Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association will be hosting its annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the pond on Wednesday, December 9 on the deck at Center Place from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

I am thrilled to let the Brandon community know that Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association is back. We have been closed since this past March, but the brand-new executive board and myself are working with Hillsborough County to get the center reopened for programming and event rentals.

We will be hosting our annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the pond on Wednesday, December 9 on the deck at Center Place from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

“The Christmas tree has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years,” said Center Place board member Mike Owens. “I remember playing baseball at the baseball field next to Center Place and seeing the Christmas tree out on the pond. This year more than any other year, we need to have this tree lighting. Obviously, with the holidays, there are a lot of things we can’t do because of COVID, a lot of people are hurting right now financially and spirits are kind of down, and I think that this tree symbolizes hope and our community.”

The community is coming together to help Center Place make the tree lighting happen. Owens purchased the tree and Cliff Curry of Curry Law Group donated the floatation device for the tree. LeAnne’s Cookies and Coppertail Brewing Co. are two of the business sponsors of the tree lighting.

“We like helping our local community with events, especially during these difficult times with the pandemic happening,” said John Zenger of Coppertail Brewing Co.

Patricia Odiorne was the founder and creator of Center Place. Her son, Ryan Odiorne, is the president of Center Place’s executive board.

“This Christmas tree will let the community know that Center Place is still here,” Ryan said. “Even though we went through the whole shutdown because of COVID, we are in the process of basically rebuilding Center Place to make it better and offer more programming in 2021.”

The Christmas tree lighting on the pond has a limited capacity of 50 people. The event is free, but registration is required to attend and masks must be worn during the event.

If you would like to attend this event, please call Center Place at 685-8888 to make a reservation. Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B in Brandon, next to the Brandon Library.