TAMPA — The smells of kettle corn and hot dogs, homemade cupcakes and fresh-baked brownies wafted through Hyde Park Village Saturday evening as South Tampa gathered to kick off the holiday season with a craft fair, food trucks and the lighting of the holiday tree.
Throngs of families posed by oversized gifts and a sleigh around the tree, parents took holiday photographs with their kids and their dogs, and an orchestra provided a musical backdrop. Youngsters showed off their talents — tapping, dancing and shuffling on a makeshift stage on one side of the village — while families dressed in Santa hats and elf ears sold handmade jewelry, baked goods and other items nearby.
Shops off Swann Avenue, with windows already decorated for the season, welcomed shoppers and browsers. Outside around the fountain, families spread plaid blankets for picnics beneath the sprawling lighted oak trees.
The holidays have arrived in Hyde Park. Police officers consumed with directing the heavy flow of traffic can attest to that.