Snow Forecast for Holiday Events

Boat parades, cultural celebrations highlight winter-themed Holiday festivities

Friday, December 11, 2009

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (December 11, 2009) – The St. Pete/Clearwater area will be draped in white this Holiday season by something other than the gleaming, powder-perfect sand that lines its 35 miles of award-winning coast line.

In a shocking development called a miracle by some, flip-flop clad visitors and locals alike are expecting a barrage of snow throughout the area.

Of course, this snow won’t fall from the sky and won’t last long in this weekend’s warm weather, but it’s still enough to spread Holiday cheer throughout the area. 

Complete with 40 tons of man-made white stuff, two giant slides and a special play area for the little ones, downtown Clearwater’s —Miracle on Cleveland Street” begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. Santa Claus will also visit the free, family-friendly event that features live music, actors portraying characters from —A Christmas Carol” and a Christmas train.

Clearwater’s annual Holiday Light-Up and a wreath decorating contest in downtown's Station Square Park will also be held Friday. 

The quaint community of Oldsmar is expecting flurries of its own on Friday for its —Christmas Wonderland” at R.E. Olds Park. Visitors can slide or sled down the giant snow slope, get their picture taken with Santa or enjoy live entertainment, pony rides and inflatable bounce toys. 

With snowflakes falling on the Pinellas Trail, Dunedin’s —Old-Fashioned Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 12, will have live entertainment and horse and carriage rides along delightful downtown’s Main Street. The event’s Jingle Bell Village stars Santa and includes children’s holiday crafts and a chance to make your own s’mores. 

Acclaimed saxophonist Eric Darius will help ring in the Holidays in Safety Harbor at the annual —Snowfest”celebration, held at the Safety Harbor Baseball Complex on Saturday. A huge ramp blanketed with 30 tons of snow is primed for sledding, while a special snow area awaits toddlers and handicapped children. Proceeds from the event will benefit terminally and seriously ill children and their families. 

And for the winter-weary who escaped weather all too frightful, here is a sampling of snow-free events that you’ll find just delightful:

• Each year, thousands of visitors celebrate the season during the Florida Botanical Gardens’ Holiday Lights in the Gardens display. This year’s celebration runs nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 3. Visitors stroll and watch as the Gardens transform into a holiday wonderland with more than 425,000 twinkling lights. This special event is free to children under 12 with a donation of $2 per adult suggested. Florida Botanical Gardens is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, Florida. More information: www.flbg.org/events_seasonal_lights.htm

• Trees and Traditions, a festive display of trees and decorations, continues through Sunday, Jan. 3, at Heritage Village. The 21-acre living history museum that is home to some of Pinellas County’s most historic structures will offer holiday-themed guided tours through the homes, some of which date back to the 19th century. More information: www.pinellascounty.org/heritage/events_trees_tradition.htm

• The Safford House Victorian Christmas is open Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 10-13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at Safford House Museum, 23 Parkin Court. The open house features Victorian carolers, complimentary refreshments, holiday gift shop, live music and free digital photos with a Victorian Santa. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for members. More information: www.tarponarts.org

• Bring your socks, rent skates and take a spin on the newly enlarged —glice” skating ring in downtown St. Pete’s North Straub Park. Skating is $5 for 30 minutes and is available Dec. 10-13, 17-23. More information: 727-893-7441.

• St. Pete’s Great Explorations Children's Hands-On Museum will have multicultural activities, a special visit from Santa, gingerbread making, Kwanza activities, special games and arts and crafts on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum is located at 1925 4th St. N, St. Petersburg, Florida. More information: www.greatexplorations.org 

• Fish-famous John’s Pass will be featuring arts & crafts and holiday music at a celebration at the quaint fishing village and boardwalk in Madeira Beach on Dec. 12-13. With more than 125 unique restaurants and shops to browse in John's Pass Village, your shopping experience will offer an extensive selection of one of a kind and distinctive gifts and certificates. You're certain to find something for everyone on your list. Enjoy some holiday cheer at one of the many waterfront restaurants and bars in the Village. More information: www.johnspassfestivals.com 

• The annual Dunedin Holiday Parade is Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m., beginning on Douglas Avenue and Beltrees Street and proceeding north past Pioneer Park. Once the parade concludes, Santa will help conduct the Dunedin Middle School Highland Band as they perform on the main stage at Pioneer Park. More information: www.dunedingov.com/docs/specialevents/christmas2010.pdf 

• Hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg, the sixth annual Chanukah Extravaganza is Sunday, Dec. 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in South Straub Park in downtown St. Pete. This free community-wide celebration features an 8-foot Menorah carved out of ice. The event also includes a Bohemian Fire show with fire juggling, fire eating and fire dancing; a hands-on Olive Oil press, face painting, hot latkes, fresh homemade donuts, music, crafts and dreidels. More information: www.chabadsp.com/Article.asp?AID=1038358 

Area boat parades:

• Clearwater Beach - Dec. 12, 6 p.m.
• Downtown St. Petersburg - Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m.
• Treasure Island - Dec. 13, 6 p.m.
• Madeira Beach - Dec. 19, 6 p.m.
• Redington Beach - Dec. 20, 6 p.m. 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

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For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: CVB Assistant Director David Downing: David@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7213

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