The National Weather Service may only call for a low of 64 degrees this Saturday, but Greg Svendgard is going to make it snow in Dunedin.
Svendgard is coordinating the near weather miracle on Main Street for the city's annual Dunedin Holiday Parade and Old Fashioned Christmas, for the first time in about five or six years.
About 23 tons of "snow" from Gainesville Ice will arrive in the form of ice blocks and be chipped into tiny snowflake-like pieces through a mulcher. It's enough to cover a 6- to 8-foot-high slide about 25 to 30 feet long in the parking lot between Blur Night Club and the Dunedin Historical Museum. The "snow mountain," as city staff refers to it, will allow children to simulate sledding downhill.
Another three tons will be chipped in an area where children can make snow balls, roll around and play, Svendgard said.
"For Floridian kids, it'll be pretty fun," said Svendgard, parks and recreation athletics coordinator. "Some kids haven't even seen snow."
The longstanding snow tradition ended several years ago when the city's Happy Holidays event, now called Old Fashioned Christmas, moved downtown closer to merchants.
"Now we're kinda returning to it," Svendgard said. "Next year, we'll go bigger."
Want to Go?
Here's five things you should know:
1. When: Saturday, Dec. 8, 4 to 9 p.m.; parade starts at 4; Old Fashioned Christmas starts at 5 p.m.
2. Parade Route: Starts at the Dunedin Public Library and heads north on Douglas Avenue, ending at Skinner Boulevard.
3. Old Fashioned Christmas Plan: Live music and other entertainment in Pioneer Park; Carriage rides, train rides, and other children's crafts and games in the Ocean Optics parking lot; Restaurants and merchants may have specials and eggnog or cider.
4. Public Parking/Transportation: Available on Douglas Avenue across from Dunedin Brewery, at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium and Dunedin Public Library; on Highland Avenue behind Paris Hair; and at the Dunedin Municipal Marina. Bicycle Parking: racks at either side of the intersection at Pinellas Trail and Main Street, the Dunedin Municipal Marina and Stirling Commons. Jolley Trolley: operates on a modified route using Milwaukee Avenue and Skinner Boulevard to avoid road closures on Main Street.
5. Bring: Mittens, gloves, hats, warm pants, close-toed shoes, and cash for S'mores ($1) and a handful of other concessionaires, including Chick-fil-A, a pizza vendor, and a kettle corn vendor.
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