From May 6th until May 7th Tampa Bay will be celebrating the Tampa Riverwalk. The Riverfest is a free event, which includes live entertainment, family-friendly activates, and delicious food. To end the Riverfest there will be fireworks along the Riverwalk!
This year, on Saturday there will be a Hot Dog Festival, in partnership with Nathan’s Hot Dog’s. There will be a live Hot Dog eating contest that will serve as an official qualifier event sending one man and one woman to the Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest held at Coney Island. There are other events that will be held such as wiener dog derby, which benefits the Florida Dachshund rescue and a hot dog tasting event.
Later on in the evening there will be the very popular Hot Air Balloon Glow, which takes place on Saturday evening, and a free pops in the Park with the Florida Orchestra on Sunday evening as the grand finale, ending with fireworks and a concert. Every event will be held on the Riverwalk, with main activates taking place in Curtis Hixon Park, MacDill Park, and the Sail Pavilion. Attendees can travel by water to access different parts of the Riverwalk.
There are many sponsorship opportunities and include new VIP tent in Curtis Hixon Park. The VIP section includes unlimited beer, wine, and delicious food. Access to the front of the stage for viewing will also be available for sponsors. Team Teresa William’s hopes to see you there! Prospera Realty & Property Management is located right near Bayshore, try and stop by after the Riverfest to speak with one of our agents!
20th Annual Festa Italiana
By Christina Rizzo
On Sunday April 9th, the 20th Annual Festa Italiana was held in Ybor at Centennial Park. Festa Italiana is an annual festival celebrating Italian heritage and culture. The opening event was Wines of Italy, and then was followed by delicious feasts and events on Saturday with the main event happening on Sunday, April 9th. There were over 35 of Tampa Bay’s top restaurants that participated in the festival.
Italian singer, Zucchero, who Teresa Williams was lucky to meet in the past, headlined the cultural food and wine festival on Sunday. The proceeds went to the Italian Club Restoration Fund. The Club was founded in 1894, which was created to unite the Italian community in Tampa to overcome social and economic challenges when they first arrived to Tampa Bay. The main mission of the group is to preserve and honor the Italian culture, traditions, and heritage of the Italian community and maintain the historical facility as a memorial to the working class immigrants.
Festa Italiana started in the spring of 1997 and is an annual multi-day event that benefits The Italian Club of Tampa (L’Unione Italiana) Restoration Fund. What started as just a one-day celebration now spans over the course of four days and concludes with the main Festa Italiana event on the final day. Event attendees will experience the finest in live entertainment, family activities, wine and the Tampa Bay area’s restaurants and cuisine.
The Capitano Family are the ones who founded Festa Italiana. Golda Capitano, who was born and raised in Ybor City, stated in an interview that the main reason as to why they started the festival was because her family wanted to keep their Italian family values throughout each new generation. Their main goal is to teach the younger generation how important it is to keep the Italian Club building going and their traditions alive. Capitano is the president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Italian Club. The Capitano family does so much for the City of Tampa. They are a wonderful family with huge hearts. Our very own Teresa Williams is very close with the Capitano family and attends their Festa Italiana every year.
If you missed out on the amazing Italian food, wine, and entertainment from this year there is no need to worry, Festa Italiana is held every single year in the month of April. Be sure to fit it in your schedule next year, it is a festival you don’t want to miss out on!
Zach Gresham, 21 yrs old, grew up in Hopkinton Massachusetts. He is currently a Juniors at UT, studying Marketing. “I found my passion for photography through my brother, who is a destination wedding photographer out of Boston” said Gresham. “I began assisting him and then finally decided to buy a camera of my own to use for fun. My love for travel and photography have brought me to some awesome places across the country and abroad as well”.
Along the way, people became interested in his work and he was able to pick up some side jobs. Beginning with a few automotive companies, his clients grew to some big names such as Eno Hammocks, Patagonia, Coca Cola and RVCA. He shoots anything from portraits to real estate to clothing lines, and enjoys every minute of it.
“Photography is a way for me, to be able to make things how I want them to be- I’m able to be creative, go on adventures with my friends, and capture all of the moments on the way” said Gresham. Photography has taken him down many different paths and he has benefited in some way from each different experience. He is very happy to be able to shoot with us, Prospera Realty, and is looking forward for what we will be able to create together!
This past Saturday was the sixth annul River O’Green Fest. The River O’Green Fest is a daylong celebration for St. Patrick’s Day! Everyone in the Tampa Bay area comes out to support, and watch the river be dyed green! There was a lot of Irish fare, beer, Irish dancing, and live music. Even though the beer, live music, and a lot of dancing caught many peoples attention, the main focus of the day was watching the river go green!
This year there were two new aspects added to the annual fest, which were the River O’Green Gallop and the Shamrock Scavenger Crawl. The River O’Green Gallop is a two-mile fun run along the Tampa Riverwalk. The Shamrock Scavenger Crawl combined solving problems, exploring, and having fun in downtown Tampa while enjoying a nice cold beverage!
There was also a new free family-friendly scavenger hunt that made families put their detective skills to work along the Riverwalk. Families really enjoyed being able to spend time together while solving mysteries and sharing lots of laughs and love!
If you were not able to attend the Green O’Fest this year, don’t worry! Next year is going to be even BIGGER and BETTER! Team Teresa Williams hopes you enjoyed your Saint Patrick’s Day weekend. If you have any questions about new homes in the area that are for sale or even of thinking about selling your home please contact us today!
The very new and also used retail and residential project being built in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District will start being built in nine months. Phillips Development and Realty closed the $70 million proposed development last month. The plans show that the developer is going to build a 300- unit multi-family apartment complex along all of the wonderful shops and restaurants.
This project is going to allow the residence of St. Petersburg to live where they play and be able to afford all of it. The nine-acre site at 34th Street South and 30th Avenue South is across the street from the global human resource management company called Ceridian. There are more than 13,000 square-feet of retail and residential that is proposed along with 100,000 square-feet of climate controlled space. Resources say that the company is in negations with several local and regional businesses.
In a press release, Phillips announced that the district is “screaming for retail luxury living and involvement from the St. Petersburg art scene.” The company is planning on creating a mural, which is going to be located at the entrance of the Skyway Marina District. There is going to be an entertainment area, which will have a lazy river, volleyball courts, and beach dining.
St. Petersburg adopted the Skyway Marina District in 2015; their goal was to add affordable housing and retail to the entire site, which seems to have been the prime redevelopment opportunity. The city supports Phillip’s development and thinks that it will help compliment the overall city’s vision.
The city has committed to 1.6 million dollars for improvements to the district for signage, landscaping, pedestrian lighting, and bus shelters. The city is planning another 1 million dollar improvement to the site that is adjacent to the new complex. This site will now have a Skyway Trail, pedestrian and bike greenway trail that connects with Maximo Park and Pinellas Trail.
This will be Phillip’s first venture in St. Petersburg, the firm does have many well known extensive residential and commercial projects in North Carolina and has completed Visconti at International Plaza, here in Tampa.
For more information please contact me, Teresa Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to speak more with you about this new project!
The Tampa Bay Hotel
By Christina Rizzo
Do you remember the first time you saw Tampa’s most famous landmarks? I do, the first time I saw the dazzling silver minarets of the University of Tampa was when I took my first step on UT’s beautiful campus at my transfer student orientation. This grand Victorian/ Moorish masterpiece was what made me fall in love with the campus, something about it just made me say “WOW”. I couldn’t believe something so old and historical could still be so magnificent.
The Tampa Bay Hotel was built by Henry B. Plant in 1888. The construction cost over 3 million dollars. The hotel covers 6 acres of land and is a quarter-mile long. The first elevator to ever be built was in The Tampa Bay Hotel. The elevator still works today but people are not allowed to go into it just for their safety. The hotel’s rooms were the first in Florida to have electric lights and telephones. Most of the rooms in the hotel had private bathrooms, with a full-size tub. The prices of the rooms ranged from $5.00 to $15.00 a night at a time. The hotel included a golf course, bowling alley, racetrack, casino, and an indoor heated swimming pool.
The Moorish Revival theme was selected by Mr. Plant because of its exotic and beautiful appeal to all the Victorians who would be his primary customers. The hotel has six minarets, four cupolas, and three domes. In the 90’s each was restored to their stainless steel state. The hotel housed thousands of guests, including many celebrities. When the Spanish-American war Plant allowed his hotel to be the base of operations. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were at the hotel during the time of the war. Babe Ruth was also a major guest in the hotel; he signed his very first baseball contract in the Grand Dining Room. In 1919, Babe Ruth hit his longest homerun during a spring training game at Plant Filed.
The hotel closed in 1930 because of the Great Depression. It remained empty for three years until 1933, the Tampa Bay Junior College was allowed to move into the hotel and use the old hotel rooms as classrooms. The Tampa Municipal Museum was established by the city to preserve the hotel in its original form and co-exist with the university.
The Hotel today is now serving as classrooms and offices for The University of Tampa. The south wing of the building is dedicated to preserving the old memories of the hotel. Many of the rooms in the south wing display artifacts from the old hotel. During the holidays the museum is decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful lights. It is defiantly a must do during the holidays. Our interns who attend The University of Tampa go every year and rave about how beautifully everything is set up.
If you have time on the weekend, you must visit the old Tampa Bay Hotel. Everything about it is absolutely amazing; it is still in great shape and still holds its unique look. Prospera Realty downtown is walking distance to UT. If you’re looking to live in South Florida let Team Teresa Williams and Prospera Realty find your dream home.
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The Fair Grounds as Never Seen Before
By John Gorman
With the Florida State Fair (Feb 9-20th) at the start of its annual show, anyone can join the excitement. The fair started in 1904 and has thrived ever since. With Henry B. Plant’s influence, he convinced the rail line and city founders to support the fair. The first show occurred on the historical Plant Hotel grounds, now the University of Tampa. All 27 acres covered races to bet on and agricultural feats. Now bigger than ever, 330 acres are host to several hundred attractions and events at 4800 U.S. Highway 301 North. Even with its growth, the fair has not lost its roots.
Jr Cracker Country living history museum, open year round, thrives during the show. In the course of twelve days over 500,000 people visit the spectacular and history of the way Floridian’s lived before the turn of the 20th century. Exhibits are still made for aquaculture, horticulture, woodcarving, needlework and more. “Over ninety years later and bragging rights are still won for the prized bull, best pie and the most beautiful quilt” (FloridaStateFair.com).
Today, you can come for the food and stay for the entertainment. From the classic elephant ears/candy apples to deep fried corn dogs, the fair offers a bite you can sink your teeth into. The entertainment is just as diverse and comes included in the ticket price (except the rides). There is fun for the whole family with animal themed exhibits to Hollywood-style performances. Get in the splash zone with the Sea Lion Splash or see the historical Budweiser Clydesdale horses. Come see them bear it all with Welde’s Big Bear Show or show off your dance moves with the dou Belles and Whistles. The options are endless, the fun priceless. Don’t miss out! Team Teresa William’s will be enjoying the fair this weekend and week! We hope to see you there.
Ticket Information: http://www.floridastatefair.com/p/34
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Special Events for families on Valentine’s Day in Tampa
By Christina Rizzo
Looking to do something fun with your family on Valentine’s Day? Team Teresa Williams has done a lot of research to help you find the perfect Valentine’s Day plans for you and your family throughout the weekend. Some of our interns will be attending these events with their families; we hope to see you there!
- Be Winter’s, the wonderful and Friendly Dolphins Valentine: Children under the age of 12 will be able to get into the Clearwater Aquarium for $9.99, if they bring in a Valentine’s Day card for Winter or any of the aquariums wildlife! The aquarium will be giving out free glitter tattoos, photos with the aquariums famous mascots, and card making! The Clearwater Aquarium is located at 249 Windward Passage. It is open from 10 a.m. until 6p.m.
- Date Night with Daddy: Dad’s and Daughters from the ages 5 to 13 can enjoy a night of snacks, Valentine’s Day card making, dancing, and so much more! The cost is $30 per couple, the event will be held at The Safety Harbor Community Center, 650 Ninth Ave, Safety Harbor on February 11th from 6-9 p.m.
- Teen Anti-Valentine Day Dance- Does your teen not enjoy Valentine’s Day? If so, they can join other teens in candy heart-smashing and delicious snacks! The theme this year is the Renaissance, teens must be above the age of 13 and under the age of 18. The cost is free! The dance is located at the Land O’Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes. This takes place on February 10th from 7-10 p.m.
- Valentine’s Story time- Do you LOVE reading? If so, join in story telling activities at Barnes & Nobel in Clearwater! The book that will be read is called, “The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story and Valentine’s Day is Cool. This event has no admission fee; the location is 23652, U.S. 19 N.
- Little Sweethearts Dance- The Glazer Children’s Museum turns their museum into a Valentine’s Day paradise for your sweet little angel. Let them enjoy a night of dancing, crafts, and lots of refreshments. The Glazer Children’s Museum is located on 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. The event is held on Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
- Heart’s and Crafts- Children are welcome to make Valentine’s Day Cards for all the special people in their lives. There will also be heart related activities such as heart puzzles, heart necklace making, and teaching your children how to say, “I love you” in sign language. The making of the crafts will be located at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum, 1925 Fourth Street N, St. Petersburg on February 11th.
- KidX Club Valentine’s Day Bash: Your children can enjoy yummy treats from Chick-fil-A as they enjoy fun activities such as dancing, singing, and playing games. The location of this is at West Shore Plaza mall, 250 Westshore Plaza, Tampa. This will be held on February 15th from 10a.m- Noon.
The Wicked Witch of the West is in Tampa
By John Gorman
Wicked is showing (Feb 01-26th) in our own Tampa’s Straz Center. A tale of two witches in the Land of Oz before Dorothy’s adventure. The musical is based on the book from Gregory Maguire and music created by Stephen Schwartz and “defined gravity” for over a decade. Production in 2003 San Francisco and two distinct awards from Drama Desk in recognition of an excellent plot and performance has been many actors claim to fame. Next step is the Tony awards!
The musical was not always successful, critics withered it down to a mere second rate production. “The show’s twenty-two songs…, and not one of them is memorable,” wrote The New Yorker. “Wicked does not, alas, speak hopefully for the future of the Broadway musical,” from The New York Times. Both damming reviews were a few among many. Critics pointed out opinionated views, unoriginal plot and songs. Tough start for the original cast.
On top of it all, Wicked did not choose the best time to start. Their competition was heavy in 2003. Disney showcased for the first time Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular while other studios had The Three Musketeers. Musicals from the previous years highlighted the papers and pacified the critics. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mamma Mia, and Hairspray were among the top. Big names casted a shadow on what is now a critically acclaimed, multi-billion dollar success story.
“Nothing going to stop you from being Popular (lar).” Popular songs by the original cast Kristin Chenoweth, the good witch Glinda (kept Wicked fresh and alive). Not to mention plenty of songs with Idina Menzel (the Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba) who recently sang “Let it Go” in Disney’s animated feature Frozen. Despite the early faults, the performances made by the original cast put Wicked in the box-office and around the world. Tampa being one location of many.
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