. For a schedule of special events, ice skating times and tickets, go to wintervillagetampa.com. Village free, skating and some special events additional. 4-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday (Dec. 7-8), noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (Dec. 9-10). Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa.

A Christmas Carol Gets Decked: This funny take on the Charles Dickens classic asks the question “What would happen if everything that could go wrong with a community theater production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ did go wrong?” $21-$27. 8-10 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8), 2-4 and 8-10 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9), 2-4 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Carrollwood Players Theatre, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. 813-265-4000.

Nurse Blake: Orlando native Blake Lynch, a nurse who discovered that humor helped him get through a period of burnout and the pandemic, shares his perspective with audiences around the country. $39.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. Macinnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

Handel’s Messiah: With its divine “Hallelujah” chorus, Messiah, a tradition for nearly 300 years, is the ultimate celebration of holiday joy. Florida Orchestra music director Michael Francis conducts the orchestra in a performance that features The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000.

The Florida Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
The Florida Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Hope for the Holidays: This holiday-themed wrestling match benefits local families through numerous charities. No cover. 4-8 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Cage Brewing, 2001 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg. 727-201-4278.

Christmas in the Wild: Thousands of lights fill holiday-themed areas throughout ZooTampa for this event featuring larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures and the return of Forest of Fantasy Christmas tree light shows with synchronized lights and music. In addition, expect festive activities, entertainment, wildlife encounters and Santa Claus. $29.95, free to members and pay-for-a-day ticket holders. 4-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday (Dec. 8-10). ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. 813-935-8552.

Movies for Maui: A double feature of “Flying High Again” and “Legend Has It,” two movies about snowboarding and skiing. Benefits victims of the Maui wildfires. $27.50, $15 ages 11 and younger. 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). Largo Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive. 980-920-9016.

Holiday Pops: The university’s Symphony Orchestra will have jazz and pop singers, ballerinas and even a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, with a free photo op. Free. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. University of Tampa David Falk Theater, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. 813-253-3333.

South Pasadena Lighted Boat Parade: The parade starts on the northeast side of Pasadena Isle, just outside MarineMax St. Petersburg. Free. 6:30 p.m. Friday. 6810 Gulfport Blvd. S., St. Petersburg. 727-343-6520.

The Outlaws: Formed in Tampa in 1972, the band whose hits include “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” performs. With special guest The Artimus Pyle Band featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. $39.50-$109.50. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

Sarah Brightman: The Grammy-nominated soprano brings her Christmas symphony tour to Tampa Bay. $53.75-$253.75. 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 12). Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.