5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, December 5

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, December 5.

(1) Tampa Parks safety policy report

The Tampa City Council is due to receive a report on Thursday on how best to keep children safe from water features at city parks.

Greg Bayor, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled to appear during the 9:00 a.m. meeting to provide a report regarding implementation of a policy to limit potential hazards.

The discussion over water safety in parks began after 2-year-old Armani Pierce drowned in the Hillsborough River in August after walking away from his family in a park after an evening football practice.

City Council members have discussed whether it makes sense to fence off water areas in parks to protect children. The cost to do that would likely be prohibitive with 60 city parks.

One compromise could be to instead foliage like shrubs as barriers between play areas and water instead of actual fences. The City has also discussed returning to the "learn to swim" program.

(2) 23rd annual Charliepalooza

Southern rock legend Charlie Daniels will return to Tampa on Thursday to host his 23rd annual Charliepalooza.

The event at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa features a charity blackjack tournament and a jam session. Charliepalooza benefits The Angelus, a Hudson, Fla. home for the severely handicapped.

The charity blackjack tournament will offer prizes ranging from $300 to $5,000 for the top seven places.

Registration begins at 7:00 p.m. with tournament action starting at 8:00 p.m. The entry fee is $150 per player. Seats may be purchased in advance at Seminole Hard Rock Casino's Rock Shop retail store.

The jam session begins at 9:00 p.m. performances from American Young, Steve Holy, Confederate Railroad and Charlie Daniels. You must be at least 21 years old to attend the standing room only. A $10 donation is suggested to watch the jam session.

For more information, call the Hard Rock Casino Tampa at (800) 937-0010.

(3) Florida Strawberry Festival headline entertainment tickets

Tickets for the Florida Strawberry Festival's popular headline entertainment shows on the Wish Farms Soundstage will go on sale Thursday morning.

You can purchase tickets for all 22 shows beginning at 8:00 a.m. in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 West Oak Avenue in Plant City, online through www.flstrawberryfestival.com , or by calling (813) 754-1996.

Bands scheduled to play the Festival include Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Boyz II Men and Little Big Town.

The ticket price for each concert varies depending on the act.

Advance tickets for admission to the Florida Strawberry Festival are also available beginning today. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children 5 years old and under are admitted free.

(4) Lakeland Christmas Parade

The City of Lakeland hosts its annual Christmas Parade on Thursday night.

The parade begins and ends at The Lakeland Center. It will kick off with a 15-minute fireworks display on Lake Mirror at 7:00 p.m.

The parade features floats, marching bands and an appearance by Santa Claus.

From The Lakeland Center the parade will travel along Lemon Street, turn left on Tennessee, proceed right onto Main Street, goes around Lake Mirror and then heads back to The Lakeland Center via Orange Street where it will end at 9:00 p.m.

The downtown area streets along the parade route will close at 5:00 p.m.

(5) Sincerely Santa Parade

Local will participate in the Sincerely Santa Parade on Thursday to bring Christmas cheer to local students.

Firefighters and police officers will take Santa Claus to Robles Elementary in Tampa today.

He will hand out gifts to some children and will read Twas the Night Before Christmas to selected classes.

Since 1987 the Sincerely Santa program has helped more than 100,000 "at risk" and underprivileged children in the Tampa Bay area receive toys and clothing during the holidays.

Each year students write letters to Santa, describing what they want most for Christmas. Teachers then select letters of the most needy children and forward them to Sincerely Santa for processing.

Select letters are then displayed at Westfield Town Center Brandon and at Sincerely Santa corporate partners. Shoppers and corporate employees can then select a letter to fulfill a child's wishes.

Once the gifts are returned, local Fire and Police Departments deliver them to child's home in time for Christmas.

For more information, visit sincerelysantatampa.com .

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