Pumpkin Spice lattes,  leaves changing colors, temperatures dropping, turkeys everywhere… November was a wonderful month! Not only were thanksgiving plates filled with delicious holiday foods, the Tampa area also had a full plate of events going on throughout November! Here are a few of the fun events that took place last month, in case you missed it!

Music to My Ears
The Florida Orchestra premiered Songs of the Sea, including Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Debussy’s La Mer. These were followed by The Work at Hand by Jake Heggie, a concerto for cello, voice and orchestra based on moving poetry by Laura Morefield during her battle with cancer, according to Tampa Bay’s event website. This took place November 11th in Ferguson Hall.

Veg Out!
Just the next day, Florida Voices for Animals presented the Tampa Bay Veg Fest, a free event that featured an array of vegan food to either sample or purchase. The festival also had an expanded children’s activity area, cooking demonstrations, live music, healthy-living and eco-friendly exhibits, information on local nonprofits, animal adoptions, films, speakers and more! This was the Tampa Bay Veg Fest seventh year, and Florida Voices for Animals is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit animal advocacy organization. If you didn’t check it out this year, be sure to stop by next year!

A Sanding Ovation
On Nov. 16, Treasure Island hosted the 8th annual Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup and Music Festival! Sanding Ovations is a four-day sand sculpting competition and music festival that brought ten sand sculpting masters together from North America, Europe and Asia. They created masterpieces using only sand and water, and this event was free to the public.

Bringing Some Country to Florida
Dig those cowgirl boots out of the closet! Another fun event on Nov. 16th was a lively concert from Carrie Underwood while she travels on “The Storyteller Tour.” Underwood is an American country music singer, songwriter and actress who rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her country concert took place in the Amalie Arena.

Speaking of Stars…
This man probably knows more about stars than you and I combined… and no, I don’t mean celebrity stars. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson travels the world enlightening people on what humans know about our universe, as well as what is in the process of being determined. Neil deGrasse Tyson tackled both the knowns and unknowns at his lecture in Carol Morsani Hall in Tampa on Nov. 17.

Christmas Moved Right On In
Christmas Town returned to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay on Nov. 25 and will be installed until Dec. 31. This Christmas Town glistens with two millions sparkling lights and has festive holiday treats, holiday-themed entertainment, fun attractions and more, including the new addition of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Guests can meet Santa, watch Yuletide shows and enjoy the thrill rides throughout the park during the light and dark hours of the day! This holiday event is included with any annual pass, Fun Card or day admission and is open until 10 pm.

Last but Certainly Not Least…
Dolly Parton paid Tampa a visit on Nov. 26th at the Amalie Arena while on her first major U.S. and Canadian tour in over 25 years! Parton sang some of her previous hit songs while also including a few new songs from her new album Pure & Simple, set for release this summer. Parton is famously known for her country songs “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” “9 to 5,” and more.

December and January are sure to have even more great events in the Tampa area! And if you missed these fun events, no need to worry — there’s always more to come. Remember to check back with us in our next issue, in case you missed it!

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