1. Things to Do

Top things to do this weekend: Holiday lights, comedian Ian Bagg, drumline holiday show

JIM DAMASKE | Times (2015) Lighted gingerbread people in the Cottage Garden overlook the Wedding Garden in a display in the Florida Botanical Gardens holiday lights display starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Published Nov. 20, 2018

Hit the lights

Before the Thanksgiving leftovers have gone cold, the holiday lights will start glowing. Checking them out is a great way to get the relatives out of your house if needed.

Holiday in the Park

If you are ready to walk off those Thanksgiving calories, the Largo Central Park display opens Thursday with loads of lights, a Ferris wheel, carousel rides, holiday caroling, food vendors, giveaways and visits with Santa. 6-11 nightly. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. Free. (727) 586-7415.

St. Petersburg's Santa Parade and Tree Lighting

In a new nighttime routine, the Santa Parade has a new route this year, starting in front of the Dalí Museum, traveling north to Fifth Avenue and dispersing at North Shore Pool. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Drive SE. Mayor Rick Kriseman lights the tree in North Straub Park at approximately 8 p.m. Free.

Holiday Lights in the Gardens

The Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo have hit a perfect combination of easy strolling and eye candy with more than 1 million colorful, twinkly LED lights, plus laser lights and lighted figures, music synchronization, and Florida-style displays, entertainers, visits from Santa, and food, drinks and ice cream from vendors for sale. Opens Friday and runs 5:30-9:30 nightly. Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Donation of $5 suggested; 12 and younger free. (727) 582-5800.

Ybor Tree Lighting

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn counts down for the annual tree lighting ceremony. A preshow with a holiday-themed performance and caroling starts at 6 p.m. 6-9 p.m. Nov. 28. Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave. Free. (813) 274-7936.

Christmas in the Wild

ZooTampa's annual holiday party opens this weekend with carolers, a 50-foot animated Christmas tree, a holiday hoedown, storytime with Mrs. Claus and a Candy Cane Lane. 4 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Runs through Dec. 30 on select nights. ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Included with admission ($34.95, $25.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free) or $24.95 after 4 p.m. on event days. (813) 935-8552.

COMEDY: Ian Bagg

Canadian comedian Ian Bagg loves to tell politically incorrect jokes, then act as if he's astonished when he elicits groans along with the laughter. It's so Canadian of him. The Last Comic Standing alum has appeared on Late Night, The Tonight Show and The Late Late Show and in the films The Cradle Will Rock, MVP 2 and MXP. He has specials on Comedy Central and HBO and recently released his first one-hour special on Showtime. Catch him at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 864-4000.

STEP UP: Drumline Live Holiday Spectacular

From modern holiday hits like Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You to Christmas favorites like Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, the energetic choreography, vocalists and marching bands of the Drumline Live Holiday Spectacular from historically black colleges will put a holiday spin on the pulsating force of the drumline. 7 p.m. Sunday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $29.50-$59.50. (727) 893-7832.

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  1. Charlie explains to his parents and sister, Beth, that the best thing about church is that there are no Herdmans there. Pictured, from left: Sarah Krug as Mother (Grace Bradley), Amber Marino as Beth, Frank Miller as Father (Bob Bradley) and Jude Mys as Charlie. Kristina Mitten
    Live Oak Theatre presents ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
  2. Classic Reflections Carriages is offering carriage rides starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 19-21 throughout downtown Brooksville. Reservations are made in person on each event date, starting at 4 p.m., in front of the historic courthouse. Brooksville Main Street
    Holiday events in Pasco and Hernando counties
  3. Glenn Woods, 62, shapes a decorative bottle made with a blend of porcelain clays at Pottery Boys Clay Studios on Nov. 18  in Palm Harbor. Woods and his partner, Keith Herbrand, 56, have created dozens of pieces, including holiday decorations, vases, coffee cups, bowls and platters for the Tour de Clay, a progressive tour of five pottery studios in the Tampa Bay area featuring the work of 33 artists from near and far. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes
    The annual effort supports working artists and benefits charity.
  4. Ari Shipley, 5, (left) reads to a golden retriever named Turbo, while her brother, Jett, 3, looks on. Reading to Turbo is a new program at the Spring Hill/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library. MICHELE MILLER  |  Times
    Specially trained therapy dogs help youngsters grow their reading skills.
  5. Hundreds of demonstrators protest a Trump administration announcement that reversed an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, outside of The Stonewall Inn in New York, Feb. 23, 2017. Activists in the LGBTQ community mobilized a fast and fierce campaign on Oct. 21, 2018, to say transgender people cannot be expunged from society, in response to an unreleased Trump administration memo that proposes a strict definition of gender based on a person's genitalia at birth. [Times Files] YANA PASKOVA  |  NYT
    Local vigils will be held in Tampa on Nov. 20 to honor those who lost their lives due to violence against the transgender community.
  6. A cat named Karma finds a comfortable spot in the lap of Taylor McKenzie during the Kitty Cats and Yoga Mats wellness activity at the Land O' Lakes Library. Michele Miller
    Two Pasco County agencies partner to bring the interactive activity to local libraries.
  7. Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely will be the keynote speaker at the Synapse Summit 2020 innovation convention, scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Times file photo)
    Organizers say the Clearwater native is a game-changer for the event on Feb. 11-12 at Amalie Arena. It is expected to draw more than 6,000 entrepreneurs.
  8. John C. Pelczynski of Massachusetts untangles the lines on his kite at the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI. Tampa Bay Times (2014)
    Museums and aquariums are offering free admission, plus there are parades on land on sea in honor of Veterans Day
  9. A manatee swims in the discharge canal next to the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    When the waters of Tampa Bay begin to cool, hundreds of sea cows will seek warmth around Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station.
  10. During a recent rehearsal of 'In the Heights,' Gulf Middle student Dominic Nitz gets a toss in the air with help from Noah Mederios (left) and Jay Woodson (right). Michele Miller
    It’s a mature stretch for middle school students, but teacher Peter Nason says that’s what it’s all about