Dreaming of a White Sand Cristmas?

The ideal weather is only one of many holidays treats
visitors will find in Clearwater, Florida

Sure, the weather’s fine in Clearwater in the wintertime, but there are plenty of other reasons why it’s a favorite place to spend the holidays. The lack of freezing temperatures and snow doesn’t dampen the holiday spirit of scores of individuals, neighborhood associations, businesses, churches and government entities who each put a unique Florida spin on the season, making Clearwater a festive, magical place with something for nearly everyone!

Below are just a few of the events and activities that make the Clearwater area a special place to spend the holidays.

November
Fall is gorgeous in west central Florida: cloudless blue skies and crisp evening air conspire to create anticipation for the harvest and the official start of the holiday season. Several events in November help get residents and visitors in the mood.

Florida State Chili Cook-off
“Chiliheads” cook, judge and have fun while raising funds for worthwhile charitable organizations.
When: November 4, 2006
Where: Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater
For more information: 727-562-4800

Art Harvest
What began as a small arts gathering has evolved into the largest autumn art show in the Tampa Bay area with a well respected juried show involving over 200 artists. In addition to the artists’ booths, a Children’s Tent provides an interactive art experience and arts and crafts projects related to the current year’s theme.
When: November 4 and 5, 2006
Where: Highlander Park, Dunedin
For more information: 727-738-5523

Christmas Under the Oaks
This popular arts and crafts show features exhibitors from all over the southeastern United States. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Coach Park and find holiday decorations for the home and garden or perfect gifts for friends and family. A small donation benefits the Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club.
When: November 11 and 12, 2006
Where: Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater
For more information: 727-562-4800 or visit www.clearwaterjuniors.org

Florida Pirate Festival
Celebrate 1702, the Golden Age of Piracy, with games, contests, displays, crafts, artisans and educational booths. Unique entertainment, stage shows and food are all part of the fun.
When: November 17 through 19, 2006
Where: Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater
For more information: 727-562-4800 or visit www.piratefair.com

Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival
Ideal for holiday gift shopping, this annual crafts festival features a wide variety of hand-made products, including jewelry, ceramics, pottery, clothing, sculpture, stained glass and dolls. In addition, visitors will find unique pet products, homemade spa products like soaps, lotions and candles, gourmet foods including dips, soups and sauces, as well as green market items such as plants and orchids.
When: November 18 and 19, 2006
Where: Main Street, downtown Dunedin
For more information: 813-962-0388

Festival of Trees
This annual holiday festival features over 100 Christmas trees for sale – lavishly decorated by top designers, local artisans, civic groups, businesses and community leaders. Proceeds benefit children’s programs at Family Service Centers. Live, non-stop entertainment, handcrafted gifts, children’s activities, a large train display and gingerbread village, an animated window display, pictures, and visits with Santa and more round out the weeklong event for the entire family.
When: Nov. 20 through 26, 2006
Where: Harborview Center, downtown Clearwater
For more information: 727-712-3993

St. Petersburg Times Turkey Trot
This event features a one-mile “Gobbler” run, a 5K “Wingding” and 10K “Turkey Trot,” providing Thanksgiving Day fun and a great way for residents and visitors of all ages to shed a few pounds – and guilt – all for a good cause. Proceeds are donated to several local charities. Runners are welcome to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items on race day; all collected foods are given to a local food pantry program.
When: November 23, 2006
Where: Jack White Stadium, Clearwater High School, Clearwater
For more information: 727-442-5838 or visit www.tampabay.com/turkeytrot

December

Clearwater, Florida, is a favor stop for Santa and his reindeer. And who can blame them? From luminaries to lighted boats and Christmas trees, Clearwater is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland….enjoyed by kids from eight to 80! Why, even the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge will find something to put smiles on their faces and in their hearts.

Seasonal Sensations at Pinewood Cultural Park
Celebrate the season throughout the month of December with beautifully decorated pioneer and Victorian homes and trees, dancing and music, entertainment and holiday craft making at Heritage Village. Guests can enjoy nature walks, exhibits and a lighting ceremony at the Florida Botanical Gardens every evening at dusk. Look for special exhibitions and events at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art.
When: December 4 through 31, 2006
Where: Pinewood Cultural Park, Largo
For more information: 727-582-2123

Holiday Parade
This illuminated night parade and festivities are sponsored by the City of Clearwater.
When: December 8, 2006, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: downtown Clearwater (Crest Lake Park to Cleveland Street)
For more information: 727-562-4800

Lighted Boat Parade
This annual tradition features colorful lighted boats parading through the various waterways in Clearwater. A good vantage point is downtown’s Coachman Park.
When: December 9, 2006
Where: throughout Clearwater’s waterways
For more information: 727-447-6000

Outback Bowl Beach Day
This free event features performances and competitions by team bands and cheerleaders as well as a pre-football meeting of the players and coaches who will be facing each other in the Outback Bowl game. The beachside pep rally includes live music, skydivers, a tug-of-war and other contests.
When: December 30, 2006, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort, Clearwater Beach
For more information: 727-461-3222
(Note: the Outback Bowl occurs on Jan. 1, 2007 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa)

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Clearwater brings in the New Year with a family-oriented festival. The event includes a fireworks display and concert in Coachman Park
When: December 31, 2006
Where: Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater
For more information: 727-462-6596

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