TAMPA, FL (November 2, 2018) – Tampa Downtown Partnership officially kicks off the holiday season on November 16 with the opening of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink welcomes families and friends to share in this holiday tradition along the Tampa Riverwalk and Hillsborough River as Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transformed with the sights, sounds, and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages.
“Active and vibrant public spaces are essential components to a thriving urban community. Winter Village Tampa is a premiere example of placemaking efforts at its best from the Tampa Downtown Partnership,” says Shaun Drinkard, Senior Director of Public Programming and Operations for the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “The collective schedule of fun programming, food and beverage, and retail staged in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park creates an impressive opportunity to showcase social and economic strengths in Downtown Tampa.”
During its seven week installation, Winter Village will feature 10 boutiques from local craftspeople and purveyors as well as specialty drinks and treats to complement the 5,000 square feet of real ice.
New this season, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is introducing a 360-degree choreographed light display that pairs with your favorite holiday sounds creating a holiday experience like no other. The Partnership is also bringing a bit of the beach to Downtown Tampa with a holiday sand sculpture crafted by local artists Sandtastic, who are featured in the Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival.
Tampa Downtown Partnership is also bringing back two experiences introduced last season through strategic partnerships with Tampa Theatre and TECO Line Streetcar.
Shown in the Great Lawn of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa Theatre will present “Home Alone” on Winter Village’s opening night, Friday, November 16, and “The Santa Clause” after Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by Friends of Tampa Recreation on Friday, November 30. The support of the F.E. Lykes Foundation makes the screenings possible.
“Last year during our six-week closure for restoration work, we were so excited to be able partner with the Tampa Downtown Partnership to present our holiday classics on the big screen as free family movies at Winter Village,” said John Bell, President and CEO of the Tampa Theatre. “Thanks to the generosity of the F. E. Lykes Foundation we look forward to returning to Winter Village and the City of Tampa’s Tree Lighting this year with two free screenings for the entire family under the stars. The experience of thousands of people coming together to share a beloved holiday movie outdoors on a giant screen is a simply magical.”
The TECO Line Streetcar has renewed the partnership with Tampa Downtown Partnership to offer a holiday experience aboard a themed Streetcar with the Winter Village Express. Riders can board the Winter Village Express at the Centro Ybor or Whiting Station during select Sundays between 3pm and 8pm to enjoy treats, music and activities during the non-stop ride.
“The Winter Village Express is a really creative opportunity to have holiday fun with kids on the streetcar and we’re excited to be a part of the enjoyment for a second year,” said Michael English, TECO Line Streetcar Board President. “It is our goal to connect Downtown and Ybor City in meaningful ways.”
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park is also the site of Tampa’s Tree Lightning Ceremony on November 30, Santa Fest on December 2, Winter Wonder Ride presented by onbikes on December 8, a viewing spot for the Lighted Boat Parade on December 22, and many more holiday experiences.
“Winter Village brings an element of surprise with a real outdoor ice rink under palm trees and the pleasant temperatures of a winter Florida night,” says Drinkard.
Tampa Downtown Partnership is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)(6) comprised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, Tampa Downtown Partnership administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, Tampa Downtown Partnership serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, public space activation, planning and beautification.