Compiled by Jenny Bennett and Kate Quesada
Brandon Lions Club 2021 Luminaria Project
Each year, the Brandon Lions Club conducts its luminaria fundraising project providing the kits to neighborhoods and individuals throughout the Greater Brandon area. The Luminaria Kits are constructed with white paper bags weighed down with sand and illuminated from within by a candle. They are traditionally displayed on Christmas Eve.
Each kit contains 15 long-burning votive candles, 15 candle holders, 15 white bags and a plastic bag of sand (to use in the base of each bag). Kits are still just $7. Orders over 15 kits can be delivered to your neighborhood. You may contact Joe Kuebler at 263-2522 to place your order or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All orders are COD and can be picked up at our clubhouse located at 610 Limona Rd. in Brandon or delivered (orders of 15 kits or more) on Saturday, December 18.
Proceeds benefit Brandon Lions Charities, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization supporting its eyesight and hearing programs, Southeastern Guide Dogs, Greater Tampa Lions Sight Fund, ECHO, Family Promise, The Outreach Clinic, Brandon High School Don Bishop Track Meet and other local area needs since 1954.
Victorian Christmas Stroll At The Henry B. Plant Museum
Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. Allowing visitors a glimpse of Christmas past, the event runs daily from Saturday, November 20 through Sunday, January 2 (Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
With a different theme in every exhibit room, there is sure to be something for everyone. Look closely in exhibit cases and you will find snow babies and tiny antique trees. Gaze in wonder at a 14’ tree bedecked in antique ornaments. Other decorations include a replica Plant System train, vintage fashions, antique toys, orchids, fruit, shells and fanciful ornaments.
During the Victorian Christmas Stroll, visitors will explore the museum transformed by Christmas trees ranging in height from a few inches to more than 14 feet, 40,000 lights and hundreds of feet of garland. Decorations include vintage fashions, antique toys, locally sourced items and fanciful ornaments.
The Victorian Christmas Stroll celebrates the warmth and spirit of an old-fashioned holiday. Guests can enjoy live music on select dates.
The Museum Store is a treasure trove of unique gifts, including elegant jewelry, artwork and beautiful holiday accessories. Enjoy shopping in a unique Victorian atmosphere; the Museum Store is open daily.
The museum is located at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. Admissions: adults – $16, seniors – $14 and youth – $10. Last tickets are sold 30 minutes before closing. For more information, visit www.plantmuseum.com.
Ybor Tree Lighting Scheduled
It is never too early to mark your calendar and get into the holiday spirit. The Ybor Chamber is hosting its annual tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, November 17. The event will kick off with live holiday entertainment from 6-7 p.m., and Mayor Castor will light the tree at 7 p.m. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will take place from 7-8 p.m. and there will be free hot chocolate and cookies for the kids.
For more information, visit www.ybor.org/treelighting.
Lakeland Christmas Parade Features Santa And Mrs. Claus
The 2021 Lakeland Christmas Parade will be held on Thursday, December 2 from 7-9 p.m. Hosted by the Junior League of Greater Lakeland and the City of Lakeland, the Lakeland Christmas Parade is held annually on the first Thursday in December.
Recognized as one of Lakeland’s largest annual events, parade participants step off from the RP Funding Center to begin their 1.25-mile course winding through the city’s streets, around Lake Mirror and back down Lemon St. Parade participants deck out their floats to reflect each year’s theme, which in past years has included ‘The Giving City’ and ‘A Storybook Christmas.’
Each year, float participants compete to win special recognition in eight categories: most outstanding band, most original float, best professional float, best youth or educational float, best community float, best business float, best theme float and judge’s choice.
The best, of course, is saved for last, as the parade wraps up with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
By tradition, the city typically chose a distinguished Lakeland citizen to serve as the parade’s honorary grand marshal. But, starting in 2018, the Junior League took a different approach aimed at encouraging literacy with a Polk County student essay contest, which quickly became a new beloved tradition.
To learn more, visit www.jlgl.org/events/2021-lakeland-christmas-parade.
Local Boat Parades Are Florida-Festive
What better way is there to celebrate the holidays in Florida than with a festive boat parade? Many local communities are hosting boat parades this season.
The Alafia Boat Parade, hosted by the Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview, will take place on Saturday, December 4 from 5-8 p.m. starting at Williams Park and ending at River’s Edge Bar and Grill. For more information, visit www.alafiaboatparade.com.
The Apollo Beach Boat Parade, sponsored by Tampa Sailing Squadron (TSS), will take place on Saturday, December 11 at 6 p.m. The event will start at the TSS clubhouse, located at 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd. in Apollo Beach. For more information, call 645-8377 or visit www.sail-tss.org.
The Tampa Lighted Boat Parade, which begins at the Convention Center, travels to The Heights and finishes at Sparkman Wharf, will take place on Saturday, December 18. For more information, visit www.thetampariverwalk.com.
Walt Disney World Resort Making Plans For A Magical Holiday Season In 2021
Beginning on Friday, November 12, festive entertainment, whimsical decor, seasonal food and drinks, special merchandise and more will all be a part of the 2021 holiday season across Walt Disney World Resort. For a first look at the merrymaking to come this year as part of ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’ honoring the resort’s 50th anniversary, visit www.wdwresorts.com. Additional details about the 2021 holiday season will be announced in the future.
For more on ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’ and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, visit wdwnews.com.