By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 28, 2002
Large helpings of Christmas spirit
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . at least in some corners of our sun-soaked wonderland. Take a break from the post-Thanksgiving frenzy at the malls and check out holiday events of the non-retail variety on both sides of Tampa Bay.
In Tampa, Lowry Park Zoo's Wild Wonderland promises honest-to-goodness live reindeer, not so honest-to-goodness "snow," horse-drawn carriage rides, lights, winter wildlife show, games and that jolly elf himself, Santa Claus. The fun starts this weekend and keeps going on weekends until Dec. 23. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Fri.-Sun., Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 12-23 at the zoo, 7530 N Boulevard, Tampa. $8.50 adult, $6.50 for ages 3-11. Additional fees for games, carriage rides. (813) 935-8552.
St. Petersburg's annual Snowfest Kick-Off and Tree Lighting is a one-night-only festivity, and that night is Friday. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the music starts, featuring the Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony, pianist Oksana and others. The main event, the lighting of the 40-foot tree and downtown's famous holiday displays, is at 7 p.m. in North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue and Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. If you can't make it there Friday for all the hoopla, the decorations stay up through the holidays.
Call (727) 893-7335 or www.st.pete.org
for more information.
Saturday and Sunday bring the Festival-Espiritu de Ybor, a first-time celebration of the historic Tampa district. Among the features: historic homes tour, antique car show (Saturday only), a fire station open house, living history performers and a Christmas tree with Santa (whew, he's getting around!) at the Ybor City Museum. Events are Saturday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (1 to 5 p.m.) at various locations in Ybor. Call the Ybor Chamber of Commerce at (813) 241-8838 or www.ybor.org
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