5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, November 30

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, November 30.

(1) Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Busch Gardens Tampa starts a new family tradition with Christmas Town on Friday night.

The event will transform the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises. For the first time in Busch Gardens' 53-year history, visitors will be able to experience evening holiday attractions and shows.

Christmas Town will feature live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and thousands and thousands of twinkling Christmas lights.

The event will be held from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 23.

Similar to the Busch Gardens' popular Halloween event, Christmas Town will be a separate-ticketed night event. General admission for Christmas Town is $39.99 plus tax. Families can buy special advance-purchase tickets for children ages 3 to 9 for $9.99.

Annual pass members and guests wishing to upgrade their paid daily admission can receive discounted tickets to Christmas Town.

For more information, visit seaworldparks.com/christmastown .

(2) City of Tampa tree lighting ceremony

The City of Tampa turns on the lights to its holiday tree on Friday night at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

The tree lighting is free and features fun activities, music and refreshments for the entire family. The event is hosted by Magic 94.9 Morning Show's Chadd & Kristi.

Tree lighting ceremonies begin at 6:00 p.m.

Tampa's Downtown on Ice authentic ice skating rink is also located in the park, and will also be open for visitors' enjoyment at a special holiday festival rate.

After the tree lighting ceremony, attendees can stick around and enjoy a free movie screening of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas in the park.

For more information, visit www.tampagov.net/dept_special_events_coordination/news_and_events/TAMPA'S_TREE_LIGHTING_CEREMONY.ASP .

(3) World Poker Tour Tampa Bay Regional

The World Poker Tour's Tampa Bay Regional Winter Poker Open begins at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa on Friday.

Running from November 30 through December 9, the 15-event regional series has a guaranteed prize pool of $550,000.

On-site registration for all events opens today at noon. Registration fees are non-refundable. To participate, players must obtain a "Wild Card" and purchase their ticket in person at the Poker Room Cage.

For a complete schedule of Tampa Bay Regional Winter Poker Open events, visit www.worldpokertour.com .

For more information about the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, call (800) 937-0010 or visit www.seminolehardrocktampa.com .

(4) Florida High School football playoffs

The Florida High School Athletic Association's state football playoffs continue on Friday night. Seven 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 3A (State tournament semifinals)

  • University School of NSU (Fort Lauderdale) at Clearwater Central Catholic

Class 5A (Regional tournament finals)

  • Pasco (Dade City) at Robinson (Tampa)
  • Lake Wales at Immokalee

Class 6A (Regional tournament finals)

  • Armwood (Seffner) at Gainesville

Class 7A (Regional tournament finals)

  • Newsome (Lithia) at Osceola (Kissimmee)
  • Manatee (Bradenton) at Fort Pierce Central

Class 8A (Regional tournament finals)

  • East Lake(Tarpon Springs) at Dr. Phillips

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

(5) 2012 Atlantic hurricane season ends

Friday is the end of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

The season began quickly. By the end of June, four named storms had already formed, the first time that had happened since record-keeping began in 1851.

In total 19 named tropical storms and hurricanes formed this year, well above the long-term average of 12. Only one of the storms, Michael, developed into a major hurricane -- and that was for only a few hours out in the open Atlantic Ocean.

Three storms impacted the United States this year.

Tropical Storm Debby brought massive flooding to Florida in June. Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana in August causing $2 billion in damage.

And then there was Hurricane Sandy. Though it landed in New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone, while it was a hurricane, Sandy caused damage from Florida to the mid-Atlantic.

After being supercharged by a winter storm and an astronomical high tide at landfall, Sandy slammed ashore doing an estimated $50 billion in damage and being blamed for 121 deaths in the United States.

Sandy likely will end up being the second costliest natural disaster in U.S. history after hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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