THIS WEEKEND'S BEST BETS
Fifth annual Olde-Fashioned Village Christmas: Village of the Arts art walks: Village of the Arts, 1113 12th St. W., Bradenton
Enjoy an art walk through Bradenton's acclaimed artist colony 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6. This month highlights the holiday season featuring a special display of gingerbread houses, a Village Artists Christmas tree, carols by the famous Manatee Players English Dickens Carolers and a visit from Santa. Then take a stroll in the cool of the evening among 30 galleries and three restaurants all nestled in colorful 1920 cottages. Information: villageofthearts.com.
Palmetto's Christmas in the Park: Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto
Start your holiday festivities with an old-fashioned Florida Christmas, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 5-6 featuring decorated buildings, kids' crafts, reindeer games, entertainment and Santa Claus arriving by truck at 6 p.m. Activities include letters to soldiers, an "Honor Tree" in the Military Museum, old-time Florida recipes to collect in each of the park buildings, contests for prizes, model trains, petting corral and letters to Santa. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Information: 941-721-2034.
"A Night Before Christmas": G.T. Bray park, 5502 33rd Ave Drive W., Bradenton
Manatee County welcomes Santa Claus, arriving by helicopter at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at "A Night Before Christmas." The event will feature family activities including face painting, bounce houses, inflatable slide, trampoline power jump, cookie crafts and hayrides, plus 10 tons of snow. Admission is free. Information: 941-742-5923.
Annual Alternative Christmas Market: Kirkwood Church, 6101 Cortez Road, Bradenton
The Kirkwood, Palma Sola and Westminster Presbyterian Churches will co-host the 19th annual Alternative Christmas Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 6 featuring holiday and everyday items. The event features nonprofit organizations with local, national and international ministries. All profits will benefit each participating organization. Information: 941-794-6229.
18th annual Toys for Tots car show: Bealls parking lot, S.R. 70, Bradenton
Bring your "cool ride" down to the Gulf Coast Corvette Club's 18th annual car show to benefit Toys for Tots 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6. There will be cars, prize drawings and auctions. Registration for car owners is $20 or a new unwrapped toy. Proceeds will benefit the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. Information: 941-704-8856 or gulfcoastcorvettteclub.com.
Toys for Tots car show: Slicks Garage, 912 Fourth St. W., Palmetto
Slicks Garage will host a Toys for Tots car show beginning at 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Bring a new unwrapped toy greater in value than $5 to enter your car. Trophies at 5:30 p.m. There will be a prize for Best Christmas decorated vehicle. The Hamiltones will play live on stage. T shirts and other Christmas gifts will be available for sale. Information: facebook.com/slicks.garage.
Horseshoe Cove Craft Sale: 5100 60th St. E., Bradenton
Horseshoe Cove will hold its annual Christmas Craft Sale 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 6 featuring fine hand paintings, lighted Christmas wreaths, knitted and crocheted items, casserole carriers, jewelry, afghans, wood carvings, scrubbies, purses, sweatshirts, kitchen towels, candy woven baskets, handmade gnomes, decorated pine cone ornaments and much more. Coffee and home baked goods will be available for purchase. Information: email@example.com.
Nutcracker Tea Party: Riverhouse, Regatta Point Marina, 1001 Riverside Drive, Palmetto
The Dance Theatre of Bradenton will host its eighth annual Nutcracker Tea Party "Land of Sweets," noon-2 p.m. Dec. 6 featuring finger foods, tea service, a variety of desserts and sweets, and a performance of excerpts from "The Nutcracker" Ballet. Children will be able to join a ballet class and get to meet some of the "Nutcracker" cast members in full costume. There will be prize drawings. Tickets: $30-$35. Information: 941-345-9715 or bradentonnutcracker.com.
Entre Nous 2014 Holiday Tour of Homes: various locations in Bradenton
The 37th annual Holiday Tour of Homes will be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 6-7 featuring five holiday-themed decorated homes and includes a Sweet Shoppe for baked goods and The Shoppes at Elf Alley for holiday inspired purchases. Many of the decorations and accessories in the homes are for sale. Tickets: $15-$20 donation. Maps of the tour may be obtained at any of the homes. Information: 941-748-8579 or entrenousmanatee.org.
Fifth annual "Holly Faire": Heritage Village West, 4100 66th St. Circle W., Bradenton
The fifth annual "Holly Faire," featuring unique arts, crafts and gifts made by local artists, will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 7 with lunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. both days. Information: 941-795-1006.
Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade: along Main Street, Sarasota
Enjoy the sounds and magic of the holiday season at the Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 featuring decorated floats, live marching bands and the guest of honor, Santa Claus. Information: escape-to-sarasota.com/sarasota-holiday-parade.
-- Herald staff reports