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Dst In Herald Tribune – 11/6/23

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Top Christmas, winter holiday events in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte 

Holiday parades — both on land or by boat — light shows, chances to meet Santa and more winter season fun in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Jimmy Geurts

Sarasota Herald-Tribune | November 6, 2023

We haven’t reached Thanksgiving on November’s local events calendar, yet even before then, area celebrations are already starting for Christmas and the winter holiday season.

University Town Center will help kick off this year’s winter holiday festivities Saturday with Santa’s Grand Arrival Parade which, along with the parade featuring Santa, will also offer a fireworks display and light show. That’ll soon be followed by other holiday parades — both on land or by boat — light shows, and opportunities to meet Santa in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Anna Maria Island, Venice, North Port, Palmetto and Punta Gorda. Santa’s Grand Arrival Parade will also feature a local celebrity who’s debuting an inaugural holiday-themed circus show.

Here are the biggest winter holiday events taking place in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties this year, listed in chronological order. Event details are subject to change.

Christmas Carol Trolley: Letters to Santa

The 90-minute holiday tour for the whole family with the Trolley Troubadours jumping aboard to entertain you also includes a carol singalong, holiday stories, jokes, trivia and a tour of Sarasota’s downtown neighborhood lights. Dec. 5-30; Discover Sarasota Tours, 1826 Fourth St., Sarasota; $49.99 adults, $29.99 kids ages and 3 up (includes free soft drinks for kids and beer/wine for adults before boarding; 941-260-9818;

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