2013 Gasparilla Pirate Fest

Tampa Florida, January 26, 2013

English: This photograph is of the main pirate...

Arrrgh! Time to practice up for talking like a pirate.

Start the day with the Gasarilla Invasion as the Jose Gasparill sails into Hillsborough Bay. Expect cannons and a large fleet of escort vessels.

After the invasion is the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch where the mayor turns over the keys to the city.

Another highlight is the Parade of Pirates, much like Mardi Gras but with everyone dressed as Pirates.

Spend the evening at the Pirate Fest Street Festival for good times, good food and great music.

You can still Find hotels near the Tampa Convention Center:
Book Online or Call 1-800-632-3303


2013 Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts

Save the Manatee Club

Date: March 9, 2013 Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Date: March 10, 2013 Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts is coming to Apollo Beach Florida, South Hillsborough County, Florida on Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10, 2013. Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm both days. The Manatee Festival of the Arts will be at the South Shore Community Events Center, 302 Noonan Branch Road in Apollo Beach, Florida. FREE shuttle service to the nearby Manatee Viewing Center. For more information call 813 645-1355 or 813 645-3808. Email ruskinchamber@earthlink.net

Admission is $5 with children under 12 FREE.

Look for art in paintings, photography, glass-work, wood carvings, and jewelry.

Displays from 80 artists and crafters will be there including local artists Fred Rothenbush, Barbara DePullo, Charlene Madsen, William Poling, Diana Gayer, Thomas Mueller, Pamela Vasques, Al Selke Jr. and Ron Deel.

Every year features live entertainment, food and an expanded children’s hands-on arts area including fish rubbings by Apollo Beach Elementary teacher Margit Redlawsk.

The event benefits the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce. Other non-profit groups at the event will be the Southeastern Guide Dogs, Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center, local Coast Guard auxiliary, Save the Manatee, Little Manatee River State Park, Tampa Sailing Squadron Youth Sailing, Save Our Seabirds, Save the Manatee Club and Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions.

Stay at the nearby Resort and Club at Little Harbor

While you are in the Tampa Bay area, visit the Clearwater Marine Hospital Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin from the movie Dolphin’s Tale.

Manatee Papier Mache Sculpture Tutorial

2012 Tampa Dragon Boat Races

9th Annual
International Dragon Boat Races

April 28, 2012
9 am – 6 pm
Downtown Tampa, Florida

The dragon boats are back in Tampa along the waterfront at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park next to the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. With the dragon boat races will be traditional Asian cuisines, dances and music at Asia Fest 2012. While you are in Tampa, find more things to see and do

Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club
The Club was formed in June of 2005 by members of the Tampa community, some of whom were members of corporate teams and others that did not have any experience in the sport but were inspired to participate. The Club’s objective is to encourage and promote the sport of Dragon Boat Racing in the community.

The Pink Dragon Ladies
The Pink Dragon Ladies is made of members of Team Survivor Tampa Bay. Their mission is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and provide organized opportunities for physical fitness, wellness education, and psycho-social empowerment among female cancer survivors of all ages and all stages of treatment and recovery.

Tampa Bay Paddling Club
The Tampa Bay Paddling Club is organized to promote and foster paddling for leisure and as a sport in the Tampa Bay community through the promotion of recreational and competitive paddling.

Red Dragons Tampa Bay
Formed in May 2010 the Red Dragons Tampa are a growing group of people with a passion for dragon boating.  Red Dragons Tampa are the first expansion team of the Miami-based Red Dragons of Florida.

Central Florida Hunter Jumper Association (CFHJA) Horse Show

CFHJA Horse Show

Tampa Fairgrounds Equestrian Center
Friday, May 11, 2012, 08:00
To Sunday, May 13, 2012

The purpose of the Central Florida Hunter Jumper Association (CFHJA) is to foster the breeding, use and showing of hunters and jumpers. The Association endeavors to create a better understanding among breeders, owners and exhibitors of such horses. It encourages acceptance of uniform rules in regard to showing and cooperation with management of all shows in planning better hunter and jumper divisions.

2012 Show Results
For more information contact the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at 813-627-4217
Find Hotels near the Tampa Florida Fairgrounds
Interactive map to the Tampa Florida Fairgrounds

Tampa Carnival USA Caribbean Festival – Islands in the Park

Coming to the Tampa Florida Fairgrounds
Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10, 2012
7th Annual Islands in the Park

Tampa Carnival USA Caribbean Festival – Islands in the Park spotlighting Caribbean culture and heritage will again have authentic, Caribbean food and drink, live music and stage shows, and  activities  for kids and adults.

Gates open at 3pm each day with adult tickets $15 per day and kids under 10 FREE.

The U.S. men’s soccer team’s path to the 2014 World Cup will go through Tampa.
Team USA will host Antigua and Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium on June 8.
Come on out and celebrate.

Dance to live DJs throughout the carnival, watch the parade of bands march throughout the park, break it down to the sights and sounds of the African Dance Group.

Come out an listen to Red Hot Flames, Iwer Geroge, Terry Gajraj, Tallpredd,  Serani, Jafari Band Zuberi & Crew.

For more information call 813 325-5584 or 813 445-9010

Find hotels near the Tampa Florida Fairgrounds

Interactive driving map to the Tampa Florida Fairgrounds

2012 GOP/RNC National Convention coming to Tampa Florida

Coming to Tampa starting August 27, the 2012 GOP/RNC National Convention is set to be bigger than any  Superbowl to come to this Florida City.

Downtown Tampa is getting all cleaned up with new landscaping and road repairs. Restaurants are planning special events, menus and hours to accommodate conventioneers.

While most of the nearby hotel rooms have been long reserved, there is still time to book a private home or condo for the event. For those of you lucky enough to be living near the ROP Convention Center along Channelside and won’t be in town for the event, you can register and rent your home through a trusted online company.

This promises to the THE event that puts Tampa Bay on the map for the rest of the world.

Along with the GOP Convention, there are many other things to see and do in an around Tampa Bay.

Get the latest GOP Convention news and event information online.

On the Road to Tampa

Dolphin Cruise from Downtown Tampa

The Florida Aquarium has a special tour boat that leaves downtown Channelside daily at 2PM. This tour is usually sold out each day, so making reservations ahead of time is a must. There is a new boat that is very stable and very fast. Parking is right across the street.

We spent part of the time inside, looking out the windows, and part of the time on the covered upper deck to catch the breeze. From here we could see a cruise ship in port, a restored Navy ship and the Aquarium. We got a great view of downtown Tampa and the waterfront homes along the bay. Nice way to live!

It didn’t take long to get out into the main part of Tampa Bay, and sure enough there were dolphins out there playing around. We even saw what looked like a family of dolphins with a little one.

We had no idea that Tampa was such a busy commercial port. Who would have thought that big ships and wild animals could coexist so well?

The trip was smooth and no one got sick. The boat is designed to be very stable in all kinds of conditions. After the boat tour you can tour the Florida Aquarium which is right there.

Channelside Tampa

Channelside Tampa

A short walk from the dolphin tour and aquarium is the Channelside restaurant and shopping district.

From here we could walk back to our hotel, also on the bay the, Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, and is right across the street from the Tampa Convention Center.

Here is a Google map of the hotel where you can also see where channelside and the aquarium is located.