By Kathy Collins

There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than to attend one of the area’s Christmas tree lighting events. There are several scheduled during November and December.

First up, bring the family to Hyde Park Village in Tampa for the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Stroll set to take place on Saturday, November 21 from 5-9 p.m. This free, family friendly celebration kicks off the holiday season.

Everyone will enjoy live entertainment, food and beverages. Hyde Park Village is located at 1602 W. Snow Ave. in Tampa.

On Wednesday, December 2 visit Center Place of Brandon for the 31st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Adults and children alike will revel in the holiday spirit as they enjoy all of the festivities including a visit from Santa.

Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.

On Thursday, December 3 the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree will take place in historic downtown Plant City at McCall Park. “Lights” can be purchased in honor of loved ones. Proceeds benefit the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation. Visit Plant City again on Friday, December 4 for the Annual Christmas Parade from 7-9 p.m.. McCall Park is located at 100 N. Collins St. in downtown Plant City.

On Friday, December 4, gather friends and family and come out to Winthrop Arts, Inc.’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview and enjoy a night of holiday magic. The fun starts at 7 p.m.

with the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Bryant Martinez, Winthrop Town Artist and member of the Winthrop Arts, Inc.’s Board of Visionaries said, “This is the ninth year that we have had a Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop, but it is the first one sponsored by the newly formed non-profit, Winthrop Arts, Inc. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy a great holiday tradition.” Winthrop Town Centre is located at 11109 Winthrop Market St. in Riverview.

The City of Tampa will hold a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. The event is free, but everyone is asked to bring a teddy bear to give to a child in a local hospital. Santa Fest will be held the next day, Saturday, December 5. The Rough Riders Holiday Parade will kick off the event at 11 a.m.