City of Tampa’s annual tree lighting, parade, and festival to be held this weekend
Tampa, Fla. (December 1, 2014) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The City of Tampa and the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. announce this year’s holiday happenings. Mark your calendar for these great events that are perfect for the young as well as the young at heart.
Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 5, 2014. with a performance by the Karl DiMarco Singers. Chadd & Kristi from the Magic Morning Show on 94-9 will host the ceremony and announce the winner of the $1000 Secret Santa contest. Late Night Brass band, a 10-piece horn band, will also perform. See snow flurries amidst the glow of the Christmas Tree Lights.
Immediately following the lighting of the tree will be a free movie in the park featuring a current animated holiday favorite, Arthur Christmas.
Santa Claus comes to town on Saturday, December 6, 2014 during the Rough Riders’ Holiday Parade and Santa Fest presented by the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.
The parade steps off at 11 a.m. and features colorful floats, marching bands, dance troops and of course Santa Claus. The parade begins at Madison and Pierce streets. Heads west on Madison Street then turns north onto Ashley Drive, and ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The best unobstructed viewing area is along Madison Street from Pierce Street to Tampa Street.
Parade viewers are encouraged to arrive by 9 a.m. for ease in parking and to get a good spot. Suggested parking options:
Royal Street, 1200 N. Tampa Street, $2/day
Jackson Street, E. Kennedy Blvd & Jackson Street, $5/special event rate
Ft. Brooke Garage, 107 N. Franklin Street, hourly rate
After the parade, fun continues in the park with Santa Fest. Bring your little elves to Santa Fest for a free keepsake photo with Santa photos. The festival also includes continuous holiday entertainment featuring the Tampa Gym & Dance Show Stars, Patel Conservatory Show Choir and Tampa Bay Children’s Chorus; plus interactive games, bounce houses, rock wall, make-n-take crafts, and giveaways.
Tampa’s Christmas Market returns with great gift items such as homemade arts and crafts, ornaments, and other holiday-themed items and foods. The Christmas Market will be open on Friday, December 5, 2014 and Saturday, December 6, 2014.
Tampa’s Downtown on Ice, an outdoor ice rink is back at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Skating is $10 for 90 minutes and includes the skates. Ice rink is open from November 21, 2014 through January 5, 2015 and only closed for Thanksgiving Day. Hours of operations are Monday-Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday noon-9 p.m. Please check www.TampasDowntownonIce.com for holiday hours.
Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa Fest and Tampa Downtown on Ice are held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, located at 600 N. Ashley Drive.
For more information, please visit us on the web at www.friendsoftamparec.org, or on Facebook at Events in Downtown, or call 813-966-5505.