Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Events in Pinellas County

For clarification here, Pinellas encompasses the peninsula we are residing in.  In extends from Clearwater to St.Petersburg, and down to the De Soto National Memorial.   This will probably be my last posting until after the holidays, so it seems appropriate at this point to end with a Christmas theme.  On Sunday we drove back to downtown St.Petersburg and Christ United Methodist Church.  The church, as well as St.Petersburg College, had their 25th annual Winter Choral Festival that afternoon.   Two highlights of that concert were musicals selections played on the AEolian-Skinner pipe organ, and the Hallelujah Chorus sung by not only choir members but other people from the audience who were familiar with it.  The rafters were certainly raised when that was sung, Handel would have been proud!
In the picture above the audience was standing for the Hallelujah Chorus.  We heard it again that evening when we attended the full rendition of Handel's Messiah in Clearwater.   The Florida Orchestra, Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and University of South Florida Chamber Singers performed it.  There were four guest singers for the solo parts, and it was one very fantastic concert!  It is hard to believe that Handel wrote the complete musical score in 24 days.  He commented to a servant that "I did think I did see Heaven before me and the great God Himself".  It has been about 25 years since we have heard it live, and I think that from now on it will be a more frequent occurrence for us.
The above picture may seem a bit strange.  It was taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, Fl.  Currently the gardens are open in the evening for the Holiday Lights display.  For us it was interesting to not only look at the lights but to search out the plants around which the lights are strung.  In the picture above is an angel trumpet tree, its blooms hang over flamingos as well as one duck.  Other Christmas lights of the garden are in the background of the picture.

While we strolled around the topiary/ wedding section of the garden we were entertained by a small band playing Christmas carols.  Pictured below is one of the topiaries located in this area, in case you might be wondering who is standing there with his arrow ready to fly, it is cupid!

What we were able to see of the garden at night makes us desire to see it during the day.  It is a 150- acre garden with native plants as well as exotic specimens suited to the local climate.   I will sign this off now with a Merry Christmas to all of our loyal readers!  May it be a blessed and safe holiday for all.

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