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Ho, ho ho -- but no snow

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 29, 2002


Looking for something to do? Here's a super calendar, ranging from tree lightings to Santa's elves.

* * *

Who says you need a real tree and plenty of snow to get into the Christmas spirit?

Old Hyde Park Village at Swann and Dakota avenues kicks off the holiday season tonight with its Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony. It's not quite as big as Rockefeller Center's holiday festivities, but it does the job all the same.

The artificial tree stands 30 feet tall with colorful lights and decorations. You can forget the winter coats and gloves. We've got palm trees blowing gently in the breeze.

There's no ice skating rink, but Ol' St. Nick will light the tree in the village's main fountain area. Festivities include a musical program by the University of South Florida Master Chorale, the Florida Arts School and other performing groups.

The ceremony is from 6 to 8 p.m.; free and open to the public, and will be held rain, shine or snow (yeah right). For more information, call 251-3500.

TODAY.

ISLAND LIGHTING FEST: Holiday Fest 2002 kicks off with a home lighting competition on Davis Islands and Harbour Island. Mayor Dick Greco and others will judge the houses with the best decorations while aboard the Yacht Starship. Prizes include a party for 50 on the Starship and a party for 125 at the Florida Aquarium. The ship boards from 4 to 7 p.m., and sails from 7:30 to 10 p.m.; dinner will be served; $59.95. Call 223-7999.

WILD WONDERLAND AT THE ZOO: Santa's Castle comes to the Lowry Park Zoo with live reindeer, pretend snow, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday lights, a winter wildlife show, games and, of course, Santa Claus. 6 to 9 p.m. today through Sunday; Dec. 6-8 and 12-23 at the zoo, 7530 N Boulevard; $6.50-$8.50 with additional fees for games and carriage rides. Call 935-8552.

GEORGE WALLACE: Like most comedians, George Wallace finds humor in everyday life, using relationships, cliches and the media as some sources of inspiration. 8 and 10:30 p.m. today and Saturday; Improv Comedy Theater & Restaurant, Centro Ybor; $25. Call 864-4000.

COLORS OF CHRISTMAS: Four smooth-singing stars, accompanied by a full orchestra and gospel choir, present their hits and holiday favorites at the Colors of Christmas. The headliners are Peabo Bryson (Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You, Beauty and the Beast), former Shalamar vocalist and solo stand-out Jody Watley (Don't You Want Me, Looking for a New Love), soul sister Oleta Adams (Get Here) and Latin singer Jon Secada (Just Another Day). 8 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $45-$75. Call 287-8844.

HOCKEY: VANCOUVER CANUCKS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. 7:30 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $8-$155. Call 288-2658.

30 -- SATURDAY.

FESTIVAL-ESPIRITU DE YBOR: Ybor City celebrates a two-day holiday family event with "Feliz Navidad" at the Ybor City Museum. Festivities include Victorian carolers and living history performers, Santa Claus, holiday lights and decorations, and an antique car show (Saturday only). 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; free. Call 241-8838.

BUCKLER'S HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR: Crafters from across the country sell gifts, furniture, folk art, ceramics and other handmade items. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Florida State Fairgrounds, U.S. 301 off Interstate 4; $4 adult (good for both days), free for ages 12 and under with paid adult. Call 621-7821.

1 -- SUNDAY.

WYNONNA: First there was Wynonna and Naomi Judds' famous live audition, backed only by Wynonna's guitar, in the office of RCA's Joe Galante. Then came their first show, playing to an audience of 10,000 as the opening act for the Statlers in 1984. Naomi eventually retired because of health reasons, but her daughter Wynonna went on to launch her own solo career. More than a decade later, at age 38, she's still considered a top country music singer. 7 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $39.75-$45. Call 287-8844.

FOOTBALL: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. 8:30 p.m. ESPN.

2 -- MONDAY.

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: ALCORN STATE BRAVES AT SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS. 7 p.m.; $14. USF Sun Dome; Call 987-6816 or 974-6889 or 1-800-GO-BULLS.

3 -- TUESDAY.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL: The galleries and Grand Hall of the Henry B. Plant Museum go Victorian style for the holidays. Sip cider and cookies on the verandah, or listen to the holiday music offered nightly. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Dec. 23 at the museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd.; $8 adults, $3 for ages 12 and under; $7 seniors on Mondays only. Call 254-1891.

TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: Santa and his elves make a stop at Hillsborough County's Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Joe Chillura Courthouse Park (downtown Tampa across from the County Center at 601 E Kennedy Blvd). Crescendo: The Tampa Bay Women's Chorus provides musical entertainment. 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m; free.

KENNY G: If record sales are any indication, it seems everyone likes Kenny G. The megastar who's sold 70-million albums rocks Ruth Eckerd Hall. 8 p.m.; $49.75-$75. Call 287-8844.

4 -- WEDNESDAY.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JACKSONVILLE DOLPHINS AT SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS. 7 p.m.; $5. Call 974-6889.

5 -- THURSDAY.

HOCKEY: EDMONTON OILS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. 7 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $8-$150. Call 288-2658.

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS AT SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS. 7 p.m; USF Sun Dome; $14. Call 974-6889.

NEXT WEEKEND:

  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Dec. 6-8, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: Dec. 10, St. Pete Times Forum.

COMING UP:

  • LION KING: Dec. 13, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • GUNS N' ROSES: Dec. 13, St. Pete Times Forum.
  • MEATLOAF: Dec. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • DAMON WAYANS: Dec. 28, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • B.B. KING: Dec. 31, Mahaffey Theater.
  • HARRY BELAFONTE: Jan. 14, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • DAVID CROSBY AND JUDY COLLINS: Jan. 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES: Feb. 13, Tampa Theatre.

City Times: The rest of the stories

  • The joy of doing nothing
  • Ybor's cottage industry
  • Jolly good bellows
  • Yule party starts stroll
  • Serving up love
  • Founder of UT nursing program dies
  • Verger shaped Port of Tampa
  • Ho, ho ho -- but no snow
  • Crafty entrepreneurs
  • Bumps in road now flat -- and popular
  • Neighborhood notebook
  • Putting minds and bodies to the test
  • New traffic light pops up at busy road crossing
  • Builders break ground for townhomes
  • Trimming the tree, professionally
  • Restrain festive lights
  • Real estate agent takes workstation on the road
  •  
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