5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, November 23

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, November 23.

(1) Holiday Lights in the Garden

The Florida Botanical Gardens will be lit up for the first time this holiday season on Friday night.

The Holiday Lights in the Gardens features more than 500,000 twinkling environmentally-friendly twinkling LED lights spread throughout the garden of tropical plants.

This year visitors will be treated to a new laser lights show and an expansion of the lights into the new viney garden and fountains at McKay Creek.

The lights will be on nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through January 1. Admission is a recommended minimum donation of $2 per person with no charge children younger than 12.

The Florida Botanical Gardens is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

For more information, call (727) 582-2117 or visit www.flbg.org .

(2) St. Petersburg Holiday Tree Lighting

The City of St. Petersburg gets in the holiday spirit with their annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Friday. The activities begin at 5:00 p.m. in North Straub Park.

Entertainment includes performances by Radio Disney and Lutheran Church of the Cross Vesper Bells Choir, and the St. Petersburg Community Band.

At 7:00 p.m. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster will flip the switch turning on the holiday lights.

Admission is free. Concessions will be available and attendees are welcome to bring blankets for seating.

The lighting display will be lit through December 31. For more information, call (727) 893-7441 or visit www.stpete.org/events .

(3) Penguin Appreciation Weekend

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa hosts Penguin Appreciation Weekend beginning on Friday.

The Aquarium wants to educate the community on the importance of its African Black-footed penguins, which are an endangered species.

Over the next three days, there will be penguin themed activities throughout the Aquarium, with additional opportunities to meet and interact with the penguins and even tuxedo t-shirt wearing SCUBA divers.

There is no additional cost to participate in Penguin Appreciation Weekend activities. A portion of the weekend's proceeds will benefit The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

For more information call (813) 273-4000 or visit www.flaquarium.org .

(4) Florida High School football playoffs

The Florida High School Athletic Association's state football playoffs continue on Friday night. Seventeen Bay Area high school teams are still competing for a chance to be called state champions.

Here is the schedule for games involving Bay Area schools (all games begin at 7:30 p.m.):

Class 2A (Regional tournament finals)

  • Carrollwood at First Baptist (Naples)

Class 3A (Regional tournament finals)

  • Tampa Catholic at Clearwater Central Catholic

Class 5A (Regional tournament semifinals)

  • Lakewood at Robinson
  • Eastside (Gainesville) at Pasco
  • Palmetto at Lake Wales

Class 6A (Regional tournament semifinals)

  • Armwood at Hillsborough
  • Mainland (Daytona Beach) at Winter Haven

Class 7A (Regional tournament semifinals)

  • Ridge Community (Haines City) at Osceola (Kissimmee)
  • Newsome at Durant
  • Venice at Manatee (Bradenton)

Class 8A (Regional tournament semifinals)

  • Plant at Dr. Phillips (Orlando)
  • Vero Beach at East Lake (Tarpon Springs)

For a complete list of all high school football playoff games, visit www.fhsaa.org/sports/football .

(5) Black Friday

Thousands of Bay Area shoppers are taking to area stores to try and save money during what is called Black Friday.

You can find all scans of all the big Black Friday ads, mall and store hours, and best deals on our website by visiting our Black Friday Survival Guide at www.abcactionnews.com/generic/money/consumer/2012-Black-Friday-deals-sales-and-Shopping-Guide .

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