Holiday events beginning, fun festivals ongoing this weekend in Tampa Bay

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Holiday events are beginning to kick off across the Tampa Bay area, but other fun festivals, like those in honor of sangria and sand sculpting, still have some hanging on to thoughts of summer.

From the opening of a Pasco County Snow Park and the first weekend to celebrate Christmas at Busch Gardens, to the inaugural “Beer at the Pier” event in St. Petersburg, there is plenty to do for all with varied interests this weekend.

You can even get a little “odd” at the Tampa Convention Center!

These events are presented in no particular order. If you know of anything going on throughout the area in the future, send an email to

1. Opening weekend at Snowcat Ridge

Location: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City

Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park has opened up its doors to visitors for the holiday season with new attractions and this is its first weekend of 2021.

New additions include an ice skating rink called the Crystal Ribbon, which is an outdoor ice skating oval for beginners to grab some skates and glide across the ice.

Another new feature for 2021 is the “Eskimo Outpost,” a way for guests to book private igloos for parties and events. Igloo rentals include a 500-square-foot igloo, a fire pit and bottled water. The igloos feature indoor and outdoor seating for 20 to 25 people.

2. Beer at the Pier

Location: St. Petersburgh Pier, 800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg

The first “Beer at the Pier” festival will take place on Saturday in two sessions at the St. Pete Pier, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., then 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Each ticket includes unlimited beer sampling exclusively from breweries located in Pinellas County, as well as a collectible Beer on the Pier cup and giveaways from breweries and other event partners.

General admission is $40 at the door. VIP admission includes one-hour early access to the event, as well as a “VIP swag bag.” VIP tickets are $75 at the door.

3. Clearwater Sangria Festival

Location: 600 Cleveland Str, Clearwater

This downtown Clearwater event presented by Aspirations Winery will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

There will be two stages with non-stop music, as well as food and street vendors. Proceeds will benefit The Little Cats Rescue.

Some artists scheduled for the event include Reverend Barry and The Funk, Tobacco Rd Band, I Heart Cats and 60 West.

4. St. Pete Run Fest

Location: St. Petersburg

St. Pete Run Fest is returning this year, after being cancelled in 2020, with a three-day event.

Distance running events include the Regenexx half marathon, Rollin’ Oats 10K, Outback 5K, Humana kids’ races and more.

Live music, craft beer, hard seltzer and wine will be featured from local locations, as well as healthy, organic food.

The St. Pete Running Company Health and Fitness Expo will be located in the plaza between the Mahaffey Theater and Salvador Dali Museum. It will feature 75 vendors, artisans and entertainers.

Race maps and registration fees can all be found online.

5. Oddities and Curiosities Expo

Location: Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St, Tampa

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday will feature vendors, dealers, artists and small businesses “with all things weird,” according to the event website.

Items like preserved specimens, horror-inspired original artwork pieces, “quack” medical devices, skulls and bones and jewelry can be found at the expo.

General admission tickets are $15 at the door.

6. Sponge Docks Seafood Festival

Location: 521 Athens St, Tarpon Springs

The 33rd annual Sponge Docks Seafood Festival will take place in Tarpon Springs from Friday through Sunday.

Admission to the event is free and live music will be featured.

The event begins at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

7. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Location: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa

In addition to it being the first weekend for Snowcat Ridge in Dade City, it is also the first weekend for Christmas Town celebrations at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

The holiday celebration at the park begins on Nov. 12 and runs through Jan. 2. It features festive shows, including a new fireworks show, as well as story time with Mrs. Claus. Santa’s elves will guide guests to see the big man himself in his work shop in the new Santa’s North Pole Experience.

Holiday treats and shopping are also available in Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town Village and other locations throughout the park, which itself will be adorned with millions of twinkling lights, which can be seen from select rides that will be open.

A single-day ticket to Busch Gardens begins at $89.99 and Christmas Town festivities are included. Sampler options for holiday treats and beverages are available, beginning at $44.99 for eight samples.

8. Siesta Beach Sand Sculpting during Crystal Classic

Location: 948 Beach Rd, Siesta Key

Eight teams and eight solo sand sculptors will compete during the 10th annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic beginning on Friday.

Winning sculptures will be announced during an awards ceremony that will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m., but guests can still see the creations and vote for People’s Choice until the festival closes at 5 p.m. on Monday.

The festival will also feature live music, shopping and food and drink vendors, as well as free sand sculpting lessons and demonstrations on Saturday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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