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Cities and organizations usher in the spirit of Christmas

Published:   |   Updated: December 18, 2013 at 05:01 PM

Santa to hitch a ride with Dunedin firefighters

 
DUNEDIN — The Dunedin Fire Department will conduct Operation Santa again now through Monday. Each night at 6 p.m. firefighters will escort Santa through town on a festively decorated fire truck.
 
Santa will travel along a pre-determined route making five stops at various locations throughout the city. The Santa truck will then “cruise the Dunedin Causeway” before returning to the fire station at approximately 8:30 pm. 
 
The route begins at fire station 61 (1940 Ed Eckert Dr.), heading east on Michigan Blvd to the Dunedin Community Center for his first stop followed by a stop at Vanech Park. He will then proceed south on Keene Road to S.R. 580, and head west to the Dunedin Middle School. His next stop will be the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium before making a trip through downtown to Edgewater Park for his final stop.
 
For more information, call (727) 298-3102 or visit www.dunedin.gov.com.
 

De Soto National Memorial 5th Annual Winter Luminary Walk

 
BRADENTON – The De Soto National Memorial will light its trails with thousands of luminaries on Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
 
Along the trail historical re-enactors will tell stories of how the Spanish and Native American cultures celebrated the winter season. The evening will also be full of historic melodies by Native American flute musician Juan R. Leon and by traditional European musician and solo violinist Amberly Waterman.
 
All events and activities at De Soto National Memorial are free.
 
The DeSoto National Memorial is located at 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy. in Bradenton.
 
For more information, call (941) 792-0458 or visit www.nps.gov/deso.
 

More than a million LEDs light up Largo Central Park this holiday season

 
LARGO – Families looking for some sparkle over the holidays will enjoy an amazing light display of over a million lights in Largo Central Park.
 
From now through Jan. 3 families are invited for free to walk through the park and see the dazzling displays of trains, toy bears, carolers, toy soldiers and many more. Starting Friday there will be a campfire each night to enjoy after strolling through the park.
 
Largo Central Park is located at 101 Central Park Drive, Largo 33771. For more information, call the Parks Department at (727)586-7415 or visit LargoParks.com.
 

Holiday lights in the botanical gardens will twinkle

 
The Florida Botanical Gardens presents the popular Holiday Lights in the Gardens every evening now through Jan. 1.
 
In addition to laser lights, flora and fauna displays, and decorated trees, a seven-foot gingerbread house with more than 600 lights, a 30-foot tall white swan and a five-foot tropical parrot have been added to the traditional array of lights lining paths with nightly free entertainment and visits from Santa Claus. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
 
Suggested donation $2 per person (13 years and older).
 
In addition, a dog parade is planned for Sunday, Dec. 29 starting at 1 p.m. Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Visit www.flbg.org or call (727) 582-2100 for information. 
 
 

Holidays at the Heritage Village will be enchanting

 
LARGO – Share the holiday season at Pinellas County’s Heritage Village, enchanting visitors to this 21-acre living history museum now through Dec. 29.
 
Historical houses will be decorated true to their time period, locality and lifestyle, from an elaborately decorated Victorian home to a simply adorned 1852 log cabin. Heritage Village is located at 11909 125th Street North in Largo.
 
For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/heritage or call (727) 582-2123.  The village is closed each Monday and Tuesday, and on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
 

Library friends host holiday gift basket sale

 
LARGO –The Friends of the Largo Library is hosting a holiday gift basket sale through Saturday.
 
Themed baskets will be on display and available for purchase in the lobby and bookstore of the library located at 120 Central Park Drive.
 
For more information, call the bookstore at (727) 586-7392.
 

MOSI plays host to Santa’s satellite workshop

 
Kids of all ages can create stocking stuffers and gifts for their loved ones
 
TAMPA — Always a big fan of MOSI, Santa Claus has decided to set up his first-ever satellite toy workshop in MOSI’s inventor’s studio, Idea Zone, now through Dec. 31. 
 
Kids of all ages can think, design and create cool stocking stuffers and gifts for their parents and grandparents in preparation for the big day.
 
“I’m really proud of the work my friends at MOSI are doing down in Tampa,” said Santa Claus on a recent Skype interview. “Idea Zone is the perfect place for my first satellite workshop. The creativity and innovation in that studio are perfect for all the boys and girls on my list.”
 
And since the best gifts in the world are the ones that are made from the heart, Bay area kids will have the opportunity to transform recycled materials into a variety of toys and inventive play things that spin, fly and excite.
 
Santa’s Workshop at MOSI will be open through Dec. 31 and is included with MOSI admission. For more information, call 813-987-6000 or visit MOSI.org.

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