The light poles are strung; the merchants are buzzing. These are signs an Old Fashioned Christmas is coming.
Local businesses finished decorating festive light poles for judging and officials even approved a $35,000 palm tree contract for trimming.
Dunedin's annual, family-friendly Old Fashioned Christmas event begins with a holiday parade at 4 p.m.
Afterward, the festivities move into Pioneer Park and Main Street, where Light Night Brass, a renowned professional brass ensemble, performs at 7 p.m. Winners of the downtown light-pole decorating contest will also be announced (check out a sampling of the festive poles pictured above!).
Shops and restaurants stay open late (food vendors will also be on site). Children will have an activity center (courtesy of the Dunedin Public Library) and you’ll be able enjoy old-fashioned train and carriage rides.
Word to the wise, Santa Claus is planning an appearance. And you can get cookies and warm cider at Dunedin’s Chamber of Commerce (use the conference room entrance facing Main Street).
Want to go?
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, parade starts at 4 p.m. (we suggest staking out a spot early); music at 7 p.m.; event ends at 9 p.m.
Where to watch: You’ll want to watch the parade from along Douglas Avenue (between Beltrees Street at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium and Monroe Street near Skinner Boulevard).
What to bring: Blankets, lawn chairs, pets (only on a leash).
What to leave at home: Alcohol, Scrooge-itude.
Where to park: Across from Dunedin Brewery, behind Paris Hair on Highland Avenue and Edgewater Park; street parking is also available on some side streets. After the parade, Hale Senior Activity Center and Florida Auto Exchange Stadium reopens to parking.
Jolley Trolley: The trolley runs Saturday, but drivers will avoid road blockages due to the parade. A Jolley Trolley rep said they will reconfigure the downtown route use Skinner Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue to drop passengers off on Main Street as close as possible to the festivities.
[Updated Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, 9:33 a.m.]