By Kathy L. Collins

It’s time to think about decking the halls and having lots of holiday fun with your friends and family. What better way to kick off the ‘season to be jolly’ then to attend one of the area’s Christmas Tree Lighting events. There are several scheduled during November and December.


Hyde Park Village; November 16

First up, bring the family to Hyde Park Village in Tampa for the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 16 from 5-8 p.m. With over 6,000 in attendance, this free, family-friendly holiday party has become one of Tampa Bay’s most anticipated holiday events. Enjoy a variety of live entertainment, cookies, cider, the lighting of the 30-ft. animated Christmas tree and a visit from Santa Claus. Hyde Park Village is located at 1602 W. Snow Ave. in Tampa


Winthrop Town Centre; November 30

On Friday, November 30, come out to Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview and enjoy a night of holiday magic. The fun starts at 7 p.m. with the lighting of the 23 ft. Christmas tree. There will be entertainment and falling snow. Afterwards, stay on for an outdoor showing of a holiday classic movie. Come back for more fun on Saturday and Sunday as the Brandon Foundation presents Winterfest at Winthrop. This will include Santa’s Workshop, lunch with Santa, Santa’s Hayride and more. Winthrop Town Centre is located at 11109 Winthrop Market St. in Riverview.


Center Place of Brandon; December 5

On Wednesday, December 5, go to Center Place of Brandon for the 28th Annual Lighting of the Christmas tree. You will be entertained by talented youth from the area. Adults and children alike will revel in the holiday spirit as they enjoy all of the festivities including a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.


McCall Park in Plant City; December 6

On Thursday, December 6, don’t miss the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree in historic downtown Plant City at McCall Park in Plant City. The approximately 27 ft. tree will be lit with lights purchased by individuals, families and businesses in honor or memory of loved ones. Proceeds benefit the community outreach programs of South Florida Baptist Hospital. Come back to Plant City on Friday, December 7 for the Annual Christmas Parade. McCall Park is located at 100 N. Collins St. in downtown Plant City.


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