TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the holiday season gears up into full swing, other events are still happening in the Tampa Bay area, from charitable efforts and celebrations to annual festivals.
Those looking to pay respects to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium team after Winter the Dolphin’s recent passing can do so this weekend. Her celebration of life will continue through next week.
The Medieval Fair is also returning to Sarasota, or you could visit the alligators at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary or take in some music at the Suncoast Jazz Festival. Whatever you decide, there is never a shortage of both meaningful and fun events in the Tampa Bay area any given weekend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Winter the Dolphin Celebration of Life
Location: 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced it will be holding a “Celebration of Life” for Winter the Dolphin online and in-person, featuring flower arrangements and original footage of Winter’s rescue beginning on Saturday and running through Wednesday, Nov. 24.
In remembrance of Winter’s 16 years of life, admission will be reduced to $16 on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 with a portion of all funds going towards the care of rescued and resident animals.
“Guests are invited to bring their memories of Winter and to enjoy the beautiful home she helped Clearwater Marine Aquarium build for her and all non-releasable animals,” a Facebook post from CMA said.
2. Heart Walk
Location: Tampa Bay area
Stacie Schaible and the WFLA News Channel 8 team are once again gearing up to fight heart disease and stroke with the American Heart Association. Join us on Saturday from 8-11 a.m.
This year’s theme, Heart Walk Here, invites participants to walk with at various pop-up start lines installed around Tampa Bay, or to create a path of their own. From park and parkways to tucked away trails, participants are invited to Heart Walk at any location that inspires their heart health.
3. Sarasota Medieval Fair
Location: 29847 FL-70 E., Myakka City
Sarasota Medieval Fair is returning for its 17th year to transportguests back in time through several family-friendly games and activities this month.
The fair is located in the Woods of Mallaranny, a 47-acre farm east of Lakewood Ranch, full of large oak trees and green pastures.
“We also have live demonstrations of blacksmithing, glassblowing. There’s a bunch of livestock out here, cows, baby pigs, warhorse rides,” Sarasota Medieval Fair Combat Director Branden Schulz said.
The annual event will feature dozens of live performances, including human combat chess and jousting. You can also check out the pub crawl, numerous food vendors, and family-friendly activities.
The fair is open Saturday and Sunday, in addition to Nov. 28, Nov. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
4. Arc Tampa Bay’s Annual Festival of Trees
Location: 1501 N Belcher Rd., Clearwater
The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation’s Festival of Trees is back with hundreds of decorated trees and wreaths to check out this weekend.
The Festival of Trees is celebrating its 37th year with live performances, local vendors, crafts for kids, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself.
Local organizations have decorated more than 300 trees and wreaths for people to buy at the festival. If anyone chooses to purchase one of the 7-foot trees, they will be delivered to their home. The tree and wreath sales will benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by The Arc Tampa Bay.
The festival will be open from Friday through Friday. General admission is $5 and admission is free for children under 5.
5. Great Gator Gobble Day
Location: 4600 US-19 ALT, Palm Harbor
The alligators at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary will enjoy their own Thanksgiving feast on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The gators will be fed whole turkeys and “play football.” Guests will be able to view gator-made “paw print turkeys,” as well as view the chimps, lemurs and other animals on site, as well.
6. Suncoast Jazz Festival
Location: Multiple locations throughout Clearwater Beach
The Suncoast Jazz Festival has been bringing a variety of performances to Clearwater Beach for over 30 years, and this year, the festival lineup will include over 80 musicians and high-profile performers.
It all begins on Friday. The festival helps support young local musicians and schools by helping them buy instruments families may not be able to afford and giving them opportunities to perform at events.
Different styles of jazz will be showcased at five indoor venues between Sheraton Sand Key Resort and Marriott Suites Sand Key. Styles include classic jazz, swing, big band, zydeco, Cajun and even rockabilly.
The Suncoast Jazz Festival will take place Friday through Sunday You can get tickets and the full lineup on their website.
7. Winter Beach at the Pier
Location: 800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg
The St. Pete Pier is transforming into a winter wonderland this year, debuting on Saturday.
The new holiday tradition at the pier will feature an outdoor ice skating rink, festive food, music, photos with Santa Claus, “snow” days and more.
Guests can also do their holiday shopping for friends and family at the holiday market, which showcases a variety of local vendors and artists.
The rink at Winter Beach will be open through Jan. 17. Admission to the area itself is free, but tickets are on sale for ice skating time for $17 for 75-minute access and skate rental.
8. St. Pete BikeFest
Location: 10575 49th Str. N, Clearwater
The fourth annual St. Pete BikeFest will make its way through the city during a four-day celebration of motorcycles, complete with live music.
The newly-opened OCC Road House and Bert’s Barracuda will host the event between two stages throughout the weekend, from Thursday through Sunday at 6 p.m. Afternoon concerts are complimentary, but evening headliner concerts are ticketed.
Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Choppers stardom, will be on hand on Saturday with a bike show featuring more than 200 motorcycles, in addition to the latest gear, clothing and accessories.
General admission is $10 a ticket, or $50 for a three-day ticket, which includes a ticket or tickets to headling acts.