TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Winter Village presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning, featuring Downtown Tampa’s outdoor, real ice rink, is now open at Curtis Hixon Park.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs and Tampa Downtown Partnership President and CEO Lynda Remund officially kicked off the holiday tradition with a ribbon-cutting this afternoon.
New to the celebrations this year: A Tampa Bay Lighting-themed 360 degree holiday light show with illuminated trees synchronized to music.
“We’re always looking for ways to enhance the Winter Village experience, and this will be our most memorable year yet,” said Shaun Drinkard, senior director of public programming and operations at the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “We’re excited to partner with the Tampa Bay Lightning this year! You will see a lot of new holiday decorations in honor of our back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions.”
Also, new this year, the festivities expanded at Lykes Gaslight Square Park. “Sweet Street at The Square” features Sweet Mama’s Ice Cream shop along with beautiful lighting, local shops, and activations every Sunday.
“Weâve grown the celebrations throughout Downtown Tampa andÂ created a destination that everyone can enjoy for the entire holiday season,” said Lynda Remund, President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “We’re also happy to support our small businesses who can help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.”
The 5,000 square-foot ice skating rink at Curtis Hixon Park is open 7-days a week. Tickets must be bought online in advance, and reservations are subject to weather and rink conditions.
Another fan-favorite, the Winter Village Express, has returned this year. The family-friendly excursion will take you from Downtown’s Whiting Station to Ybor and back on the TECO Line Streetcar. The one-hour trip features a holiday sing-along, holiday trivia, milk & cookies, and added surprises along the way. The Winter Village Express only runs on Sunday evenings.
“We are thrilled to bring back the Winter Village Express,” added Remund. “As we continue to return to normalcy, we are resuming some of the attractions people have grown to love and adding in new ones every year, while also keeping safety protocols in place to ensure everyone stays healthy this holiday season.”
There’s plenty to do at the Winter Village free of charge. Random Santa appearances will surprise families, and the Curtis Hixon Choo-Choo is sure to delight children. The 12-seat, three-car trackless train makes 10-minute loops around the park during the light show.
Shopping and dining offerings also turn the park setting into an outing for any age. For more information and purchase tickets for the ice rink and Winter Village Express, go to WinterVillageTampa.com