‘A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play’

The Off Broadway Palm Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” through Dec. 25 at 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. The Charles Dickens classic comes alive on stage, but with a twist. The entire family will enjoy this unique theatrical experience that will take you back in time to the days of radio plays. 239-278-4422, visiting BroadwayPalm.com.

Huge Christmas Items Rummage Sale

A huge Christmas Items Rummage Sale will be held in the Englewood United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 700 E. Dearborn St., Englewood, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 29-30. Visit with Santa both days between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. For the fourth year, the donated Christmas items are being made available in time to decorate for Christmas. This sale also frees up space to display more treasures at the Colossal Rummage Sale that fills the Fellowship Hall inside and out, scheduled for its 33rd year on Feb. 13-15. All proceeds from the special sale will benefit the church’s Foundations Early Childhood Education Center that provides full and part time care for children ages 1 through 5. Founded in 1978, Foundations is one of the longest running child care programs in the Englewood area. Including in its offerings are winter and summer camps with fun activities, field trips, and snacks. The Center is known for its high quality learning environment with plenty of one-on-one interaction. This sale will go toward helping Foundations with its goal to keep costs to families affordable and fund staffing that keeps the adult-to-child ratios small. For information, visit www.englewoodumc.net or call 941-681-3169.

Venice Holiday Parade

The Venice Holiday Parade, set for Nov. 30 in downtown Venice, is back on West Venice Avenue this year. Pre-parade entertainment will be in two locations to include the corner of Harbor Drive and W. Venice Ave. and the corner of Nokomis Ave. and W. Venice Ave, starting at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30. The parade will begin at Park Boulevard at 7 p.m. The parade officially begins at the corner of Park Blvd. and W. Venice Ave (south side). It will proceed on the north side of W. Venice Ave. after crossing over Harbor Drive. From there, it will make a turn on Nokomis Avenue and go all the way down to Turin Street, where it turns right, ultimately making its way to the Venice Community Center, where the parade ends. The parade route will be closed to all traffic at 3 p.m. Nov. 30. This includes both side of W. Venice Ave. and N. Nokomis Ave. between Tampa and Venice avenues. For public safety purposes, these closings may be adjusted as needed. Chairs may be placed along the parade route after 6 p.m. Nov. 27 by the public (at your own risk). No bleachers, couches, rope, stakes, tarps, canopies or mats please; these items will be removed by Public Works. Any chairs placed before 6 p.m. Nov. 27 will also be disposed of by Public Works. Remember: no chairs set up or spectators allowed in the medians in the 100-300 blocks of W. Venice Ave. Public parking will be available at Venice High School. For more information, please visit the parade website at veniceholidayparade.com or call 941-488-8780.

Gingerbread House Workshop

The City of North Port’s Parks & Recreation Department will host a Gingerbread House Workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 30 at the George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way, North Port. The cost to participate is $15 for the first house and $10 for every additional house. All supplies will be provided. Pre-registration is recommended; limited space available. If desired, your completed gingerbread house will be taken to City Hall for display and entered into a People’s Choice contest during the Poinsettia Festival Dec. 7 at City Center Campus, 4970 City Hall Blvd. For more information or to register, contact Parks & Recreation at 941-429-7275.

Santa at Fishermen’s Village

Santa will be at Fishermen’s Village through Dec. 23. Bring your camera to capture the moment. Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Visit www.fishville.com for more information.

Founders’ Day Week

Punta Gorda will celebrate its annual “Founders’ Day Week” this year starting on Dec. 1-7 with many holiday and history related events. Among the many activities will be the Punta Gorda Historical Society’s “Holidays Around the World” at the History Park when all the historic homes will be open from 2-8 p.m. featuring celebrations from various cultures. Also, featured, will be “Santa’s Winter Wonderland” at the historic courthouse on Taylor, historic talks at the Blanchard House, Punta Gorda History Center and Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, trolley tours, Visual Arts Center displays and much more. A “POP UP” cache will be a fun way to discover your local history while visiting local merchants. Other special events are also being planned to take place downtown, as well as the traditional annual Garden Club home tours and lighting of the town’s Christmas Tree. For more information visit www.puntagordafoundersweek.com or facebook.com/puntagordafoundersweek.


Join the Venice Concert Band as they herald in the holiday season with a “Holiday Treasures” concert celebrating the Hanukah and Christmas seasons in the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, at 7 p.m. Dec. 2.

The featured soloist will be tenor Beckett Phanmiller, a senior at Venice High School. www.veniceconcertband.org.

Seasons Readings

The Friends of the Shannon Staub Public Library will have a book sale from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the library on the Sarasota Technical College campus, 4675 Career Lane, North Port. There will be great bargains on used books, CDs, DVDs, plus branded cookbooks, note cards, and gift cards, stuffed animals and decorative holiday items, and books signed and donated to the Friends by local authors. Visit www.friendsofsspl.org.

Santa’s Winter Wonderland

As part of the week-long Founder’s Day celebrations, Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections Paul A. Stamoulis, and his staff are bringing Santa’s Winter Wonderland to the Historic Courthouse (226 Taylor St, Punta Gorda). Children of all ages are welcome to venture through the front door where the Polar Express awaits to start your journey through the various sections of the beautifully decorated first and second floors of the courthouse. Santa Claus and his elves, the Grinch and the Elf on the Shelf look forward to seeing you from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1, and again from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 4. The courthouse will be decorated throughout the month of December and open to the public during normal working hours. For more information call 941-833-5400.

Holiday Boutique, Giving Tuesday Used Book Sale

The Grinch won’t steal the Friends of the Shannon Staub Library’s first ever, one-day Holiday Boutique, Giving Tuesday Used Book Sale. It’s set from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Shannon Staub Library on the campus of Sarasota Technical College, 4675 Career Lane, North Port. This festive used book sale, promises to be unlike any other. The event will also feature a drawing for lunch for two in the Suncoast Technical College Culinary Arts Bistro. Giving Tuesday donation canisters will be available throughout the day. Unique to this event will be a display of books signed and donated to the Friends by local authors. The Friends will also be selling great stocking stuffers: FOSSPL branded cookbooks, notecards and gift cards. The boutique will also feature an assortment of stuffed animals and decorative holiday items. Additional information can be obtained at www.friendsofsspl.org.

Holiday Showcase

This year’s Holiday Showcase includes dozens of local businesses and vendors presenting products and services just in time for the holidays. Welcome one and all to an early shopping experience and to meet the ‘coolest Santa ever.’ The Holiday Showcase will benefit educational opportunities for students. Imagine Schools of North Port, 2757 Sycamore St., North Port. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 4. 941-426-2050, ext 202.

Punta Gorda Tree Lighting

Meet Santa, Elsa and Olaf while enjoying live music, food trucks and bounce houses. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Downtown Punta Gorda. 115 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda.

Charlotte County Concert Band presents

‘Holiday Splendor’

The Charlotte County Concert Band has prepared a spectacular holiday concert to put everyone in the mood for this holiday season. The concert, entitled “Holiday Splendor” is full of your favorite sounds of traditional carols — sometimes with a bit of a twist. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda. Tickets are available at www.charlottecountyconcertband.com or at the door the night of the concert.

Santa’s Candyland

Come out and enjoy a family fun free holiday event including games, fun decor, music, letters to Santa, pictures with Santa and more. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 7. (Dec. 6 adaptive). North Charlotte Regional Park, 1120 O’Donnell Blvd, Port Charlotte. 941-613-3230.

Holiday Market

Visit the Visual Arts Center’s Annual Market for handmade holiday decor and gifts. For three days in December, the Visual Arts Center will be transformed into a Holiday Market. Explore a variety of unique gifts, holiday decor, fine art, pottery, jewelry, textiles and more from more than 60 tables of shopping, plus delicious treats. Noon-7 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8. Visual Arts Center of Punta Gorda, 210 Maude St., Punta Gorda. 941-639-8810.

Holly Days Home Tour

Punta Gorda Garden Club’s 26th annual Holly Days Home Tour is Dec. 6-7, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., in the Punta Gorda Historic District. This two-day event is part of the Founders Day Week activities. Club members decorate the homes inspired by this year’s theme, “Coastal Christmas,” using an abundance of fresh and dried greens and flowers. Guests will tour four unique homes in the Historic District as well as the First United Methodist Church. This is meant to be a walking tour and the homes are all located within a short distance from the church. Light refreshments, a poinsettia market and craft sale will be offered in Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church, 507 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda during tour hours. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased from any club member or at the Charlotte County and Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce offices and also at the Visual Arts Center, 210 Maude St., Punta Gorda. On tour days tickets will be sold at the church and at the entrance to each of the homes. Tour proceeds will be used to fund the club’s scholarship program and community projects including four public gardens and donations to several local organizations. For more information call 941-916-3341 or visit www.pggc.org.

Venice Christmas Boat Parade

The lights, the palm trees, the waterways in Venice. Celebrate the holiday season Dec. 7. Starting signal is 6 p.m. The parade starts just north of the Albee Road bridge. There are public viewing areas on the ocean side of the waterway and restaurants opposite. The parade continues down the Intracoastal and out to the channel marker in the jetty, weather permitting, before turning around. Viewing is available on both sides of the jetties in this area. As the parade continues south there are miles of public viewing on both sides of the Intracoastal. Parade turn around is before the Circus Bridge. www.venicechristmasboatparade.com.

Poinsettia Parade & Festival

Gather your friends or family to kick off the holiday season with a whole lot of holly jolly fun at the annual Poinsettia Parade & Festival. This annual North Port tradition will be held from 4 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at City Center Campus, 4970 City Center Blvd., North Port. The festival will take place throughout the grounds of the City Center Campus, including on the front green and inside City Hall. This fun-filled holiday festival will feature a tree lighting ceremony, food vendors, entertainment, performances by local school choruses, attractions, vendors and more. The Poinsettia Parade will march down Sumter Boulevard starting at 5 p.m. from Sylvania Avenue through the City Center Campus, ending at the festival. The theme this year is “Diamond Jubilee” in celebration of the City’s 60th Anniversary. The festival will include a tree lighting ceremony. More information, including a schedule of events, will be made available at www.CityofNorthPort.com/Poinsettia.

‘It’s a Winter Wonderland’

Venetian Harmony Chorus is presenting a double treat in this year’s holiday show. There will not only be wonderful ladies’ barbershop singing from the Venetian Harmony Chorus, but also singing from the Venice Gondoliers, a men’s barbershop chorus. This holiday show called, “It’s a Winter Wonderland” will take place at Christ Lutheran Church, Englewood, at 3 p.m. Dec. 7. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased from any VHC member or by callingl 941-480-1480. You can also purchase them at the door if the show hasn’t already sold out. There will be drawings, prizes during the show and snacks and desserts afterward. Christ Lutheran Church is located at 701 N. Indiana Ave., Englewood. www.venetianharmony.com.

Christmas Craft Fair

Homemade crafts, ornaments, bake shop and more. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 7. Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 1115 Center Road, Venice. 941-497-7286.

Milk and cookies with Santa benefit for PCHS band

Pictures with Santa, Face painting, bake sale including milk for refreshment, an ornament making station and live music all to benefit the Pride of Port Charlotte High School band. 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 at Creative Crapola, 2811 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. 941-613-1333.

Jingle Jam

First Annual Jingle Jam hosted by the Atlanta Braves and West Villages will be from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 7-8 at Cool Today Park. A weekend full of fun family friendly holiday activities including: Holiday Market, Horse and Carriage Rides, Appearances and Photo Opportunities by Santa & Mrs.Claus, Family Events and Contests, Bounce Houses, Holiday-Themed Food and Drinks, Movies, Entertainment and More. Free entry and free parking. {span class=”_5yl5”}{span}Cool Today Park, 18800 S. West Villages Parkway, West Villages.{/span}{/span}

Christmas craft fair

Trinity United Methodist Church, 4285 Wesley Lane, North Port, will have its second annual Christmas Craft Fair from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 7. The community is invited to take part in the church’s “Christmas Experience” with handmade Christmas crafts, gifts to give, home-baked cookies and lots more.

Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Come enjoy some Christmas spirit at the 31st Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The parade will pass by such establishments as Bonita Bill’s, Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellies and Doc Fords. You will also be able to vote online for Best Decorated Boat. It’s a fun and festive time along the waterway, where you may even see a few of Santa’s elves dancing aboard to some festive music. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe, 702 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach. 239-463-6119.

The Charlotte Chorale’s ‘Rejoice and Sing’ Christmas Concert

Ring in the Christmas Season with The Charlotte Chorale’s highly anticipated Christmas choral concert, “Rejoice and Sing” at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda. Celebrate the Christmas season with world renowned music by composers John Rutter, Irving Berlin, and the whimsical story of Mr. Grinch accompanied by local instrumental musicians. Enjoy both traditional and lighthearted Christmas music performed by Charlotte County’s largest community choir under the distinguished and expert direction of Dr. William Dederer. Tickets can be purchased by calling 941-204-0033. Adults $25, students $10. For additional information, visit www.charlottechorale.com.

‘Homes for the Holidays’

There’s no place like Babcock Ranch “Homes for the Holidays” model home tour during Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Parade of Homes Friday, through Dec. 8. Models will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The free event features nine model homes decked out in holiday splendor. Stop by the Woodlea Hall Discovery Center in Founder’s Square, Babcock Ranch’s walkable downtown, for an official Parade of Homes ticket entry booklet. After touring the models, visitors can cast their votes at Table & Tap restaurant for “Best Holiday Home Décor,” “Best Babcock Ranch Home” and “Best Outdoor Living Space” in the Parade of Homes People’s Choice Awards and enter to win raffle prizes including a Visa Gift Card, a Smart TV, an iPad and gift certificates. To learn more about the event and the model homes available for viewing, visit www.BabcockRanchParadeofHomes.com.

SPARCC spreads cheer and hope with holiday luncheon and toy drive

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) celebrates the holiday season in the best of ways — with good friends and an abundance of home-baked goodies at its annual luncheon, Cookies, Cakes & Carolers. The luncheon is held at Michael’s On East, at 11 a.m. Dec. 11. Join in the cheer as we collect gifts for our smallest survivors and raise money to help support SPARCC’s free programs and services. Guests can enjoy a delicious lunch, seasonal music and fabulous raffle items such as a three-night stay on Siesta Key, Van Wezel theater tickets and many more! You are welcome to bring and donate your favorite holiday treats, purchase bake sale goodies, and donate a gift or toy for SPARCC participants and their children. All proceeds benefit SPARCC’s life-saving programs and services. In the 2018 — 2019 fiscal year, SPARCC provided advocacy services and crisis counseling services to 2,610 individuals; offered a safe shelter to 177 adults, 133 children and 19 pets; responded to more than 4,008 Helpline Crisis calls; and provided legal services for injunction for protection to 237 individuals. To learn more or RSVP, visit sparcc.net/events or call 941-365-0208 ext. 110.

Pictures with Santa at Charlotte Animal Hospital

Santa Claus is coming to Charlotte Animal Hospital. 1-5 p.m. Dec. 13 Charlotte Animal Hospital, 4200 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte.. Bring in your pets for free pictures with Santa. No appointment Necessary. 941-625-6111.

Community Christmas Tree Lighting

Our Hometown Community Christmas Tree Lighting will be from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the County Administration Building, 18500 Murdock Cir, Port Charlotte. There will be food trucks, craft vendors, caroling and more. The Official Tree Lighting will take place at dusk.

Charlotte County Christmas Parade

The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce’s 41st Annual Christmas Parade will be Dec. 14. The theme is “It’s A Hometown Community Christmas.” The parade will step off at noon from the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda, next to Charlotte High School, proceed north on Taylor Road and disband at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. The judging stand will be in front of Centennial Bank. Plan to get there early and set up your viewing area. For more information, call the Charlotte County Chamber at 941-627-2222.

‘A Christmas Carol’

A magical Venice Theatre tradition celebrating its 20th year. An original musical adaptation of Dickens’ classic story follows Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Brad Wages) as he reflects on his past, present and possible future. Dec 13-21. Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave., W. Venice. 941-488-1115 or venicetheatre.org.

Bob Cat Holiday Festival

The Bob Cat Market has returned. The market’s Holiday Shopping Festival is set for 1-6 p.m. Dec. 14 at 2245 Bobcat Village Center, North Port. There is lots of shopping plus music, raffles and fun. Admission is free. Bring a new gift to donate. Vendors are wanted; send an email to Tammy@diamondeventsfl.com.

Lights in Bloom

The popular holiday light display at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens returns for its 16th year starting Dec. 14 for 18 select evenings. This year’s display will showcase more than two million lights set in holiday scenes throughout the 15-acre garden. The Gardens will be decked in a wonderland of lights Dec. 14 to 23, 26 to 30 and Jan. 1, 2, and 4. Beautifully lit rainforest butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and more will provide a magical holiday glow throughout the Garden. In addition to new lighted exhibits, Lights in Bloom favorites from prior years such as the Wishing Tree and Santa’s Toyland will be featured. The nightly events also include family activities and games, as well as visits from Santa Claus through Dec. 23, 2019 before returning to the North Pole. Grilled foods, along with beer and wine, will be available for purchase, as well as festive holiday treats like cocoa and hot doughnuts. Lights in Bloom admission for the general public is $25, members are $20. Children 5-12 are $7, and under 5 are free. Also offered is a “Selby Experience” pass for one night only on Dec. 21, 2019. The “Selby Experience” tickets are $150, $40 for 12 years and younger, and 0-3 are free. The ticket includes reserved parking, early admission, open bar, buffet, and holiday desserts. Tickets for Lights in Bloom and for the “Selby Experience” can be purchased at selby.org.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

The 34th Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 14. The best areas for viewing are Marina Jack Restaurant, Bay front Park and City Island. The Bay front Park spectator viewing area has been expanded to include the entire Northern tip of island near the fountain. The VIP viewing area has been moved to the Marina Jack’s fuel dock to allow additional space for spectators. www.sarasotachristmasboatparade.com.

Mistletoe Ball

The theme for the 12th Annual Mistletoe Ball is “Winter Wonderland.” This year’s ball will be spectacular with glitter and glow Dec. 14 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.There will be a new VIP high energy lounge which will begin the evening with music and exclusive surprises. Guests will be greeted with a special cocktail and music provided by Stereophonic DJ, George Mendez. Attendees will be taken into an intriguing Winter Wonderland filled with awe and delight. Take a champagne sip or bid on a worldly trip. Our amazing auction will be filled with famous memorabilia, experiences, and gifts near and far. Don’t miss out on special cocktails from our exquisite bar. Come in black tie or your cocktail best. All event net proceeds benefit The Homeless Coalition’s Mission To Alleviate and Prevent Hunger and Homelessness. For more information or to make your reservation, contact Devorah Kermisch at 941-627-4313, ext. 132 or email devorah.kermisch@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Christmas On Dearborn

4-9 p.m. Dec. 14. Pioneer Park, 300 W. Dearborn Street, Englewood.

Paradise Christmas Fair

Bring the kids out to see Santa while you get that last bit of Christmas shopping done. Hosted by the Local Ladies Social Network. Vendors, crafts, art, food trucks, Santa (noon-2 p.m.) and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at Laishley Park, 100 Nesbit St., Punta Gorda.

Christmas Eve Boat Parade

Sails at 6 p.m. Dec. 21. Sponsored by the PGICA Civic Association. The parade route is within Punta Gorda Isles.There are no specific, designated public viewing areas on the parade route, however every year thousands of spectators find adequate viewing locations along the 4.5 mile route. There are many viewing areas along the new leg of the Parade off of Almar Dr. Do not park on the street. For the parade route, visit http://puntagordaboatparade.com/see-the-parade.

‘Sounds of Christmas’ featuring the Ditchfield Family Singers

Singing Christmas carols is where it all began for the Ditchfield Family Singers and they consider it a true privilege to share this special time of year with you. Journey with them from Victorian England and the traditional carols through the Christmas classics made popular by contemporary performers. Dec 21-22. Venice Theatre 140 Tampa Ave. W. Venice. 941.488.1115 or venicetheatre.org.

‘The Spirit of Christmas’

Come out and ring in the season right. Join Mark Steven Schmidt for his Christmas show special, featuring all of your favorite holiday standards, with a “sing-along” or two. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Lemon Bay Playhouse, 96 W Dearborn St., Englewood. Tickets to the performance can be bought online at www.lemonbayplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 941-475-6756. Reserved seat tickets are $23.

Lighting of the Menorah

The public is cordially invited for the holiday celebration of Chanukah at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 (seventh night of Chanukah) for the lighting of the Menorah in front of the main entrance to Fishermen’s Village. Each night an additional light is kindled until the Menorah is ablaze with eight beautiful lights in celebration of Chanukah. The message of the menorah is a universal one, expressing the importance of bringing light, warmth and holiness to the darkest places. Chabad of Charlotte County, Rabbi Jacobson will be among those who will light the candles. Children participating will receive chanukah treats. There will be a children’s performance by ‘The junior jacappelia’. Chabad of Charlotte County is a proud member of the worldwide Chabad movement, dedicated to bringing the message and beauty of Judaism to the Jewish community residing in Charlotte County, by providing educational, spiritual, religious and cultural events and programs in a non-judgmental environment. For more information contact Chabad of Charlotte County at 941-833-3381 or www.chabadofcharlottecounty.com. Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Visit www.fishville.com for full holiday event details.

Polar Plunge

Not only polar bears float in the winter waters. Join us at the North Port Aquatic Center for a special chilly day. Slide down the Tarpon Twister, land among the ice cubes and you will be chillin’ as you float down the Relaxahatchee Lazy River. You just may find a specially marked “ice cube” to win. It’s $5 to per person for those who are entering the recreational side of the facility, and you can register either online or at the aquatic center. 1-3 p.m. Jan. 4 at the North Port Aquatic Center, 6205 W. Price Blvd., North Port. 941-429-7275


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