TARPON SPRINGS — The city and civic organizers will continue ringing in the holidays this weekend.
After an estimated 40,000 people showed up last Friday for the second There’s Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs, another solid turnout is expected for Saturday’s Christmas parade.
“We figure we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 people,” Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce President Sue Thomas said. “We added a whole block and it was still just as crowded as it was last year.
“It went wonderfully and everybody I’ve talked to just had an absolute ball.”
Saturday’s parade begins at 10 a.m. and begins at the Winn Dixie Plaza on Pinellas Avenue. The route heads north on Pinellas Avenue before turning east on Lemon Street, north on Ring Avenue and west on Tarpon Avenue before ending in Craig Park on Spring Bayou.
A recent addition to this year’s slate of events is the Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band’s involvement. The award-winning ensemble regularly performs during the event but this year it’s coming off last month’s trip to New York City to be part of the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Anyone unable to watch the band on television Thanksgiving morning can see its performance live on Tarpon Avenue, Thomas said.
The parade is projected to last about an hour and 15 minutes. The municipal recreation department will hold its Candy Cane Hunt at Craig Park, complete with a visit from Santa Claus from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Merchants along Tarpon Avenue invite parade-goers to stick around into the evening with a Christmas Stroll. Participating businesses will have treats and gift-giving specials.
Downtown’s the Artists’ Faire Gallery and Gift Shop will present a special event celebrating what would be the 100th birthday of a local icon. Anthony Lerios created hand-crafted brass diving helmets in the early 20th century and his grandson, Nick Toth, has kept his trade alive.