TAMPA, Fla. - Frosted trees and falling snow might not be what you expect in downtown Tampa, Florida - but step inside the Curtis Hixon Park Winter Village between Nov. 22 and Jan. 5, 2020 - and that's what you'll get.
With temperatures in the 70s, the ribbon was cut on the outdoor ice rink Friday. Ashly Anderson, with Tampa’s Downtown Partnership, says it’s possible with a lot of planning.
“You get an ice rink to work in Florida with a lot of preparation and a lot of electricity,” she said.
For the fourth year, the Winter Village will hold holiday festivities likee pop-up shops, food, live entertainment, ice skating, and sand sculptures. It’ll also include a choreographed light show.
“All of the trees in Curtis Hixon Park are wrapped and they’re timed to music, like the "Frozen" soundtrack,” Anderson said.
Daniel Reyes owns Lida’s Jungle, one of the pop-up shops where visitors can browse for Christmas gifts.
“We carry a lot of tropical and exotic foliage and we try to get more funky stuff than you would see at your box store, just more unusual things,” Reyes said.
Unusual but interesting - like ice skating outdoors in Florida.
“I think it’s a marvel that they can get the rink not to melt,” he laughed. “But you know, good on them, it’s great.”
The lights for Winter Village will go beyond downtown this year, stretching to Gaslight Square Park, and on Sundays, you can board the Winter Village Express, a streetcar that is decked out like the Polar Express and will take passengers around downtown. Tickets are $10 per person.