Hanukkah Happenings In Tampa Bay

Looking for something to do to celebrate the Festival of Lights.  The “True” Hanukkah traditions include lighting the candles on a nine-branched menorah called a Hanukkiah, saying the blessings, eating potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and playing dreidel, a four-sided top. There are plenty of Hanukkah happenings going on in Tampa Bay this weekend and throughout the eight day celebration to experience both old and new Jewish traditions.


Sunday, Dec. 22 – Mayor Jane Castor and the City of Tampa will commemorate the first night of Hanukkah with a Menorah Lighting Ceremony at City Hall Plaza.  The Cirque and The Hebrew Academy Choir will be on hand to entertain guest, along with  hot popcorn, a latke demonstration by Publix, cotton candy, latkes, doughnuts, face painting, a balloon artist, a spray paint artist, a caricaturist, crafts for kids and art vendors.  

Sunday, Dec. 22 – Congregation Schaarai Zedek will host a Hanukkah Menorah Lighting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Armature Works, Tampa. 

Monday, Dec. 23 – Celebrate Jewish Heritage Night at the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.  At 6 p.m., there will be a pre-game menorah lighting ceremony in Thunder Alley with professional sports players, owners and front office personnel on hand. Attendees can also grab hot latkes, a kosher meal and a limited edition Lightning Hanukkah pin. Jewish Heritage Night is a joint project of the Tampa Bay Jewish Community.

Sunday, Dec. 29 – Join the krewe and celebrate Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jewish Community Day at Raymond James Stadium. The funs begins with a pre-game tailgate party featuring the Big Picture band. Attendees can enjoy latkes, kosher hot dogs and snacks. The celebration continues with an exclusive giant menorah lighting featuring special guest, Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer. Tailgate-only tickets are $10. Tickets for the game and tailgate are $60 for 200-level east seats and club seating is $152. A Buccaneers souvenir is included in game ticket prices. For more details and to purchase tickets go to Buccaneers.com/JHD or contact Skylar Whitman (813) 638-8508 swhitman@bucceneers.nfl.com. This is a project of Chabad Centers of Tampa Bay.


Sunday, Dec. 22 – A Hanukkah Extravaganza will be held in South Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg on the first night of Hanukkah. The 17th annual event will feature hot latkes, entertainment, music and family fun. Presented by Chabad of St. Petersburg 

Sunday, Dec. 22 – The First Night Hanukkah party starts at 5pm. Enjoy a latke and sufganiyot (doughnut) “bar” , stay for the lighting of Menorah and then come inside for a family menorah lighting in the social hall. Hosted by the Congregation B’nai Israel Mitzvah Men’s Club and Sisterhood. 

Sunday, Dec. 22 –  10 a.m. to noon A Young Families Hanukkah event at Barnes & Noble, 23654 U.S.19 N., Clearwater. Join Rabbi Joshua Lobel to celebrate the Festival of Lights with arts and crafts projects, a sing-along, Hanukkah stories, snacks and more.  Hosted by Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater

Monday, Dec. 23 –  4-6 p.m. in front of the Surf Style Mega Store, 315 Gulfview Blvd.  A highlight of the event will be the kindling of a large, surprise-themed edible menorah. There also will be live music, hot Latkes, Dreidels for kids, a chocolate Gelt drop from a Clearwater Fire ladder truck, a Hanukkah prize wheel, doughnuts and more. The event is free. To RSVP or for more information, call (727) 265-2770, visit www.clearwaterjewish.com . Hosted by Chabad of Clearwater.


Sunday, Dec. 22 – 5-7 p.m. Congregation Beth Tfillah/JCC of West Pasco will hold its Hanukkah Gala and candle lighting. There will be Latkes and other goodies to nosh on. The lighting of a large menorah will happen at sundown. Children and families are especially welcome. There is no charge, but RSVP at (727) 847-3814 to help us prepare the food and refreshments.

Sunday, Dec. 22 – The First Night Hanukkah party starts at 5pm. Enjoy a latke and sufganiyot (doughnut) “bar” , stay for the lighting of Menorah and then come inside for a family menorah lighting in the social hall. Hosted by the Congregation B’nai Israel Mitzvah Men’s Club and Sisterhood. 


Saturday, Dec. 28 – Celebrate a Hanukkah tradition at Temple Beth David with the Night of 100 Menorahs at 5:30 p.m. The event includes a complete catered meal, singing, gelt, dreidels, presents for the children, and family fun. Ticket information can be found here. Hosted by Temple Beth David 

From our family to yours, “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah)

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Mike Blue is The Social Introvert – An introvert with some, and extrovert with many. Mike’s been collecting toys of his childhood and wondering Central Florida for over 35 years. He holds his certification in Plant-Based nutrition, loves exploring the small towns of Florida, and is the most approached unapproachable man on the planet….and he likes that! 

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