Tampa Downtown Partnership puts protocols in place for a safe and festive holiday celebration
TAMPA, FL – Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, featuring a riverfront ice skating rink and a nightly light show set to holiday music, opens in Downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park on November 20th. New this year to the Tampa holiday tradition: a train ride around the park, offering a unique way to take in the light show.
“Winter Village will be as festive and fun as it always is, and we’ve put protocols in place to make sure it’s safe for everyone as well,” said Shaun Drinkard, Senior Director of Public Programming and Operations at the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “We’re excited to move forward with this event this year. We want to bring a sense of normalcy to a celebratory season even in these unusual times.”
The 5,000 square-foot ice skating rink will operate at half capacity, and tickets must be bought online in advance to eliminate ticket lines. All skaters must wear masks, and ground decals will help them follow social distancing guidelines.
Tickets for the skating rink are available now at www.WinterVillageTampa.com.
But you don’t need a ticket to experience Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. There’s plenty to do at no charge. After dark, the light show is a sight and sound extravaganza, operating from 6 to 10pm. “It’s free, and it’s accessible throughout the park,” Drinkard said.
New this year: The Curtis Hixon Park Choo-Choo, a 12-seat, three-car trackless train making 10-minute loops around the park during the light show. Train cars will be limited to one family at a time and will be sanitized between rides. The Choo-Choo runs from 6 to 9pm.
Random Santa appearances will surprise and delight little ones, and shopping and dining offerings turn the park setting an outing for any age.
The Winter Village Shops are scaled down this year to ensure social distancing, with open-air boutiques allowing for safe gift buying from local craftspeople. Mask wearing will be enforced and vendors will use single-use condiments and utensils for food and beverage purchases. Hand sanitizers will be located throughout Winter Village.
“Our great Florida winter weather and Downtown waterfront park make the Winter Village the perfect setting for a holiday celebration,” said Lynda Remund, President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “Like every public space project we do, we’ve made sure that it’s free and accessible, and this year with safety measures in place for COVID-19. And once you’ve visited Winter Village, there’s plenty more to explore along the Riverwalk and throughout Downtown.”
For more information, go to www.TampasDowntown.com.