Weekend full of holiday parades, ‘Holiday Sparkle’ in Tampa Bay

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas across Tampa Bay!

A variety of parades will be held this weekend; from lighted boats to a fuzzy parade on four legs, it’s going to be festive and cheery across the area.

If parades aren’t your thing, you can attend a variety of performances, like the “Nutcracker” or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who will be performing twice at Amalie Arena.

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 online@wfla.com.

1. ‘Nutcracker’ at the Straz Center

Location: 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa

“Nutcracker,” the popular holiday tradition that dates back more than a hundred years, is being presented at The Straz Center starting this Friday.

About 150 dancers, some as young as 6 years old, have been rehearsing since September for this week’s performance.

“Nutcracker” will be performed Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6 p.m. You can find more information about buying tickets on the Straz Center’s website.

2. Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Location: Tampa Riverwalk

The parade begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the southern tip of Davis Islands. It will travel past the Convention Center, up to the Heights and turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf, where judging will occur.

Judges are pairs from Big Brothers, Big Sisters. They will award first, second and third place winners for both sailboats and motor boats.

Registration is required to participate in the parade for a fee of $75.

3. Kayak Santa Parade

Location: 69 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater

This Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., those in the holiday spirit are invited to drop off a toy for local charities. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes and lights and decorate their kayaks for the parade.

4. Clearwater Holiday Pet Paw-rade

Location: 612 Cleveland St, Clearwater

Furry friends are welcome to the Paw-rade at Station Square Park in Clearwater on Saturday. Free registration for the paw-rade begins at 12 p.m. and the parade itself begins at 1 p.m.

The event also includes pet photos with Santa and the Grinch, as well as costume contests (with a suggested donation to enter), prizes, treats and more.

All proceeds will benefit SPCA Tampa Bay.

5. Joy of Giving Celebration

Location: 2011 E Sligh Ave, Tampa

The Bullard Family Foundation is once again partnering with Metropolitan Ministries to host its annual Joy of Giving celebration at Thaddeus M. Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School.

Thaddeus Bullard – also known as Titus O’Neil, a World Wrestling Entertainment Global Ambassador – and his foundation, along with Metropolitan Ministries, will hold the event on Saturday at 9:01 a.m.

The collaboration will provide food boxes for more than 40,000 families and toys to more than 50,000 children.

A Gasparilla-style parade powered by WWE will kick off the event and families will enjoy complimentary food and entertainment.

Unwrapped presents will be available for students and their siblings from Thaddeus M. Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School, Foster Elementary, James Elementary and Dr. Carter G. Woodson PK-8.

6. Holiday Sparkle with the St. Petersburg Opera

Location: 2145 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg & 400 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg

There are two more chances this weekend to catch the St. Petersburg Opera’s non-denominational holiday show on Saturday at Opera Central and Sunday at North Straub Park. The park’s concert will be a “POPera-style” family-friendly show.

“Get in the spirit with eight singers and dancers, multiple instrumentalists, and a wide array of catchy tunes and beautiful songs,” the opera’s website says of the show.

7. 32nd Annual Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic ‘Leftovers’ races

Location: 1060 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater Beach

After missing 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic is back for its 32nd year. The event will be held at Sand Key Park and features a 5K, a 10K and one mile kids’ race.

This year is the first “leftover” race, meaning participants get to choose from shirts and medals from previous years.

There will also be a pancake breakfast and family and spectators are welcome to attend.

Proceeds will benefit the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Police Athletic League and others, according to the event’s website.

8. Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Amalie Arena

Location: 401 Channelside Dr, Tampa

Tickets are still available for both Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The shows will “celebrate 25 years of Christmas Eve and other stories,” according to the group’s website.

Ticket prices range from $35 to $700.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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