LAKEWOOD RANCH — Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’ll be riding in a horse-drawn carriage when he arrives Dec. 14 on Lakewood Ranch Main Street for this year’s Holidays Around the Ranch.
The annual family-friendly event, hosted by Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp., will start at 6 p.m. with Santa’s “sleigh” making its way from the Polo Grill restaurant toward Lakewood Ranch Cinemas.
A tree-lighting ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., and members of Harvest United Methodist Church’s choir also will help lead the crowd in Christmas carols immediately before and after the lighting ceremony.
Attendees also can enjoy other festivities, including photos with Santa, face painting, sugar cookie decorating and crafts, performances by local dance teams, a trackless train, “ice” skating and more.
“It’s a fun family-holiday tradition in the community that’s well anticipated,” said Lori Basilone, event organizer and director of Community Activities. “The sponsors offer activities or giveaways at their tables, too.
“It’s a free event, but we ask everybody who comes to donate either a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank (of Manatee) or a toy for Toys for Tots (if they can).”
Food and drink, including hot cocoa, coffee and eggnog, will be available for purchase, as well.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
Holidays Around the Ranch
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14
Where: Lakewood Ranch Main Street
What: Event starts at 6 p.m. with Santa riding down Main Street. A tree lighting ceremony follows at 6:30 p.m. Festivities include pictures with Santa, ice skating, crafts, face painting, Dance Heads Florida, music and more.
Cost: Free; guests encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or a toy to donate to local charities.
6 to 6:15 p.m. — MSA Heat
6:15 to 6:45 p.m. — Tree lighting & Harvest United Methodist Choir
6:45 to 7:05 p.m. — Studio of Dance and Music
7:05 to 7:20 p.m. — KC & the Sunshine Dancers
7:20 to 7:30 p.m. — Lakewood Ranch Silver Stars
7:30 to 7:38 p.m. — Silver Lightning Dance Team
7:40 to 8:05 p.m. — Dance team performances
8:05 to 8:10 p.m. — Silver Lightning Dance Team
8:10 to 9 p.m. — Southeast High School Chamber Orchestra
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The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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