Now that Thanksgiving is over, Tampa Bay, Florida began whipping out the big Christmas festivities over the weekend, reports 10 News. Plenty of lights, rides, shows, and various other holiday activities will be happening through the rest of the season, and many of them have free admission, for those interested in getting into the holiday spirit.
The kickoff began with the annual tradition of dozens of lights displaying across the 70 acres of Largo Central Park. From now until January 1, Largo Central Park will be hosting the light shows at night, a carousel ride, a seven-story Ferris wheel, and places to grab some grub. Admission to Largo Central Park is free; however, rides are $5 each. Largo Central Park will also be hosting additional events such as meet and greets with Santa and a holiday craft fair, as well as various live entertainment groups.
The Strawberry Festival grounds also have nightly light displays happening through Christmas Eve. They will host thousands of displays and decorated Christmas trees, as well as live entertainment. The live entertainment includes those such as Fritzy Brothers One Man Circus and living Nativity scenes on every Thursday through Saturday. There will also be several holiday rides, concession areas, a meet and greet with Santa, a KidZone for the little ones, an area for children to mail their letters to Santa, and a Lego station. Other meet and greets will include Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and Santa's elves. Ticket's to Christmas Lane at Strawberry Festival Grounds are $5 for those ages 13 and up, and $3 for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Those under 3-years-old will have free admission. Rides are of course on a separate ticket, although parking will be free.Another enticing activity for Christmas fans is the Symphony of Lights which is hosted at the Shops at Wiregrass nightly through December 31. The show of twinkling and dancing lights with various other holiday decors even includes fake snow. The show is also choreographed to music from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Admission to the Symphony of Lights is free.
The Florida beaches also got in on the early holiday action this weekend. On Saturday, the inaugural event was hosted at five separate locations: St. Pete Beach Community Center, Madeira Beach City Center, Treasure Island Community Center, Indian Shores Municipal Center, and Indian Rocks Beach. The events helped fundraise for Tampa Bay Watch, which works to preserve local estuaries.