By Marie Gilmore

The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber is bringing the holidays to Park Square in true Florida Style with the 3rd Annual Shop Local Holiday Expo on Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m.-12 noon. With food tasting, fun games and crafts for kids, free photos with Florida Santa and shopping opportunities with local vendors, there is sure to be something for everyone!

FishHawk’s own resident Jake Dela Cruz will be the DJ and emcee for the event which will include the annual Mascot Dance Off and Corporate Flamingo Challenge. Last year’s winner, Encore by David Weekly showcased a corporate flamingo in a holiday house for the 1st place finish.

The idea of an old-fashioned, family fun expo with Florida Santa, games, treats for kids, business booths and local crafters, all gathering for a holiday event was developed and the first annual Shop Local Holiday Expo was created two years ago.

“We wanted to host an event that help introduce our businesses to the community and also make it fun for parents and families this holiday season,” said Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Event Coordinator Bridget Jenkins Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing.

Join more than 50 local business booths and take a photo with Florida Santa and his sleigh pulled by a ‘Flock of Flamingos’, which have been decorated by local businesses Holiday Flamingo Challenge. Each flamingo is sponsored by a local business and judges will determine the best decorated flamingos to be ‘crowned’ during the event.

Families will enjoy music, shop the local business booths, enjoy games and pick up a few treats for Holiday gift giving.

Business booths are still available and cost $50 for Chamber members and $100 for nonmembers and include a Flamingo to decorate and a 10×10 space at the event. Email questions to or Sign up at WWW.VALRICOFISHHAWK.ORG.

FishHawk Park Square is located in the heart of FishHawk Ranch at the corner of Dorman Rd. and Churchside Dr. The event is free to attend.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!