ART EXHIBITS AND HOLIDAY SHOPPING
20th Annual Holiday Show and Sale Dunedin Fine Art Center is decked out in its usual holiday finery — Christmas trees with handmade ornaments and the like, all available for purchase — and its 2006 holiday exhibition, Present-Perfect, features a range of media by local artists, from pastels and colored pencil works to jewelry, pottery sculpture and photography. Through Dec. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. Free admission. 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin, 727-298-3322, dfac.org.
Holiday House & Gift Market The Pasco Arts Council sparkles with seasonal decor, stocking stuffers and a large assortment of fine handcrafted items by community artists. Through Dec. 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Free admission. 5744 Moog Road, Holiday, 727-845-7322.
50 Below Sale Progress Energy Art Gallery is stocked with Chanukah and Christmas items, stocking stuffers, hand woven scarves and purses, jewelry, prints, cards and many other fine art pieces created by local artists and priced at $50 or less. Through Dec. 23, noon-8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Free admission. 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, 727-848-6500.
All I Want ... and More!!! Holiday Member's Show Florida Craftsmen Gallery presents an exhibit of original, holiday-themed fine craft works in wood, fiber, glass, clay, metal, mixed media, paper and jewelry by Florida artists and craftspeople. Through Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. Free admission. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-7391, floridacraftsmen.net.
Stargazing: Holiday Stars of The Arts Center A variety of media — holiday-themed and otherwise — by artists who've been featured at the center over the past several years, as well as new works by center instructors. Through Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. Free admission. 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-822-7872, theartscenter.org.
BENEFITS AND FUNDRAISERS
Happy Holidays for the Children This fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus features wine tastings, food and a silent auction. 5:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 14. Free admission. Wine Styles, 2800 W. Bay Drive, Belleair Bluffs, 727-527-9463.
Grand Central District Toy Drive Grand Central retailers are collecting new, unwrapped toys to be donated to the St. Petersburg Christmas Toy Shop for needy Pinellas children. Through Dec. 22. For more info, call 727-368-6109.
Uhuru Holiday Pie Sale Want to enjoy a delicious holiday pie without going through the hassle of making it yourself? If so, the Uhuru offer fresh-baked, made-from-scratch apple crumb ($12), pumpkin ($8) and sweet potato pies ($10), which are available for pick-up Dec. 16 and 23 at the Saturday Morning Market (Central Avenue and First Street N., St. Petersburg), and Dec. 22 and 24 at the Uhuru Solidarity Center (541 16th St. N., St. Petersburg). Proceeds support the African People's Education & Defense Fund programs. To order pies, call 727-824-5685 or visit apedf.org.
Lights of Lake Park Estates Each year, the residents of Lake Park Estates light up the neighborhood to celebrate the holidays and raise money for the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. 6:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 6:30-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 31. Donations appreciated. For directions to the Seminole address, call 727-586-4432 or visit thehospice.org.
PARADES, LIGHTS, FESTIVALS, SPECIAL EVENTS
Fifth Annual Holiday Celebration Florida Estates Winery celebrates its fifth year in business with wine, hors d'oeuvres, prize drawings and live music by Gregg Jones. 6-9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15. $8 in advance/$10 day of. Florida Estates Winery, 25241 S.R. 52, Land O'Lakes. Call 813-996-2113 or visit floridaestateswines.com for more info.
Tarpon Springs Annual Christmas Parade The procession travels through downtown Tarpon on U.S. Alternate 19 and is followed by a party at Craig Park. Sat., Dec. 16. For more info, call 727-937-6109.
Make Your Holidays "Green" Learn environmentally-friendly tips for wrapping presents and creating decorations that are naturally attractive. 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. Free. Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive N.E., St. Petersburg. For additional info and to register, call 727-453-6500.
A Child's Christmas in Wales USF faculty member David Mann performs a reading of Dylan Thomas' poem to his hometown of Wales; held as part of the Tampa Museum of Art's Sunday Series. 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. $8 adults/$6 seniors/$3 students and children. Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N. Ashley Drive, downtown Tampa, 813-274-8732.
Indian Shores and Redington Beaches 24th Annual Boat Parade Lighted boats leave from the Tom Stuart (Madeira Beach) Causeway at 6 p.m. and cover a route along the Intracoastal Waterway, to finish at the Pub Restaurant, 20025 Gulf Blvd. The Pub hosts an awards ceremony and refreshments for boat captains at 9:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. For more information, call 727-421-0885.
25th Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll Take a step back into the 19th century as the Henry B. Plant Museum is transformed into the Tampa Bay Hotel of 1891. Twenty-five richly decorated trees line the halls and rooms, and lush greenery, decorations and elegantly-wrapped packages are scattered throughout. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, through Dec. 23. $10 adults/$4 children 12 and younger (reduced admission Mondays and Tuesdays: $6 adults/$3 children). 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-258-7302, plantmuseum.com.
Seventh Annual Wild Wonderland Lowry Park Zoo's winter festival features seasonal lights and holiday displays throughout the zoo, live reindeer appearances, a "Jingle Bell Narrated Carriage Ride," holiday carolers and live bands, themed games, visits with Santa and more. $13 adults ($9.95 members)/$11 ages 3 to 11 ($7.50 members; children 2 and younger enter free). 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14-17, 20-23 and 26-30. 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, 813-935-8552, lowryparkzoo.com.
Trees & Traditions A collection of holiday trees decorated in colorful global themes dot the Heritage Village Visitor Center galleries, and holiday decorations adorn buildings throughout the village. Through Dec. 31. Free admission (donations accepted). 11909 125th St. N., Pinewood Cultural Park, Largo, 727-582-2123.
ICE! Gaylord Palms hosts this annual holiday attraction, a winter wonderland hand-carved from nearly two million pounds of ice. The display includes interactive environments and scenes, like a holiday train and depot and life-size nativity as well as larger-than-life, three-dimensional ice monuments and sculptures. On display through Jan. 2; Call for hours. $16.99-$24.99 adults/$9.99 ages 4-12. Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, 6000 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, 407-586-4423, gaylordpalms.com/ice.
Seasonal Sensations — an Illuminated Garden More than 425,000 lights adorn the Florida Botanical Gardens in celebration of the holidays. 5-10 p.m. nightly, through Jan 3. Free admission. 12175 125th St. N., Largo, flbg.org.
The Christmas House Owners Ted and Kim Kresge have been putting on the lights at this St. Petersburg mainstay since 1977 and the shining spectacle has only grown each year. The extensive display takes at least three months to complete and features 400 moving and animated figures, a huge manger scene, artificial snow flurries, a wall of lights, fiber optic forest and much more. 6-10 p.m. nightly, through Jan. 3. Free (donations gratefully accepted). 2700 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg. Visit christmasdisplay.org for directions.
The Moscow Boys Choir: Christmas Around the World The repertoire includes lively carols from Russia, Europe and North America — many performed in their original language — along with classic holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 14. $15 general/$13 members and students. Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine Street, Tarpon Springs, 727-942-5605.
An Elvis Christmas Elvis impressionist Doug Wilson performs with the Fabulous TCB Legends Band. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 14. $24 in advance/$27 day of show. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo, 727-587-6793.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Creole Christmas A holiday concert by the nine-member New Orleans-based band. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 14. $19.50 and $32.50. Ferguson Hall-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (see Address Box).
A Celtic Yuletide Famed Irish tenor Michael Londra (Riverdance) performs with other Irish musicians in an evening of Christmas music and dance. 5 and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16. $22 in advance/$25 day of show/$15 students. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo, 727-587-6793.
Ellington Christmas The Nate Najar Trio and guests perform jazzified holiday favorites and a new adaptation of the Ellington "Jazz Nutcracker." 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 16-17. $20. Palladium Theater.
Holiday Swing Presented by the 18-member Ten O'Clock Swing Band. 2 and 6 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. $14 in advance/$17 day of show. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, 727-587-6793.
Many Moods of Christmas Concert The Chancel Choir and an intimate orchestra of woodwinds and brass perform this holiday concert with a program that includes a cantata with narrative, "Together for Christmas," by Pepper Choplin as well as "Emmanuel," "Silent Night," "The Snow Lay on the Ground" and many others. 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. Donations gratefully accepted to benefit the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 701 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg, 727-822-2031.
A Peter White Christmas Featuring Rick Braun and Mindi Abair. 8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 20. $35-$45. Ruth Eckerd Hall (see Address Box).
Deck the Hall with Divas! The larger-than-life women's song and dance ensemble performs nostalgic favorites and funny ditties, including "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Chanukah Hoedown" and "Santa Brought Me Prozac This Year." 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 21. $18 general/$16 members and students. Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine Street, Tarpon Springs, 727-942-5605.
Holiday Jazz with Fred Johnson The acclaimed jazz musician performs holiday favorites in a festive cabaret setting. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22. $10-$15. Ruth Eckerd Hall.
A Rockapella Holiday The a cappella quintet performs doo-wop harmonies and pop-rock-jazz arrangements of seasonal standards. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22. $30 adults/$21 children 12 and younger. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa, 813-274-8286, www.tampatheatre.org.
Christmas Cabaret A family-friendly musical revue of Christmas favorites and unusual holiday numbers, from "12 Pains of Christmas" to "Santa Brought Me Prozac." 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., through Dec. 31. $29.50. Jaeb Theater-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (see Address Box).
THEATER AND DANCE
Journey to the Manger A Christmas musical about a man who journeys back through Christmas celebrations of the past and discovers the real meaning of the time-honored holiday. 7 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15 and 17. Free admission. First Unity Church, 469 45th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727/527-2222, firstunity.org.
Venue Actors Studio Youth Theatre Holiday Showcase Featuring performances of Peter Pan, Princess Impossible and Vanished — The Case of the Missing Santa by members of Venue Little Bits Theatre, Venue Young Actors and Venue Teen Theatre. 2:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Dec. 16-17. $7 general (family five-packs are $30). Venue Actors Studio, Mainlands Plaza, 9125 U.S. 19 N., Pinellas Park, 727-822-6194.
Tampa Bay Children's Chorus 18th Annual Holiday Concert: A Season for Singing Featuring more than 150 talented young singers. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16. $15 Ferguson Hall-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
Tampa Theatre's Winter Classic Movie Series Holiday Inn, 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17; It's a Wonderful Life, 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 24. $7.50 adults/$6 students, seniors and military. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa, 813-274-8286, tampatheatre.org.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa's eight reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. Find out what really happened when the rest of the reindeer speak up in Jeff Goode's dark Christmas comedy; produced by Gypsy Productions and directed by Trevor Keller. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 1:30 p.m. Sun., through Dec. 17. $18. Suncoast Theatre, 3000 34th St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-644-7077.
A Gorilla Winter Gorilla Theater produces a program that includes The Long Christmas Dinner, Thornton Wilder's play that follows an American family through 90-years worth of Christmases, and Maury Yeston's December Songs, a song cycle about the resilience of the human spirit. 7 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., through December 17. $20-25 adults/$15-$20 seniors and students. Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N. Hubert Ave., Tampa, 813-879-2914.
It Had To Be You This touring revival of the hit Broadway comedy — written by and starring Renée Taylor — is about a struggling B-movie actress who takes a successful television commercial director hostage on a snowy Christmas Eve. 8 p.m. Mon.-Tues., 2 and 8 p.m. Wed. and Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 18-24. $30. Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.
Christmas on Broadway Six Bay area actors and singers performs songs like Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Happy Christmas Little Friend" as well as works by composers Jerry Herman, Meredith Wilson, Frank Loesser and Jason Robert Brown. 7 p.m. Tue., 2 and 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 19-20. $17. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo, 727-587-6740.
The Nutcracker Another version of the holiday classic, this one performed by Orlando Ballet with more than 100 students from Tampa and Orlando dance schools, and featuring live accompaniment by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 21-23. $18.50-$54.50. Carol Morsani Hall-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
The Chocolate Nutcracker Enjoy an evening of jazz, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and gospel music as more than 250 local students perform alongside professional dancers in this unique adaptation of the holiday classic. 7:30 p.m. Fri., 1 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22-23. $32-$52. Mahaffey Theater.
Pinellas Opera League Dance Video Presentation: A Christmas Carol Featuring the Northern Ballet Theatre. 1:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 23. Free admission. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art Auditorium, SPC-Tarpon Springs, 600 Klosterman Road, Palm Harbor.
A Christmas Carol A large stage production of the Charles Dickens' classic about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas. 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 23. $25-$36. Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Hanukkah Musical Extravaganza: Revolt in Modi'in. Fri., Dec. 15. Congregation B'nai Emmunah, 3374 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. For more information, call 727-726-8626.
Hanukkah Bowl Chabad of Brandon hosts an afternoon of bowling, air hockey, foosball and arcade games. A grand dreidel game is planned and attendees also enjoy hot latkes and other treats. 1-3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. $10 per person ($36 per family). Brandon Crossroads Bowl, 609 Crater Lane, Brandon. To R.S.V.P., call 813-657-9393.
Hanukkah Concert Hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg. 5 p.m. Mon., Dec. 18. Free. 6151 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-344-4900.
Let There Be Light Chabad of Tampa Bay and Brandon host this Hanukkah celebration with the lighting of a giant menorah, live music by Benny Friedman, hot latkes, popcorn and cotton candy, a prize drawing and more. 6-8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 18. Downtown Tampa City Hall Plaza, Franklin Street and Kennedy Boulevard. Call 813-963-2317 for more information.
Wishes For Wellness: Healthy Hanukkah Party An interactive educational program geared toward providing health and wellness information to adults that want to stay active and healthy during the holiday season. 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22, $3 general (free to members). Golda/Meir Kent Jewish Center, 2010 Greenbriar Blvd., Clearwater, 737-736-1494.
Menorah Madness A short service is followed by a pot luck dinner and live music by the Pittard family. Attendees are encouraged to bring a menorah and candles to light, and a dish to share. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22. Congregation B'nai Emmunah, 3374 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. For more information, call 727-726-8626.
Vodka Latke 2006 A holiday fundraiser for the Young Adult Division of the Tampa Jewish Federation. Sun., Dec. 24. $20 in advance/$25 at the door. Gaspar's Grotto, Ybor City. For information or to RSVP, call 813-769-2103 or e-mail [email protected].
VOLUNTEERING AND HOLIDAY DRIVES
RCS Food Bank The Religious Community Services Food Bank — which serves 4,000 clients each month and has approximately 60 distribution sub-sites throughout Pinellas County — seeks volunteers to help with office work, sorting food, delivering and picking up supplies, interviewing clients and more during the holiday season. Donations of baby food, cereal, formula, juices, after school snacks, boxed and canned food items, powdered milk, and plastic and paper grocery bags are also needed. To volunteer or make a donation, call 727-443-4031.
Holiday Toy Drive Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers ("HAWL") seeks donations for USF's Kinship Care Center, which provides a variety of support services to grandparents and other relatives raising their family members' children. Unwrapped gifts or gift cards should be delivered before December 12 to: Nancy Hutcheson Harris & Associates, P.A., Barrister's Building, 505 E. Jackson St., Suite 306, Tampa. For more info, call 813-281-1900 or 813-223-5421.
Metropolitan Ministries MetMin feeds thousands of homeless and poverty-stricken locals each month and you can lend a hand by volunteering at the holiday center where donations are received, sorted and distributed. For more information, call 813-209-1000. Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Center is located on the 2100 block of N. Florida Avenue in Tampa, and is open through Dec. 24.
NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATIONS
New Year's Eve with Donna the Buffalo Presented by WMNF-88.5 FM; a B.Y.O.B. event. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sat., Dec. 31. $35 in advance/$45 at the door. The Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
First Night 2006 The 13th annual New Year's Eve Celebration of the Arts takes place at 35 different venues throughout downtown St. Petersburg, and features an assortment of alcohol-free, family-oriented activities and diversions including live music and entertainment, dancing, games, art, fireworks and more. 2 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sun., Dec. 31. $8 adults in advance/$10 day of; $5 ages 6-12 (kids 5 and younger enter for free). Call 727-823-8906 for more information.
Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg, 727-898-2100, mahaffeytheater.com.
Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-822-3590, mypalladium.org.
Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, downtown Tampa, 813-229-7827, tbpac.org.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-953-3366, vanwezel.org.