Even kids who grow up in West Central Florida probably dream about a white Christmas every now and again. And grown-ups who transplanted from the Midwest probably get nostalgic for snow this time of year.
The adults can get a good look at the white stuff and the young'uns can play in 10 tons of snow this weekend at G.T. Bray park in Bradenton for the annual "Night Before Christmas" event that marks the beginning of the Christmas season for a lot of Manatee county families.
The highlight of the festivities is the arrival of Santa Claus. While his reindeer rest up for Christmas Eve, Santa flies into Bradenton by helicopter and lands in the park at 4 p.m. Saturday.
There�s a lot of other stuff going on in the park as part of the celebration too -- hayrides and cookie crafts, face-painting and other family activities, plus concessions on sale.
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Details: 4 p.m. Dec. 5, G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Drive W., Bradenton. Admission: Free. Information: 941-742-5923, mymanatee.org.
-- Marty Clear