Thousands of people showed up for the annual Gasparilla celebration on Bayshore Boulevard and downtown Tampa. The weather was sunny and dry and perfect for a parade. Gasparilla, named after a legendary pirate who reportedly terrorized Western Florida in the late 1700s, is the largest street party of the year in Tampa.
Members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla start in the early morning at the Tampa Yacht Club. It's where they get their makeup applied by professional stylists and schmooze with some of the power brokers from the city and state. On Saturday Gov. Rick Scott, Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn were in attendance. There is lots of food and alcohol to get the party started. From that point they board the pirate ship the José Gasparilla and sail across Hillsborough Bay and down Seddon Channel surrounded by a flotilla of private boats. Upon the ship's arrival at Channelside, the mayor surrenders the key to the city and the invasion begins.
The invasion parade route runs along Bayshore Boulevard and into downtown Tampa. It is lined with partiers from all walks of life and all ages.
Beads rule the day! There are many tactics for obtaining the strings of shiny trinkets from the dozens of krewes and organizations. See more pictures ...
But during the club's board meeting this week, it didn't take long to notice that the prints along with several vintage shuffleboard trophies and a scoreboard had gone missing.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn dedicated a newly refurbished Ballast Point Park with other city officials on Wednesday morning. The park recently received a $995,000 facelift including the tot lot, a playground designed specifically for children under 5. The project was funded by a private donations from residents and matching funds from the city. New area includes ground-level water feature called a splash pad. Other parts of the park were also enhanced. A sail structure to shade the existing playground equipment, new pavilions, and parking areas were also added.
The project was spearheaded by private citizen Katie Guice, who moved to Ballast Point in 2003. She was concerned about the old equipment at the park not accommodating younger kids. She was inspired by her two children, Olive 3, and Rylan, 5.
Come out for a great day of family fun! The event will have a blown-up 30-foot obstacle course, blow-up bungee basketball game, corn hole, face painting, karaoke and more. It will be a great family outing and a great way to start Mother's Day weekend!
Felicidades to FICS!
The Florida Institute for Community Studies celebrates two milestones on Fri., April 27: its long-anticipated Grand Re-opening and the organization's 10th anniversary of helping immigrants and financially challenged families with after-school tutoring, mentoring, domestic skills, gang prevention and other crucial needs.
The Town N Country facility will open the doors to its new and improved Multicultural Family Center, which features a full-size dance room, a computer lab, restrooms, an art room and new offices.
"We've expanded our space by three times and we've maintained our office space to get our work done," FICS director Alayne Unterberger says. "The innovative design allows open space for students to dance, drum and do art while maintaining a quiet, separate area for our professional needs. Before we just had two rooms and a conference room, bifurcated by a pharmacy. That has since moved, and we leased that space so we could expand. We now have four store fronts. It has a nice flow now."
Festivities take place 4-8 p.m. The center’s Prodigy students perform their quarterly showcase, including breakdance, capoeira, drums and art. DJ Diamond Notes emcees.
Unterberger says the organization is especially excited about their Proclamation and ribbon-cutting ceremonies, taking place between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Come see why her organization earned Creative Loafing Best of the Bay honors in 2011 for being Tampa Bay's Best Multicultural Mentors.
Prize drawing includes items from sponsors such as Big Cat Rescue, The Tampa Improv, Chili’s, Starbucks, Target and Wal-Mart. Refreshments such as hot dogs, nachos, sodas and Sno Cones will be for sale.
FICS is at 6704 Hanley Road, Tampa. Call 813-249-8100.
If you want to go to the Florida Strawberry Festival with a child or young adult, today is the day to do it: As part of Kids' Day, all children through high school age get in free.
Most of the time you’re forced to walk for blocks and blocks in a herd, like you’re a grade schooler on a field trip.
You stop in front of a building for a few minutes trying to lean over a stranger so you can hear a guide tell you some mundane facts before she herds you back into a line and forces you to walk several more blocks to the next site. Many times I’m the one who has to jog just to keep up with the group because I’ve gotten lost staring at some detail or trying to peer through a window to catch a glimpse of what’s inside. I’ve very recently come to discover that guided tours are not for me!
I personally have never been one to get excited over Valentine's Day. I do, however, get excited over my dogs. Ask anyone and they will probably tell you that I'm one of those "dog people," the kind who prefers four-legged friends to two-legged ones. In my defense, I can't think of any one time my pups, or any pup for that matter, has left me feeling betrayed, deflated or otherwise unwanted. Can you?
One day upon scanning the shelves at Books-A-Million, I discovered the “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company. It makes sense now that we are becoming more aware of all the advantages of organic eating that we would want to offer our pets the same kind of benefits we want for ourselves, so I bought into the idea and haven't looked back since.
The book has more than 100 recipes that are fun and simple to make. The most difficult ones involve the use of a food processor (which says a lot), because if you own one you know they exist only to make your life easier. You don't have to be a seasoned baker to make these treats, and I promise your pet will still love you regardless of the outcome.
Since I've experimented with this book, I've purchased others that are equally as creative but bring some concern, as some of the recipes call for ingredients such as garlic and raisins- foods I've learned are toxic to dogs. So for the most part, I stick to Bubba Rose, and I test my treats on my loyal, loving subjects. They may or may not be able to taste the difference in their new biscuits, but I've yet to hear any objections, and I feel a whole lot better knowing they're eating identifiable ingredients that I put together with my own hands.
The second annual march to support children in Foster Care that have been abandoned, abused, neglected, was held Saturday morning at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. The event, sponsored by Voices For Children Of Tampa Bay Inc., promoted awareness about these children as well as the need for Guardian ad Litems. Guardian ad Litems are volunteers who advocate for Foster children and help support them by being a voice for them in the Foster Care system.