Brandon kicks off the holiday season in a grand way — and with tradition — as the town comes together for the annual lighting of the community Christmas tree at Center Place, 619 Vonderburg Dr., Brandon, Wednesday, Dec. 5.
The annual event has grown in stature, if not in numbers, as the event continues to take place in the Mook Gallery room of Center Place.
Seating is limited but that doesn’t matter as the room fills to capacity with young kids sitting on the floor up front and adults and older kids lining up alongside and behind the seated audience.
As for the actual lighting of the tree, that takes place outside, as attendees glance out to the tree situated in the lake to the east of Center Place, in the lake visible from Parsons Avenue, just south of Brandon Regional Hospital and north of Clayton Park.
The event this year kicks off at 7 p.m. at Center Place.
The evening concludes with the lighting of the Christmas tree, with Santa Claus himself pulling the switch.
The tree is outfitted in advance with the electrical talents and generosity of Cox Electric.
The night’s events are sponsored as well by the Community Roundtable.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TREE LIGHTING EVENT
- The program is scheduled to begin with a Boy Scouts colorguard.
- Scheduled to perform is youth talent from Brandon Ballet, Kim Hall’s School of Dance, Leonard’s Academy of Dance, Music Showcase, Tampa Bay Family Theater, the Spotlights from Brandon Academy and the Ambassadors show choir from Bloomingdale High.
- The Ambassadors' rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has become a much-awaited — and remembered — seasonal treat.
- Santa has agreed to stay as long as he needs to for children and their folks to snap their own holiday photos.
- As for the cost, don’t mention it. The annual event is a gift from the community to the community and there is no charge.
For information, call Center Place at 813-685-8888.