Jingle all the Way to the City of Tampa Annual Holiday Events

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 It's the most wonderful time of the year! The City of Tampa and the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. announced this year's holiday happenings in downtown Tampa. Mark your calendar and make plans to attend these great family events.

Tampa's Downtown on Ice, the Bay area’s only outdoors ice rink is back at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park beginning on Friday, November 20. What better way to get in the holiday spirit than ice-skating under the palm trees in 80-degree weather! Skating is $12 for 90 minutes and includes the skates.

Tampa’s Downtown on Ice will be open daily, except Thanksgiving Day, through January 3, 2016. Hours of operations are Monday-Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday noon-9 p.m. Holiday hours: December 24 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and December 25 from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Please note: The ice rink may be closed for private holiday parties. Check the web site www.TampasDowntownonIce.com or Facebook for changes in the schedule.

Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa Fest and Tampa’s Downtown on Ice are held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, located at 600 N. Ashley Drive.

Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2015 with the high-energy sounds of the 10-piece horn band, Late Night Brass. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and snuggle in and enjoy the sounds of the season.

The Magic 94-9 Morning Show’s Chadd & Kristi will host Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. Chadd & Kristi promise to make your holidays merry and bright with the $1000 Secret Santa Giveaway.

The first family of Tampa, The Buckhorns, will do the honors and throw the switch to light the 30-foot glittering Christmas Tree (approx. 7:50 p.m.).

Immediately following the lighting of the tree will be a free movie in the park featuring the delightfully funny holiday gem A Christmas Story.

Santa Claus comes to town on Saturday, December 5, 2015 during the 34th Annual Santa Fest and Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade!

The parade steps off at 11 a.m. and features grand, colorful floats featuring Tampa’s unique and diverse Krewes, dance troops, drumlins, crazy characters and of course Santa Claus! The parade begins at Madison and Pierce streets. Heads west on Madison Street then turns north onto Ashley Drive, and ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The best viewing area is along Madison Street from Pierce Street to Tampa Street.

Parade viewers are encouraged to arrive by 9 a.m. for ease in parking and to get a good spot. Suggested parking options:

  • Royal Street, 1200 N. Tampa Street
  • Jackson Street, E. Kennedy Blvd & Jackson Street
  • Ft. Brooke Garage, 107 N. Franklin Street

After the parade, fun continues in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park with Santa Fest. Bring your little elves to Santa Fest for a free keepsake photo with Santa, continuous holiday entertainment featuring the Tampa Gym & Dance Show Stars, Patel Conservatory Jazz Quartet, Patel Conservatory Arts Program, Rizing Star Dance Academy and the Blake High School Choir; plus interactive games, bounce houses, rock wall, make-n-take crafts, and giveaways. The festival continues until 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit the Friends of Tampa Recreation on the web at www.friendsoftamparec.org or on Facebook.

Contact: Kitty Lyons
Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. 813-966-5505
Donna McCallister
City of Tampa Office of Special Events