St. Patrick's Day weekend brought a lot of events to the Tampa Bay area. There was a celebration going on in Curtis Hixon Park, a national criterium bike race in downtown Tampa, and a parade in Ybor city.
This guy was the clear winner of the "I gotta get me one of those" award. He was jetting around the Hillsborough River with a jet pack tethered to a Jet Ski-looking device during the Mayor's River O'Green 2013 celebration. No, this picture is not enhanced. The river really is that green!
The Hillsborough River is dyed green by the city for the mayor's annual River O'Green celebration
At 11 a.m. Mayor Bob Buckhorn blew an air horn signaling the start of the second annual greening of the river. The mayor said he got the idea from Chicago but proclaims that Tampa's river is the greenest.
Mayor Buckhorn blows a horn to signal the crews to start dying the Hillsborough River green. He is seen with his daughters Grace and Colleen. Emcee Patty O'Funiture is in back.
The family-friendly party in the park includes dozens of games and activities for both adults and children, as well as food trucks and lots of kegs of Guinness. In this pic, 3-year-old Aiden Ryan, from West Palm Beach, attempts to improve his golf swing.
There are more St. Patrick's Day happenings — including the Cigar City Criterium race and the Rough Riders Ybor City parade.
The 2013 Cigar City Criterium Race, also downtown Tampa on Saturday, had a course for the morning amateur race in the new Encore Village, next to Perry Harvey Park. After the amateur, the organizers pick up stakes and move the competition to Lykes Gaslight Park for the professional races.
Amateur bicycle racers whir around a track at the still unfinished Encore Village on the Northeast side of downtown. Amateur or pro, these racers are intense.
The bikes on this rack are provided by an organization called SRAM. They are there for the use of of racers in case their personal bikes break down. They can also supply bicycle parts including full wheel assemblies as needed.
The women in this event have one lap to go. According to the announcer, saving your energy for the end, drafting the people in front of you, and keeping your wits about you are what wins races.
Perhaps the largest celebration in the Bay area on the day before St. Patrick's Day was in Ybor City. The annual Rough Riders St. Patrick's Day parade started at 8 p.m. with lots of people, lots of beer, and almost everyone dressed in green.
Amy Alix of Largo, who has been to the last seven Rough Riders parades, gets St. Pattied with a green wig and a lot of sass!"
The St. Patrick's Day Parade means a lot of krewes wearing kilts. Addelina Cassibba wonders the same thing as many paradegoers, and some kilt wearers were willing to show her.
Even though beads are a big part of the St. Paddy's parade, 5-year-old Hailey Robae would rather blow bubbles than try to fight the crowd.
St. Paddy partiers pack the front Centro Ybor along Seventh Avenue to catch beads, dance to the music and get their Irish on.
The parade wrapped around 9 p.m. but the party continued until late.