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  1. Pasco

Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Becky Mooneyham, with Jazzercise in Spring Hill, rocks to the beat during the annual Christmas parade in downtown Brooksville. TIMES FILE

Pasco County

Celebration of Lights: Nov. 30-Dec. 23 at the Concourse and Safety Town, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road, Shady Hills. Open 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. This year, not only can guests drive through the display, but they also can walk through Safety Town, where there will be vendors and Santa Claus. Admission is $10 per car. Train rides available for $4 per person on Fridays and Saturdays. Contact Amanda Hart at (727) 859-6540 or email to

Traditions on the Green Holiday Concert: 3:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Land O' Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O' Lakes Blvd. Performances by the Land O' Lakes High School Band, Pine View Middle School Band, Pine View Dance Team, Lake Myrtle Elementary School Choir, Sanders Steam School and Denham Oak Elementary. There will be a tree-lighting, and a kid's corner with Santa, cookies and warm apple cider. There will be raffle baskets to benefit the schools. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Hosted by the Heritage Park Foundation and WC Noon Rotary's Land O' Lakes Satellite.

Cotee River Christmas Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 1, starting at Miller's Bayou in the Port Richey Waterfront District and ending at Sims Park in New Port Richey. Decorated boats will glide along the river. The main gathering spot will be Sims Park, where there will be the Dr. Unger's Winterfest with activities, entertainment, food and drinks, and 30 tons of snow. Those wishing to enter a boat, kayak or any other water vessel in the parade must register by Nov. 28; applications are at or email to Hosted by New Port Richey Main Street and the Bayou Business Association. Call Kristin Tonkin at (727) 364-7516.

Christmas in the Park: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, San Antonio City Park, 32819 Pennsylvania Ave., San Antonio. Includes lighting of the Christmas cards, and entertainment provided by the Piney Grove Baptist Church choir, as well as Dennis Devine and Friends. There will be a drawing for a variety of gift baskets. Raffle tickets are available at the event, as well as at City Hall and from members of the Founders Garden Club of San Antonio. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. There will be complimentary refreshments and coffee. Free admission. Contact Donna Swart, (352) 588-3631.

Florida Hospital Zephyrhills annual Tree Lighting: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills. Rustic Road Crossing will play Christmas songs with a country flair. Entertainment Revue, a girl's troupe will perform song and dance numbers. There will be food trucks, vendors, bounce houses for children and fireworks. Seating is limited; bring chairs or blankets. The event is free. Call (813) 783-6192.

Dade City's "Magical Night Christmas Parade": Dec. 7, through downtown Dade City. Featuring floats, entertainment acts, bands, seasonal display and Santa Claus. Visit

Christmas Cookie Walk/Craft Sale: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8, Community Congregational Church, 6533 Circle Blvd., New Port Richey. There will be the cookie walk, and the Women's Fellowship Craft Group will sell wreaths, crafts and other gifts. Call (727) 849-1943. Visit

Country Christmas and Vintage Market: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. With more than 90 vendors selling a variety of gifts and holiday music. Outdoor entertainment provided by the East Pasco Senior Choir Guild from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Seventeenth Street Band from 2 to 4:30 p.m. In the main building will be the Dade City Joy Ringers from 11 a.m. to noon, and St. Mary's Episcopal Church's Bell Group from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. with complimentary photos. The barrel train will offer rides and there will be face painting and a petting zoo. Cookies and punch will be served, and the concession stand will be open, along with some food vendors. Admission is regular museum prices: $10 adults (or $5 for those who bring an unwrapped toy for the Make a Difference charity); $5 for students, and free for children younger than 5. Call (352) 567-0262 or (352) 206-8889.

Festival of Lights: 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8, through historic downtown Zephyrhills. Featuring a lighted, nighttime Christmas parade at dusk, live entertainment on the Eiland Bandstand, and vendors selling food, merchandise and crafts. Free photos with Santa in front of Goin Postal. There will be a giveaway of two children's bicycles at the Main Street Zephyrhills booth; the drawing will be at 8:30 p.m. (child and adult must be present to win). Contact Main Street Zephyrhills, (813) 780-1414.

Avalon Aglow: 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Avalon Park West, 5227 Autumn Ridge Drive, Wesley Chapel. There will be pictures with Santa, music, dancing, food and fireworks. Free. Call (813) 783-1515 or visit

Country Christmas Stroll: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8, through downtown Dade City. The 33rd-annual event is hosted by the Dade City Merchants Association. Shops and restaurants will be open, along with vendors at a special Holiday Market. Follow the "cookie trail" to sample participating shops' cookie recipes. There will be holiday music by the local high school band, a performance by Miss Sally Blackwood's legendary dancers, and street dancing with music by country singer Karl Sapp and Just Sherry. There will be a hay rides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Agnes Lamb Park, and chances to ride an old-fashioned pedal car. The Dade City Polar Express will be on display and there will be a variety of children's activities.

Hanukkah Celebration: 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Beth-El Shalom Messianic Congregation, 6209 Congress St., New Port Richey. There will be the lighting of the gigantic 10-foot menorah, potato latkes, singing Hanukkah songs, dancing, playing games and learning. Bring your own menorah and candles for the united lighting ceremony. All are welcome. Free admission. Call (727) 375-7502. Visit

Roller Skating Holiday Show: 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 9, SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St., Port Richey. Presented by the Florida Skating Academy, featuring competitive skaters, as well as retirees, who will entertain with 18 show numbers. The lineup includes national champions and many national placement skaters from the U.S. Championships. There will be a special presentation by the Golden Rollers, a senior adult group, as well as the Learn to Skate classes. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a guest appearance with treats for the children. Pre-sale ticket-holders can enter at 1 p.m. for choice seating. Presale tickets are $10 adults, $6 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets at the door (starting at 1:30 p.m. show day) are $12 adults, $8 for ages 12 and younger. Call (727) 863-1299 or email for tickets or information.

Blue Suede Christmas: 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. Featuring the Scot Bruce Elvis Show. Tickets are $20. Call the box office at (727) 774-7381 or visit

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" A Christmas Handbell Concert: 3 p.m. Dec. 9, Hope Lutheran Church 12321 Canton Ave., Hudson. Presented by the Suncoast Bronze Ringers Handbell Ensemble. A freewill offering will be collected. Additional concerts will be 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Chapel at First United Methodist Church in Tarpon Springs; and 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Seven Springs, 4651 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call (352) 232-1622.

How the Grinch Saved Christmas: 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. The eighth-annual event is hosted by the West Pasco Business Association. Includes live music by Shadofax, food, sweets, treats and a cash bar. There will also be a lotto tree, live auctions, raffles, drawings and contests for the ugliest holiday sweater, best holiday sox and a Grinch/Whoville look alike. Tickets are $35 for the first 100 tickets sold; thereafter the cost is $45. Contact Maria Johnson, (727) 934-0940 or

Church Street Christmas: 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 21-23, along Church Avenue, Dade City. The road will be closed at 6 p.m. as visitors can stroll Along Church Avenue to look at the decorated homes and Christmas cards, and enjoy entertainment by area church groups and musicians. Parking is available at First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church, all on Church Avenue. Free.

Hernando County

Holiday in the Gardens: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1849 Parker Ave., Spring Hill. Volunteers and organizations will be creating a Snowman Village in the gardens, which will be on display throughout December. There will be tree decorating and placing of the Angels on High. There will be music, refreshments and a visit from Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves. Children can help decorate the "Tree of Youth." Those interested can bring a snowman (or woman) up to 3 feet tall that can stand alone and endure a month outdoors. Visitors will be able to vote for their favorite trees throughout the month. Call (352) 610-9175 or (352) 683-9933.

Photos with Santa Paws: 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Rotary Centennial Park, 10375 Sandlor St., Spring Hill. The cost for a 4x6 print is a $10 donation to Operation Kindness for Hernando County Animal Services. There will be a 50/50 drawing and raffles and Italian ices available. All pets must be on a leash.Visit

A Christmas Carol: 7 p.m. Dec. 5-8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9, Springstead Theatre, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The musical version of the Charles Dickens' classic will be presented by Springstead High School's theater and music departments. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students. Purchase online at; call Mark Pennington, (352) 476-9086.

Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas Party: 6 p.m. Dec. 15, at Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Ave., Spring Hill. Doors open at 5 p.m. Entertainment provided by Rebound Band from 7 to 10 p.m. Dinner entree choice is chicken parmesan, prime rib, crab-stuffed haddock or a vegetarian dish. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped gift to donate to the VA's Fisher House in Tampa (such as socks, underwear, toiletries or gift cards). Call Steve, (352) 556-4739.

Worth the trip

Christmas on the Florida Frontier: 3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Dade City Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell. With old-time music, square dancing, singing carols, decorating the Christmas tree, making Christmas crafts and a soldiers' encampment. Sample holiday frontier treats, and vendors will sell refreshments. There will be demonstrations on making homemade toys, cornhusk dolls, soap carving, punch tin crafts and dip candles. Admission is $5 per vehicle up to eight people; extra passengers, walk-ins and bicyclists pay $2 per person. Call (352) 793-4781.

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.