Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Upcoming holiday events in the North Suncoast
MICHELE MILLER |  TIMES
Hudson Elementary pre-k student, Zarieah Wright, 3, got a head start on Christmas in 2017, courtesy of Santa (guidance counselor, Harold Cochran)  and some helpful  elves in the Summertree Ladies Golf League.
MICHELE MILLER | TIMES Hudson Elementary pre-k student, Zarieah Wright, 3, got a head start on Christmas in 2017, courtesy of Santa (guidance counselor, Harold Cochran) and some helpful elves in the Summertree Ladies Golf League.
Published November 30

Pasco County

Celebration of Lights: Through 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 can walk through Safety Town, where there will be vendors and Santa Claus. Admission is $10 per car. Holiday train rides available for $4 on Fridays and Saturdays. Contact Amanda Hart at (727) 859-6540 or email to [email protected] For information on the holiday train, call (727) 639-7639. Visit celebrationoflights.net.

Symphony in Lights: 6 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. Featuring two different shows — one presenting the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at 6 and 8 p.m., the other featuring holiday favorites with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at 7 and 9 p.m. Visit theshopsatwiregrass.com.

West Pasco Art Guild's Holiday Potluck Party: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 7, 6206 Jefferson St., New Port Richey. Guests may also visit the Holiday Celebrations Boutique show and sale continuing through Dec. 20 at the guild. Call (727) 841-7732.

Elf the Musical Jr.: 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, with 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 8 and 9, at Eleanor Dempsey Performing Arts Center at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, 13651 Hays Road, Shady Hills. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students. The Friends of the Arts group will sell hot dogs and drinks. Call (727) 857-2600, ext. 244.

Dade City's "Magical Night Christmas Parade": 7 p.m. Dec. 7, through downtown Dade City. The Christmas season officially kicks off in downtown Dade City with a parade down Seventh Street featuring floats, dancers, marching bands and Santa Claus. Call (352) 567-3769. Visit dadecitychristmasparade.com.

Christmas Bazaar: 8 a.m. Dec. 8, Colony Hills Community, 35144 Wagner Way, Zephyrhills. Featuring crafts, books, clothing and second-hand household items. There will be a raffle to win baskets. 8 a.m. Free. Call (813) 788-4121.

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 cccnpr.com.

Asturia Holiday Celebration: 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 8, 14575 Promenade Parkway, Odessa. With Santa and his elves, Candy Cane Express train, face painting, balloon artist, a "meet and greet surprise," holiday characters, model homes showcase, refreshments and children's games.

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.

Santa Visits the Library: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Dec. 8, at Centennial Park Library, 5740 Moog Road, Holiday; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at South Holiday Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday.

Nature Coast 912 Patriots Christmas Party: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8, Praise Family Worship Center, 17920 Meridian Blvd., Hudson. Call (727) 863-8989. Free.

Santa at the Museum: 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at West Pasco Historical Society/Rao Musunuru, M.D., Museum and Library, 6431 Circle Blvd., New Port Richey. See the 12-foot tree and holiday decorations, chat and get a picture with Santa. Stay for the holiday street parade. There will be hot chocolate, coffee, water, cold drinks, snacks and cookies available for purchase at the bandstand. Call (727) 847-0680.

Festival of Lights: 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8, through historic downtown Zephyrhills. Featuring a lighted, night-time 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 avalonparkwest.com/events/avalon-aglow-5/

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 jewishheritage.net.

42nd Annual Holiday Street Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 8, through downtown New Port Richey. Hosted by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Holiday.

Rockin' with Rudolph: Dec. 9 at Spartan Manor Restaurant, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Featuring the Richey Community Orchestra and featuring Fiona Frensche. Cocktails (cash bar) at 1 p.m., dinner at 1:30 p.m. (roast beef or roast chicken). The show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40. Advanced reservations required. richeycommunityorchestra.com/buy-tickets/.

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. Pre-sale 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 [email protected] 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 pascocfa.seatyourself.biz.

"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.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association Christmas Luncheon: Noon Dec. 10, Habitat for Humanity Executive Offices, 4131 Madison St., New Port Richey. Bring a new toy valued at $10 or more for Toys for Tots. Current and prospective members welcome. Call (727) 264-6754.

Sweets and Treats with Santa and Mrs. Claus: 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 11 and 15, Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. Enjoy treats, make crafts and visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Call (727) 861-3040.

Pet Photos with Santa: 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 and 15, Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. Registration is required. Call (727) 861-3040.

Thursday Musicale Christmas Concert: 2 p.m. Dec. 13, Hudson First United Methodist Church worship center, 13123 U.S. 19, Hudson. Guests artists include the LeDuc family Strings. A freewill offering will be collected, with monies going toward the scholarship program for high school music students who will be studying music in college.

Breakfast with Santa: 10:15 a.m. to noon Dec. 14, Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O' Lakes. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a light breakfast, crafts and photos. Bring a camera. Call (813) 929-1214.

New Port Richey Shrine Club Christmas Party: 6 to 11 p.m. Dec. 14, Timber Greens Country Club, 6333 Timber Greens Blvd., New Port Richey. Dinner and a party. Tickets are $40. The public is welcome. Purchase tickets by Dec. 7. RSVP to Ron Bart, (727) 845-4190.

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 [email protected]

Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus: 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 15, at Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City. Therapy dogs will be in costume and available for pictures; call (352) 567-3576. Also from 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 15, at New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel. There will be crafts throughout the day. Call (813) 788-6375.

Christmas Concert: 8:30 a.m. Dec. 16 and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 23, Faith United Methodist Church, 12128 State Road 52, Hudson. Performed by the presentation choir and praise team. Call (727) 856-5000.

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

Christmas on Main Street: Nightly Christmas caroling at the courthouse, 6 to 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 24, 20 N Main St., Brooksville.

Light Up the Eastside Christmas Festival: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, Eastside Elementary School, 27151 Roper Road, Brooksville. The Christmas celebration includes children’s games and activities, Christmas carolers, music and a visit from Santa. Free. Call (352) 796-0697. hernandochamber.com.

It's a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. Live Oak Theatre presents the holiday classic as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Includes coffee, tea and dessert, available 30 minutes prior to each performance. Tickets are $20; $5 for children 13 and younger with purchase of adult ticket. Email to [email protected] Visit liveoaktheatre.org or call (352) 593-0027.

Breakfast with Santa: 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 8, Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. With games, arts and crafts, pictures and a pancake breakfast. $3 per person. Call (352) 688-9622.

Brooksville Christmas Parade: 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 8, through downtown Brooksville. This year's theme is the Island of Misfit Toys. The parade starts along Varsity Drive on the north side of Brooksville and continues on Oakwood Drive to Howell Avenue, then south down Howell and South Main Street before turning onto North Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville.

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 shstickets.com; call Mark Pennington, (352) 476-9086.

Night of Lights Tour: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8 at the May-Stringer House Museum, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. Take a tour of the 14-room Victorian mansion decorated by numerous organizations and business volunteers. There will be Christmas carols, children's games, hot chocolate and home-baked cookies. Bring a camera for a special appearance by Santa. The cost is $5 per person. Visit hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com.

Santa and Storytelling: 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 9, Chinsegut Hill Manor Museum, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, north of Brooksville.

Pennsylvania Club of Spring Hill Christmas Luncheon: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill. Includes a buffet, gift prizes, raffle and entertainment. Tickets are $23; reservations required by Dec. 4. Call Marge, (352) 340-5507.

AARP Chapter 5445 Christmas Party: Noon Dec. 11 at Buffet City, 13235 Cortez Blvd. Call Bob Howell at (352) 683-9361.

Christmas Movie in the Park: 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18, Hernando Park band shell, 205 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville.

Christmas Carriage Rides: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 12-13 and Dec. 19-20, downtown Brooksville. Provided by Classic Reflections Carriages. $5-$20 per rider.

Brooksville Garden Club Holiday Meeting: Dec. 12, Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill. Meet and greet at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $20, paid reservations only. Call (352) 799-4319.

Meet Santa and His Reindeer Live: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13, Hernando Park, 205 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville.

Christmas Cookie Exchange: 1 p.m. Dec. 13, Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Bring two dozen of your favorite cookies and the recipe to share. There will be a holiday activity and a vote on the best cookie. Call (352) 688-9622.

German American Club of Spring Hill Christmas Party: Dec. 14, at Hernando Shrine Hall, 13400 Montour St., west of Brooksville. Music by Eva Adams. Doors open at 4 p.m., catered buffet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and dancing from 6 to 10 p.m. Bring your own beverages. Tickets must be purchased in advance: $5 members, $27 for nonmembers. Semi-formal to formal attire required. Call Lisa Yaskulski, (352) 688-3744. Visit germanclubspringhill.org.

Friday Night Live — Christmas Show: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Hernando Park bandshell, 205 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville. There will be food vendors on site.

Arc Nature Coast's Christmas Dance Party: 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Arc Nature Coast Education Center and Regional Evacuation Shelter, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The event will include refreshments, food and a gift from Santa Claus. Entertainment provided by P.J. the D.J. $5 per person. Parents, Arc staff and children ages 10 and younger are free. Call (352) 544-2322, ext. 109.

Christmas Boat Parade: Doors open at 5 p.m., parade starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 15, at the Hernando Beach Yacht Club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. All area boat owners are invited to decorate their vessels and enter the parade. Spectators are welcome to view the parade from the club. Hot dogs, chips, chili and drinks will be available for purchase. Santa will visit. The parade entry fee is one unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots. Register your boat from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the club. Trophies will be awarded for most original theme and best lighted boat. Call Patti Nelson at (206) 919-8921.

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.

Christmas Luncheon at the YMCA: 1 p.m. Dec. 19, Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. $5 per person. Space is limited; tickets must be purchased by Dec. 17. Call (352) 688-9622.

New Jersey Club Christmas Luncheon: Noon Dec. 19, at Wellington at Seven Hills' clubhouse restaurant, 400 Wexford Blvd., Spring Hill. Call Todd, (352) 683-6128.

Parrott Middle School Children's Choir: 3 to 4 p.m. Dec. 20, at the courthouse steps, 20 N Main St., Brooksville.

Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents Sounds of the Season: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 23, at Central High School Theater, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville. General admission tickets are $18 adults, $5 for students ages 5-17; season tickets are $45, which includes three concerts. Call (352) 584-1210 or email to [email protected]

Brooksville Elks New Year's Eve Party: Dec. 31 at 13383 County Line Road, Spring Hill. Dinner is prime rib or Cornish hen. Entertainment by Classic Overdrive and Pauly G. Tickets are $30. Call (352) 799-7148. Visit elks2582.com.

German American Club of Spring Hill New Year's Eve Dance: Dec. 31 at Hernando Shrine Hall, 13400 Montour St., west of Brooksville. Doors open at 7 p.m., dancing from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be coffee, ringleaders and champagne toast at midnight included with admission (no dinner). Tickets must be purchased in advance: $15 members, $20 nonmembers. Semi-formal to formal attire required. Call Lisa Yaskulski, (352) 688-3744. Visit germanclubspringhill.org.

Worth the trip

Light Up Inverness: 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, downtown Inverness, 1 Courthouse Square. The lights of Inverness will shine throughout the Courthouse Square during the annual event with free train rides, food trucks, merchant specials, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree (6 p.m.). Free. Call (352) 726-2611, ext. 1306.

Celebration of Lights: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 19-27 (closed Dec. 25), at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, 4150 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. Marvel at Sebastian's Winter Wonderland, a synchronized light and sound show. Refreshments available. Admission is $7; $3 children. Call (352) 628-5343. Visit floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings/default.cfm.

Contact Phyllis Day at [email protected] or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.

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