Plus, a potential name change for the Rays
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Today’s Forecast

74º | Sunny | 0% chance of rain | Sunrise: 7:22 a.m. | Sunset: 5:49 p.m. | Tides | Old Tampa Bay | High: 11:16 a.m. + 10:01 p.m. | Low: 2:58 p.m. | Clearwater Beach | High: 6:59 a.m. + 6:21 p.m. | Low: 12:16 p.m.

🎄It’s looking merry and bright outside
Make sure you pack your camera for the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. | Photo via @cityoftampa
‘Tis the season for (fake) snow, hot cocoa and toddy, presents (wrapped with care), and our own festive Tampa Bay area traditions.

Now that we’ve officially crossed into December, here’s a few events to mark on your calendar:

Editor’s note: This is just a handful of our area’s offerings this month. Find more local celebrations in our events calendar.
  • SantaFest and Tree Lighting | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 1 p.m. | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa | Free | Watch the festive parade make its way through downtown Tampa, enjoy the party at SantaFest at Curtis Hixon, the tree lighting (all seven of them), and a holiday classic movie.
  • The Heights District Sixth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 5-9 p.m. | Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa | Free | This year’s event features visitors from the North Pole, live performances, a holiday market, seasonal cocktails for purchase, a toy drive, and of course, the tree lighting.
people mill around lit trees

The glitzy new neighborhood is decked out for the holidays.


Photo by Water Street Tampa

  • The Holiday Promenade | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 5-9 p.m. | Water Street Tampa, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa | Free | Shop goods from local vendors + enjoy seasonal activities and performances while taking in the neighborhood’s holiday décor.
  • Chanukah in the City | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 5:30 p.m. | South Straub Park, 250 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg | Free | Head to the waterfront park for a menorah lighting, aerialist performance, Chanukah gelt drop, latkes + donuts, and raffles.
  • Hanukkah Street Fair | Sunday, Dec. 10 | 5-7 p.m. | Krate at the Grove, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel | Free | Head to the outdoor venue for the helicopter gelt drop, cirque adventure and aerialist show, stilt walkers, live DJ beats, rock climbing, bungee trampoline, and 60-ft obstacle course.
  • Holiday Lighted Boat Parade | Saturday, Dec. 23 | 6 p.m. | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa | Free | Hole up at the downtown park or the Riverwalk to watch the festive flotilla make its way down the Hillsborough River — or register your own boat for a fee to join in the contest.
  • Kwanzaa St. Pete Celebration | Tuesday, Dec. 26 | 5-8 p.m. | St. Pete Youth Farm, 1650 12th St. S., St. Petersburg | Free | Join St. Pete Youth Farm and Gallerie 909 for the 10th annual celebration on the first night of Kwanzaa, Umoja (unity).
What holiday activity are you most excited for?

A. Shopping at the markets
B. Taking in the light displays
C. Listing to some holiday tunes
D. Watching festive movies
Friday, Dec. 1
  • COhatch St. Petersburg Grand Opening | Friday, Dec. 1 | 4-7 p.m. | COhatch St. Petersburg, 15 Eighth St. N., St. Petersburg | Free with reservation | Tour the new coworking space, sip on brews from King State, and have fun at the dunk tank, 360 photo booth, and sand dollar painting booth.
  • The Great Christmas Cookie Bakeoff Musical | Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 17 | Times vary | Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., #151, Tampa | $25-$50 | This musical features eight young cookie chefs battling it out for first prize at the Cookie Coliseum — opt in for the opening night Champagne Celebration for an additional $25.
Saturday, Dec. 2
  • F45 Bootcamp in the Commons | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 9-10 a.m. | Midtown Tampa, 3659 Midtown Dr., Tampa | Free | Try out the signature 45-minute, high-impact workout for free — bring your own water bottle.
  • Ruskin Seafood Festival | Saturday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3 | Times vary | E. G. Simmons Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin | $10 | Stop by the 33rd annual event for yummy seafood and other local eats, drinks, live music, a sportsman expo, an arts and crafts market, and a kids zone.
  • VOGs and Eggnog | Saturday, Dec. 2 | 1-3 p.m. | Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg | Free | Learn more about oysters while making your own vertical oyster garden and sipping on eggnog.
Sunday, Dec. 3
  • Indie Flea presents St. Pete Flea | Sunday, Dec. 3 | 12-4 p.m. | St. Pete Flea, 2606 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg | Free | Shop wares from 200+ vendors, pick up local eats, and enjoy live music at the popular outdoor street market.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers | Sunday, Dec. 3 | 4:05 p.m. | Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa | $35+ | Cheer on the Bucs as they try to keep their playoff hopes alive against division rival Carolina.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill is opening another TBAY location. The beach bar is taking over Mangos Restaurant and Tiki Bar at the DoubleTree Beach Resort Tampa Bay, North Redington Beach. The revamped space will open in the first quarter of 2024. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
  • Former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker is pitching the city on changing the Tampa Bay Rays’ name. Baker has met with multiple council members about including a change to the “St. Petersburg Rays” as part of the new stadium deal. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Meet the Trash Wolf. St. Pete resident Mateo Smith roams the streets of TBAY picking up gobs of litter — dressed in a full wolf costume. Smith cleans the path of trash and draws attention to just how much trash we throw on the street. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Comedian, actor, and podcast host Sebastian Maniscalco is coming to the Cigar City next year. Maniscalco plays Amalie Arena on his “It Ain’t Right” tour Saturday, Dec. 7, 2024 at 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale today. (WMOR)
  • St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation is hosting the “St. Pete Gives Back Food Drive” benefiting Reach St. Pete. Now through Wednesday, Dec. 20, residents can drop off non-perishable food and hygiene items at Azalea Recreation Center. (I Love the Burg)
  • Calling all farmers market aficionados. Tampa Bay Markets is launching Sunday Market St. Pete on the campus of St. Petersburg High School (2501 Fifth Ave. N.). The weekly market will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting Sunday, Jan. 7. (I Love the Burg)
  • The Dairy Inn is closed for business — it appears. The longtime St. Pete ice cream shop appears gutted with its sign and umbrellas missing as well. The Crescent Lake spot’s Instagram bio reads “Relocating. Look forward to updates.” (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Ready, set, row. A USF rowing team is setting off across the Atlantic later this month in the “World’s Toughest Row” challenge. Team “Salty Science,” made up of four female marine biologists and their professor, will log 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua. (WUSF News)
Don’t miss these shipping deadlines for the holidays
Four presents outside a front door.
Snail mail may be faster than Santa. | Photo by Element5 Digital via Pexels
Get wrapping. It’s time to send your holiday presents. Don’t forget — Hanukkah is Dec. 7-15, so plan to ship ASAP.

Have packages that must arrive before Dec. 25? We’ve got when and where to ship them.

FedEx deadlines

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13 | Ground economy
  • Friday, Dec. 15 | 5-Day shipping
  • Monday, Dec. 18 | 4-Day shipping
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19 | 3-Day shipping (ground) + express saver
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20 | 3-Day shipping (home) + 2-Day shipping (ground)
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 | 2-Day shipping (home) + 1-day shipping (ground)
  • Friday, Dec. 22 | 1-Day home delivery + same day
Find your nearest FedEx.

UPS deadlines

  • Tuesday, Dec. 19 | UPS 3-Day Select
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20 | UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 | UPS Next Day Air
Find your nearest UPS.

United States Postal Service deadlines

  • Saturday, Dec. 16 | USPS Ground Advantage + First-Class Mail
  • Monday, Dec. 18 | Priority Mail
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20 | Priority Mail Express
Find your nearest Post Office.

Last year, Amazon delivered more packages to homes than both UPS + FedEx. If you’re looking for last-minute gifts, check out our Editors’ Picks.
The Buy
Only the perfect gift for cat lovers.
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I’m working on a story about the best holiday treats around town (Think: coffee creations, desserts, pastries, cocktails). Do you have any faves we should mention? Let me know.
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