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5 Things You Need to Know Today: Dec. 19

Each weekday, we will give you a brief rundown of need-to-know information and events for the day in St. Petersburg.

1. This morning, team captains, mascots and cheerleaders from FIU and Marshall will be giving gifts to sick children at . The two teams are playing in the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg on Tuesday night at .

2. For college football fans of FIU and Marshall, there will be a battle of the bands Monday afternoon on St. Pete Beach at the TradeWinds Resort. The event is free and open to the public. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be a Bowl Block Party at .

3. Mingle with your neighbors from the Old Northeast at the annual Old Northeast Neighborhood Association Holiday Party tonight from 6:30 - p.m. at the . The $5 admission charge covers pizza, salad and dessert; there will be a cash bar for drinks. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or books are welcome. The neighborhood association is collecting items for local charities.

4. The presents a radio play performed live tonight -- complete with sound effects -- and recorded to be broadcast at a later date on WMNF (88.5 FM). Tonight, enjoy the holiday favorite, "It's a Wonderful Life," from the Lux Radio Theatre archives and directed by Rich Rice. Show begins at 7 p.m.

5. Tonight is the St. Petersburg Opera's "Seasonal Sparkle" concert at 7:30 p.m. at the. The Opera Company presents seasonal favorites such as "O Holy Night," "Ave Maria," and the "Hallelujah" chorus with a semi-staged performance of highlights from Acts I and II of "La Boheme."

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