By Kathy L. Collins

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

You can bring the family to Hyde Park Village in Tampa for the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, November 19 from 5 to 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 Thursday, December 1 you will not want to miss the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree in historic downtown Plant City at McCall Park. This event begins at 5:30 p.m. Come back to Plant City on Friday, December 2 for the Annual Christmas Parade from 7 to 9 p.m. McCall Park is located at 100 N. Collins St. in downtown Plant City

On Friday, December 2, gather friends and family and come out to Winthrop Arts’ Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview. The tree lighting ceremony will take place from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and a holiday themed movie will be shown on the lawn behind the tree at approximately 7:15 p.m. Bryant Martinez, Winthrop Town Artist and member of the Winthrop Arts’ Board of Visionaries said, “This is the 10th year that we have had a Christmas Tree Lighting in Winthrop. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this great holiday tradition.” Winthrop Town Centre is located at the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and Providence Rd. in Riverview.

The City of Tampa will hold a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 2 at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. The event is free and includes a count-down to light the tree with Mayor Bob Buckhorn. A movie will be shown after the lighting in the park. The 35th Annual Santa Fest will be held the next day, Saturday, December 3 beginning at 11 a.m. followed by Santa Fest in Curtis Hixon Park from 12 to 4 p.m.

On Wednesday, December 7 Center Place will host its 32nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Center Place will showcase local dancers and singers at their event. Join the Bloomingdale High School Ambassadors as they welcome Santa Claus who will help light the tree and take photos with children. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.

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