Orlando & The Freakshow

Weekdays 6AM - 10AM

Tampa’s Heart Is Shown

On Friday, December 2nd thru December 10th, a Tampa holiday highlight returns.  It’s called Orlando’s Toy Drive but it belongs to the WiLD 94-1 audience.  Our station is loud and fun but for 8 days it becomes a place to watch people, from every direction, share with our foster kids.  This toy drive benefits The Children’s Home Network, who has been serving foster kids and families since 1892. That is not a typo.  22 years after the civil war.  The bikes, balls, gift cards and dolls all are shared with thousands of children in need.  Imagine a family with enough love to share for a foster child to join the family but without expenses for extras.  This drive helps.  Orlando, who lives atop the “toy tower” for 8 days, broadcasts all day with the WiLD team and collects all that they can.  As this Tampa holiday highlight returns, it’s clear why this is possible.

Toy Tower

Orlando’s Toy Drive, home of WiLD 94-1’s morning team, for 8 days to collect for The Children’s Home Network

 How Can You Take Part?

There’s a mantra that the toy drive lives by: “every kid deserves a bike“.  Many of us remember that independence of our childhood bike.  However bikes aren’t the only option.  Unwrapped toys, sports gear, skateboards all make the list, as well.  When people hear “toy drive” they obviously think young, but there are teens who want a make-up set, shoes or pair of jeans. That’s where gift cards are a much better choice.  Whether is one toy, one gift card or a single dollar, it all counts.  We have families who start collecting toys in July, for this drive.  Some drive as far as Winter Haven, Sarasota, and Bartow to take part.  However if you cannot make it to the toy tower, you can donate at this link.  As you’ll hear thousands of times, feel the tingle!

2022 Tampa Bay Christmas Lighted Boat Parades Schedule

It’s how we Christmas in Florida. Every year the creative boaters step up their game with lights, characters and music and sail along Florida waterways. Here’s where to go this year.

  • December 2: Tarpon Springs

    At 6:30pm, the boats begin the journey down the Anclote River. Head to Craig Park! That’s where the judging will be done at 7:30pm.

  • December 3: Riverview

    The Alafia Lighted Boat Parade will start at Williams Park at 5pm and wind up at River’s Edge.

  • December 3: Bradenton

    Head to Longboat Pass Bridge around 6pm for the best view of the Bradenton Beach Boat Parade.

  • December 3: New Port Richey

    At 6pm, the journey for the Cotee River Christmas Boat Parade begins from Miller’s Bayou to Sims Park.

  • December 3: Dunedin

    Santa arrives by boat for the lighting of the Christmas Tree.  The Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade can be seen at the marina and Edgewater Park starting at 5pm.

  • December 3: Sarasota

    The Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights starts at 6:45pm.  Head to Marina Jack Restaurant or Centennial Park for the best views.  They’ve expanded spectator viewing area at Bayfront Park.

  • December 9: South Pasadena

    At 6:30pm, the South Pasadena Lighted Boat Parade starts on the northeast side of Pasadena Isle near Marine Max and ends at Causeway Village and The Fountains.

  • December 10: Apollo Beach

    Not just lighted boats – a chili cookoff too! The parade starts around 6pm. Put 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd in your GPS.

  • December 10: Bradenton

    The Christmas on the Braden River Old Florida Holiday Boat Parade starts at Jiggs Landing at 6:30pm.

  • December 10: Clearwater

    The parade passes by Coachman Park at about 8:30pm.

  • December 10: Bradenton

    The Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Head to Caddy’s Bradenton and Pier 22.

  • December 10: Madeira Beach

    The 55th Annual Festival of Lights Illuminated Boat Parade starts at 6:45 pm. There’s a tree lighting, and boat parade kickoff party at ROC park.

  • December 17: Tampa

    Head to the Tampa Riverwalk.  The route starts on the southern tip of Davis Islands at 6pm, heads up by the Convention Center and then to the Heights.  They’ll then turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf.

  • December 17: Treasure Island

    The boat parade begins at 6:20pm.  Head to the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge or John’s Pass for the best viewing.

  • December 17: Indian Rocks Beach

    Getting underway this year at 7pm, the parade heads north from the Holiday Inn and finish off at Harbor Drive North.

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