We’re one week closer to Christmas, Harborites, which means we’re right in the heart of Safety Harbor’s jammed-packed holiday special events calendar.
Sandwiched between the tree lighting ceremony last Friday and the holiday parade next Saturday, this weekend should be a bit calmer, but there’s still plenty of fun and games happening, some for good causes, that you’ll want to check out.
Friday night, another one of those holiday events that makes Safety Harbor so unique is the annual arrival of Santa Claus atop a Safety Harbor Fire Department engine.
Every year for the past 40 years, jolly old St. Nick has trekked up and down basically every street in town, waving to smiling kids (and adults) from his perch atop an actual fire-engine-red sleigh, and it’s truly a sight that never gets old.
SHFD Chief Joe Accetta explained how Santa’s ride will be broken up over the next two nights.
“Friday night we will be doing all the streets north of Enterprise Road, and Saturday night we’ll do all the streets south of Enterprise,” he said, noting they will begin at dusk and keep going until all the roads in that section of town have been covered.
Correction – nearly all the roads.
“We go down just about every street except the small cul-de-sacs where our engine won’t fit,” the chief explained. “But over the two nights, we cover pretty much every street in town.”
On Saturday, the Sandwich on Main sandwich shop at 308 Main St. is hosting a fun event that also benefits a good cause.
The Music for Mattie fundraiser will feature live music, a silent auction, gift wrapping for donations and other festivities, all to benefit the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center.
The Sandwich on Main owner Mercedes Ofalt said she and her family wanted to do something that would benefit the family center while also giving back to the community.
“Janet, Claudia and the staff at the neighborhood center come into our shop, and basically my mom, Sally, and I have always appreciated how hard they work,” Ofalt wrote Safety Harbor Connect.
“My whole family has been so in awe of how embraced and supported our shop has been by the entire community,” she added. “We really wanted to try and give back in some way, and we felt like The Mattie Williams Neighborhood Center was a great cause.”
The Music for Mattie event begins at noon and will end at 9:00pm. The band the Crazy Swayzees will play on an outdoor stage beginning at 6:00.
In addition to the fun, games and entertainment, a special sandwich will be revealed, with part of the proceeds from its sales also going to the MWNFC.
“We are making a special sandwich that we are debuting Saturday and running through the day before Christmas Eve,” Ofalt said. “It’s Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey with Sally’s traditional apple raisin stuffing, cranberry sauce and a gravy drizzle served pressed on our homemade Portuguese bread with a homemade Chex mix garnish.”
The sandwich will cost $8.95, one dollar of which will be donated to the Mattie Williams Center.
“We hope this event will be successful for the organization,” Ofalt said. “And we are so thankful to Shawn, all of the musicians who are donating their talents, and the local merchants who are donating to the silent auction.”
On Sunday the Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor will hold its semi-annual arts and crafts show from 9am-4pm in downtown Safety Harbor.
Hundreds of vendors will line Main Street, with thousands of ideal holiday gift items available for sale.
Vendors spaces for the popular street sale are sold out, but if you have any questions about the event, contact the Kiwanis Club at 727-637-3933.
Note: Main Street will blocked off from Bayshore Boulevard to Seventh Street from 6am-6pm for the arts and crafts event.
In addition to these events, Rose Garden Boutique owner Dee Dokumaci is hosting a jewelry show at Cafe Orlando on Saturday night, and for those who have lost loved ones this year or are feeling down around the holidays, the First Presbyterian Church of Safety Harbor is having a ceremony called “Longest Night Blue Christmas” to provide “comfort and hope for the holidays” on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 6:00pm.
As you can see there’s quite a variety of special events happening in Safety Harbor this weekend, providing perfect opportunities to get out there and enjoy some of the sights, smells and sounds of the season.
Happy Holidays, Harborites!