The holiday season is upon us, bringing light, trees, jazz and art — some of it made of sand.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — for Florida weather, for holiday shopping, and, in downtown St. Pete, for a sublime combo of both at the Florida CraftArt Festival. This weekend 100 craft artists from 12 states will show handmade works in ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media and wood on the 500 block of Central, just outside Florida CraftArt’s gallery. There’ll be artist demonstrations, food trucks, craft beers, a kids’ art activity tent — and $10,000 in cash awards for the artists, to be presented on Sunday morning. Sat. Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 5th St. & Central Ave., free. floridacraftart.org
And you thought you were handy at holiday decorating. Wait till you see the wildly festive faux firs at the 37th Annual Festival of Trees, for which volunteers have decorated and donated hundreds of holiday trees and wreaths to be sold and auctioned for the benefit of The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thurs., Nov. 18, Premiere Night, $125. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 19-20, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. Long Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater. $5 admission, with all trees, wreaths and holiday decor for sale. 727-797-8712, TheArcTBFoundation.org.
If you’ve ever dreamt of discovering a lost city, head to Treasure Island this weekend: “Sandlantis” is the theme of the 2021 Sanding Ovations sand sculpting exhibition and competition. Expect amazing creations — including, one suspects, more than one sandcastle. There’s a kite festival, too, and live entertainment through the weekend. Nov. 18-21, Thurs/Fri./Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., with fireworks at 10. Encore weekend Nov. 26-28. Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, sandingovationsmasterscup.com.
Three days of jazz on Sand Key? Sounds festive to us! A stellar lineup of national and local artists — including the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Dick Hyman, Jason Marsalis, James Suggs, Nate Najar, Daniela Soledade, La Lucha, The Legendary John Lamb and many more — play five indoor venues at the Sheraton and Marriott hotels, with music from morning to late evening. Dancing, too! Fri., Nov. 19, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sat., Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sun., Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sheraton Sand Key Resort, 1160 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, 727-248-9441, suncoastjazzfestival.com.
Get a preview of The Florida Botanical Gardens’ splendiferous Holiday Lights in the Garden a week before its official opening and get a nice buzz on, too. The garden’s LED lights ( a million of ‘em!) will look so much sparklier when you’re enjoying 4oz. samples of local craft beers, appetizers and live music. Sat. Nov. 20, 6-9 p.m., Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, 727-582-2100, flbgfoundation.org.
As we told you earlier this week, Cars & Coffee — duPont REGISTRY’s monthly auto extravaganza — returns to Armature Works on Saturday, and as in years past the magazine is partnering with the Marine Toys for Tots Program. C&C attendees are invited to bring unwrapped gifts for children, including toys, bicycles and other appropriate items, to be collected by Toys for Tots to benefit vulnerable youngsters in Hillsborough County. duPont REGISTRY presents Cars & Coffee at Armature Works: Sat., Nov. 20, 8-11 a.m., 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa.
ThinkTank, the acclaimed company committed to “thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, professional family-friendly theater,” takes on an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award-winning YA novel The Giver this week, in which a young man begins to see beyond the seeming perfection of the managed utopia he lives in. On Nov. 26, The Giver starts running in tandem with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, in which another young man battles obstacles both internal and external to get to the truth. The Giver: Nov. 19-Dec. 12, Preview Nov. 18, ThinkTank Theatre at Stageworks, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., #151, Tampa. Tickets at tamparep.org or thinktanktya.org.
I can’t think of a better movie theater in which to see The French Dispatch. Green Light harks back to the era of the beloved small “art house” that introduced many audiences to the auteurs who advanced cinema as an art form. Dispatch, by the inimitable 21st-century auteur Wes Anderson, is also resonant of an earlier era, described as “a love letter to journalists” (!) set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city. The all-star cast includes Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray and about 1,000 other famous people. Opening Fri., Nov. 19, at Green Light Cinema, 221 2nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg, greenlightstpete.com.
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty! Don’t say that too loudly at this weekend’s TICA Cat Show, or you may cause a stampede. TICA (The International Cat Association) describes itself as “the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, and the world’s largest registry of household pets,” so the 12 judges from across the U.S. will be bringing some serious cred when they take the measure of more than 25 breeds. Enter your cat or just enjoy the show. Rescue groups and cat supply vendors will be on site. Sat.-Sun., Nov. 20-21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Banquet Masters, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater. 727-289-1989.
The beloved movie-star dolphin who died unexpectedly of inoperable intestinal issues last Thursday is being honored this week by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, her home since being rescued in 2005. Following a private early-morning ceremony on Saturday on Clearwater Beach for active CMA staff, interns and volunteers, the public is invited to visit the Aquarium to join a celebration of Winter’s life, with extended dates through Wednesday. Original footage of the dolphin’s rescue, her life and those she touched through her inspiring story will be shown in the Dolphin Tale theater throughout each day. In remembrance of Winter’s 16 years of life, admission to CMA will be reduced to $16 on Saturday and Sunday. A portion of all funds go toward the care of CMA’s rescued and resident animals as well as its mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine life. Those unable to attend in person can join virtually at RememberingWinter.com. Sat.-Wed., Nov. 20-24, 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, cmaquarium.org.