Westchase Santa Parade, Dec. 8: What You Need To Know
The Pre-Flight Santa parade is a must-see event in Westchase.
Once again, Santa will swing through Westchase before his job goes into full swing in a couple weeks.
The neighborhood tradition "Santa Pre-Flight Parade" begins at 2p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and will travel its route through out Westchase.
The parade, in its fifth year, is organized by the Westchase Charitable Foundation with several sponsors from the community including the World of Westchase Magazine.
"I think it’s one of the most significant, popular annual events held each year in Westchase," wrote WOW editor and publisher Chris Barrett in an e-mail regarding the parade.
Santa will be accompanied by several floats manned by Westchasers and businesses, along with the Hillsborough County Fire Department. This year 'Blue,' the Tampa Yankees mascot will work with Santa waving and greeting neighbors.
Santa will be collecting unwrapped toys along the route to be distrubuted by the charity Michelle’s Kids, a Tampa based non-profit that collects toys and goods for families in crisis.
Last year the parade generated 400 toys for kids in need. This year organizers hope to double that number.
According to the World of Westchase this is the parade schedule:
2-3 p.m.: The Vineyards, The Shires and The Enclave
3-4 p.m.: Villages along Countryway Boulevard
4-6 p.m.: Harbor Links, Radcliffe, The Greens
6-7 p.m.: The Fords, Tree Tops, The Bridges and West Park Village Center (Linebaugh Avenue and Montague Street)
The parade will conclude with a tree lighting event in West Park Village at 6p.m. There will be holiday music and activities. Dawson Dance Academy performers will sing at the tree lighting.
"Dawson Dance Academy is excited to help Santa light the tree in Westchase this Saturday," said Jennifer Dawson, owner of Dawson Dance Academy. "Our DDA STARS will perform several holiday numbers that are sure to get Westchase in the holiday spirit. We feel so blessed to be involved in this neighborhood tradition."
Here's some Westchase Patch tips for enjoying the parade and tree lighting.
- Parking can be difficult in the West Park Village area, so plan to carpool or walk to the village.
- When Santa comes to your neighborhood be sure to have your unwrapped toy ready. The parade can be swift moving.
- Got beads from the parade? Donate them to the Northwest YMCA at 8950 W. Waters Ave. where they collect them for next year's parade.