Snowy Forecast Sets Stage for Holiday Happenings

Boat parades, cultural celebrations highlight winter-themed festivities

Friday, December 9, 2011

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (December 9, 2011) - 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.

On the heels of last weekend's barrage of snow in St. Pete, Clearwater and Oldsmar, flakes will be falling in downtown Dunedin tomorrow. The "Old-Fashioned Christmas" will have snow flurries, live entertainment, carriage and train rides, food and children's holiday crafts. Beginning at 4 p.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin's holiday parade---complete with a "Winter Holidays Around the World" theme---will wind its way through downtown.

Live entertainment will help ring in the holidays in Safety Harbor at tomorrow's annual Snowfest celebration, held at City Park. A new and improved giant snow slide, carnival games and food will also be on site. Admission is $5---including unlimited slide rides---or just $1 for non-riders. Safety Harbor's holiday parade will take place next Saturday, December 17.

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

* Get your holiday cheer in gear Saturday, December 10, at Gulfport's Holiday Hoopla. Santa will make an appearance at the free event that also features arts & crafts, live music, holiday carolers, food vendors and more. More information: http://www.gulfportma.com/gma-events/holiday-hoopla

* Great Explorations Children's Museum will have a "Winter Wonderland" celebration on Saturday, December 10, with themed games and arts and crafts. More information: www.greatexplorations.org. 

* The Safford House Victorian Christmas in Tarpon Springs is open through Sunday, December 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Safford House Museum, 23 Parkin Court. The open house features Victorian carolers, seasonal refreshments and free digital photos under a Victorian Christmas tree. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for members and children. More information: http://tarponarts.org/events/?event_id=51

* Santa will visit downtown St. Pete nightly from 6 to 9 p.m., December 9-11, 15-23 in North Straub Park. Enjoy "glice" skating for 30 minutes for just $5. More information: 727-893-7441.

* Holiday Traditions, a festive display of trees and decorations, continues through Saturday, December 31, at Heritage Village. Each of Heritage Village's historic houses will be decorated true to its time period, locality and lifestyle, from an elaborately decorated Victorian home to a simply adorned 1852 log cabin. More information: http://www.pinellascounty.org/heritage/ 

* Throughout the month of December, John's Pass Village transforms into a Christmas scene for a month-long celebration with tree lighting and a lighted boat parade. 

* 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 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through Sunday, January 1. Visitors can watch as the Gardens transform into a holiday wonderland with more than 500,000 twinkling lights. This special event is free for children under 12, with a donation of $2 per adult required. Florida Botanical Gardens is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, Florida. More information: http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/listings/6638/?event_id=6042#event_...

Area boat parades:

* St. Pete Beach and South Pasadena - Friday, December 9

* Clearwater - Island Estates - Saturday, December 10

* St. Petersburg - Downtown - Saturday, December 10

* Gulfport - Saturday, December 10

* Treasure Island - Saturday, December 10

* Redington/Indian Shores - Saturday, December 10

* Indian Rocks Beach - Saturday, December 17

* Madeira Beach - Saturday, December 17

For more information on holiday events in the area, check out our "Holiday Festivities" page at http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/content/holiday-festivities 

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

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For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall: Josh@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7223

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