Jingle Bell Run, Breakfast With Santa Highlight Things to Do in St. Pete
From the sounds of jingle bells along the waterfront, First Friday, and Breakfast with Santa to a parade of boats twinkling with holiday lights and candlelit windows in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, St. Petersburg puts on a holiday celebration full of family traditions this weekend. Motorists may experience periodic road closures, detours or delays due to some weekend's activities.
Four thousand runners decked out in holiday athletic attire jingle their way along St. Petersburg's waterfront on Friday, December 7, as they benefit clients of the Boley Centers. The 30th annual Jingle Bell Run begins at The Pier approach, moves up Bayshore Dr. to Fifth Ave. NE and Vinoy Park, and through the North Shore Pool parking lot before re-tracing the route back to The Pier. Onsite registration for the 30th annual event begins at 6 p.m., with an official start at 7:30 p.m. The event is expected to end around 9 p.m.
Motorists will see parking restrictions along Second Ave. NE; The Pier approach; Bayshore Dr. between Second and Fifth Aves. NE; on Fifth Ave. NE from Bayshore to Vinoy Park; and on Bayshore from Fifth to Seventh Aves. NE. No Parking signs will be posted and meters bagged on affected streets to warn motorists of the impending event. Vehicles in violation of temporary parking restrictions face citation, in addition to towing. Those who park on-street, including residential permit holders, should also ensure vehicles are removed from the affected areas prior to the enforcement period or be subject to a citation and possible towing.
Vehicle traffic will not be permitted on The Pier beginning at 7:15 p.m. to accommodate the event. Shuttles will provide access to The Pier.
The monthly First Friday Get Downtown block party gets underway on Central Ave. between Second and Third Sts. S. at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy food, fun and friends as you get ready for the weekend with musician Allon Sams, featuring the Ries Brothers, who will also perform at Saturday's Holiday Festival in Vinoy Park.
On Saturday, between five and seven hundred participants are expected for the Taking Stock in Children's Strides for Education 5K around Tropicana Field. Proceeds from the event benefit low income and at-risk students in the five surrounding counties, including Doorways scholarship recipients.
Motorists should anticipate possible road closures, detours and/or delays around Tropicana Field as the field travels from the corner of 10th St. S. and Fourth Ave. S. and Fifth Ave. S. to 22nd St. S., where the field will pick up the Pinellas Trail. The field follows the Pinellas Trail, re-entering city streets at Eighth St. S., then travels the remainder of the route via Fourth Ave. S. to the Tropicana Field parking lot at Third Ave. S. Participants will cross the parking lot to enter Tropicana Field and end the event on-field followed by live entertainment and interactive games. The event is expected to wrap up around noon. www.strides4tampabay.com
Or spend the day at the Museum of Fine Arts, starting with Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by story time with Mrs. Claus and Santa's elves. www.fine-arts.org
Shop til you drop and support the local economy at the Grand Central District Holiday Blast. Friday through Sunday, participating retailers will donate 10 percent of each sale to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay. On Saturday, enjoy free trolley rides, freeFall Theatre carolers, judging of the Grand Central District holiday window contest and hubby daycare from 5 to 8 p.m. www.grandcentraldistrict.org
Have an old fashioned holiday with live entertainment, arts and crafts, hayrides and more at Boyd Hill's annual Christmas Jamboree. The event takes place at the Pioneer Settlement, 3130 31st St. S., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free. www.stpete.org/boyd
St. Petersburg's vibrant waterfront sparkles during Saturday's Bruce Watters Jewelers Holiday Festival and Illuminated Boat Parade in Vinoy Park. The 6th annual event returns to downtown from 3 to 10 p.m. with live entertainment, children's activities and features the 26th annual Illuminated Boat Parade. The parade of festively decorated boats departs Bayboro Harbor, passes in front of The Pier, and follows the Vinoy Basin before heading back into Tampa Bay. Organizers say spectators should have a good view of the parade, which is expected to arrive in the Vinoy Basin around 6 p.m., from the event, as well as from along Bayshore Dr. NE and Fifth Ave. NE.
In addition to a location change, the event will cost $5 for ages 13 and over; ages 12 and under are free with paid adult admission. Wristbands for children's area activities are $10. While free parking is available at North Shore Pool, attendees are encouraged to avoid parking in surrounding neighborhoods. Parking is also available in the two city-owned garages at BayWalk, 117 Second St. N., at a cost of $1 for the first four hours up to a maximum of $6. At South Core, 100 First Ave. S., a flat fee of $3 is in effect. Parking is also available in the two Pier lots for $3. www.stpeteboatparade.org
Would-be Wheel of Fortune spinners are invited to vie for a spot on a future taping of the popular game show when the Wheelmobile pulls into St. Petersburg's The Mahaffey on Sunday and Monday, December 9 and 10.
Audition applications will be distributed to all participants one hour prior to each of the day's three shows and a random drawing will determine which participants are called for auditions. Doors open at noon, with auditions held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday, doors open at 3 p.m., with auditions held from 5 to 9 p.m. www.themahaffey.com
Meanwhile, eight homes in one of St. Petersburg's oldest neighborhoods dress in their holiday best during the 15th annual Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association's Candlelight Tour of Homes on Sunday, December 9. The event features live performances by bell ringers and choirs, with trolley transportation available. www.honna.org
Other holiday events on Sunday include the 9th annual Chanukah and giant jelly bean menorah in South Straub Park, hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg (www.chabadsp.org), the annual AWAPS Santa Luncheon at Albert Whitted Airport (www.awaps.org),and ice skating, visits with Santa and lighted holiday park displays along the waterfront (www.stpeteparksrec.org/snowfest.html). In addition, the Second Saturday Art/Gallery Walk provides gift givers with a unique shopping experience, Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA continues its run with performances under the Grand Chapiteau in the Tropicana Field parking lot, and Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition remains docked at The Mahaffey through March 6, 2013. www.themahaffey.com