By Kathy L. Collins

events3The holidays are a time for festive celebration and joyful gatherings, some of which will take place at Center Place in Brandon during the month of December. The holiday season is kicked off with the Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree on Wednesday, December 2, at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Kim Hall’s School of Dance, Brandon Spotlights, Tampa Bay Family Theatre, Music Showcase, With One Voice Youth Choir and the Ambassadors from Bloomingdale High School. Santa Clause will make an early visit to Brandon as well. Cookies and punch will be provided by co-sponsor of the event, the Community Roundtable. Honorary Mayor Connie Smaldone will appear at the event. Boy Scout troop 110 will be the color guard for the event.A holiday open house is planned for Pat’s Corner gift shop on Thursday, December 3, at 4:30 p.m. It’s never too early or too late to stock up on holiday gifts.The December Art Reception will feature Debra Bryant, a Plant City resident who works with oils primarily and acrylics, pastels, colored pencils, watercolor and charcoal. The reception will be held on Saturday, December 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bryant’s art will be on display throughout the month of December. Center Place is the host for monthly art receptions and exhibits the art of local artists. If you have not come out to one of the receptions, then you should treat yourself to one for the holidays.Music Showcase and The Florida Academy of Performing Arts will present Into The Woods Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12, at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12. Seniors, students and military personnel can get tickets for $10.Center Place will present Santa’s Holiday Revue on Friday, December 18, at 11:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets for members are $6, and tickets for non-members are $7.Center Place Art Director Dawn Galia said, “We always look forward to our community events that bring our greater Brandon families together. We love to showcase the fine arts in the greater Brandon area. It is wonderful to see so many talented children all in one place!”Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. For more information, please call 685-8888 or visit the Website at

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