Our warm coastal subtropical city doesn’t face blizzards, road closures and or worry about engine warmers in winter, but let’s face it: A White Christmas a pretty cool Yuletide symbol. Fortunately, every December a festival occurs in Clearwater where residents can experience those wondrous white falling flakes: Miracle on Cleveland Street.
It’s a presentation by Macy’s and made possible via the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, and a nice thing about Miracle on Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater is that it’s free.
The most recent Miracle occurred on Saturday, Dec. 7th, which entailed the closing to motorized vehicles of the 400-600 blocks of downtown Clearwater. Those visiting experienced a Florida-style winter wonderland, complete with a very tall Christmas tree, holiday music and falling snow at Station Square Park, an ice skating rink and train rides. For $5, kids could return home with a photo with the bearded guy from the North Pole.
Free activities included Santa’s scavenger hunt, face painting,
a craft station, letters to Santa and falling snow.
The scavenger hunt offered a chance to win a brand new child’s bicycle, courtesy of Baystar Restaurant Group.
For $8, festivalgoers enjoyed train rides,
and inflatable bounce houses.
The event featured vendors with holiday themed food, holiday arts and crafts.
I took along one of my grandsons, and we purchased an array of various jerky: gator, buffalo, elk, duck and pheasant. We couldn’t quite bring ourselves to try kangaroo.
Street-side restaurant tables offer the best viewing, so secure a reservation because all the eateries will be packed with diners.
Other food options include tent vendors and food trucks — don’t even think about departing without savoring the freshly made donuts.
The Romantics provided free entertainment at the Tampa Bay Times stage on Cleveland Street.
On some occasions over the years, Miracle on Cleveland Street offers horse-drawn carriage rides…
and Rockem Sockem Robots, the latter in which players climb inside caged buggies and robotically control punches aimed at their opponent. It sounds silly but it’s actually fun to play or watch.
Double-circle Miarcle on Cleveland Street in December 2020 when you see it, and let that faux snow remind you of White Christmas’s past.