Hey gang! It's Travis again and I'm back with more great things to do in Tampa Bay...well, more specifically, great things to do at the Florida State Fairgrounds (and believe me, there are plenty!). They've got stuff going on all month, so take a look if you are trying to find some Tampa Bay entertainment to fill your schedule (and these are just a few of the events). Here it is, straight from teh Fair folks themselves -
March 31-April 4: Tournament of Champions (Winter Equestrian Festival)
This horse competition is the culmination of the Winter Equestrian Festival held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. The USEF-sanctioned show features amateur-owner, adult amateur, junior, and children competing in jumper and hunter divisions. The 2009 Tampa Series Hunter High Score Circuit Awards will be presented during the Budweiser American Invitational on the evening of April 4 in Raymond James Stadium to the horses that have accumulated the most points throughout the three-week festival. Admission and parking is free. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. For more information, visit online www.stadiumjumping.com.
April 11-12: FPtHA Horse Show
The Florida Pinto Horse Association (FPtHA) will host a Pinto/Paint combined horse show with two judges in the Charlie Lykes Arena. Pinto points will count for FPtHA and Paint points for DPHC towards year-end awards. The two-day show begins at 8:30 a.m. each day. Admission and parking are free for spectators. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. For more information, visit online www.fptha.com.
April 14-17, 20-23 & 27-30: Spring Ag Venture
The Florida State Fair Authority's Agribusiness Department, in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service and the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, hosts these school tours for third grade students from public, private and home schools in Hillsborough County. Children get the chance to learn about the importance of agriculture in everyday life through these "Ag Venture" tours. From transplanting plants and squeezing oranges, to learning about farm animals first-hand, there's plenty to engage students in this Florida agriculture experience. Parking is free for school tours and visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. All school tours must be booked in advance prior to arrival.
April 18-19: JAMfest National Championship
Held in the Expo Hall and Sweetbay Entertainment Hall, cheer and dance teams from ages 4-18 will take to the stage to compete for awards in their respective all-star and school divisions and for overall Grand Champion awards. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Admission is free for spectators; only participants and teams pay a registration fee. Parking is $5 per car or $10 per RV or bus for each time a vehicle enters the grounds. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the U.S. Hwy. 301 entrance. For more information, visit online http://www.jamfest.com/ or call 502-266-6526.
April 25: Pet Adoption Expo
Hundreds of animals are looking to find their new home at this one-day Pet Adoption Expo held in the Charles M. Davis Special Events Center. The ASPCA, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County Animal Services and NMHP-HC team up to bring more than 30 animal rescue groups to the fairgrounds. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free for this event only. Visitors must enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information, visit online www.humanesocietytampa.org/ or call Lisa Knight at 813-367-2078.
April 25: Concert – Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band will perform in concert on Saturday, April 25 at the Ford Amphitheatre. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. and show begins at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $136 and $96 for reserved seats and $36 for general admission lawn seats. Prices include sales tax and parking; all tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service and handling charges. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via U.S. Hwy. 301 or the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For the latest concert information about Ford Amphitheatre events, visit online www.livenation.com or call 813-740-2446.
April 26: Carnival Tampa '09
This all-day Caribbean festival will feature music, island foods, masquerader dancers, arts and crafts, and a parade. Enjoy the tropical sounds of a steel band, calypso, Indian Tassa drums, reggae, and much more. Held outdoors at the Fairgrounds, event hours are Sunday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Adult admission is $15 and children ages 12 and younger are admitted free. Parking is $5 per car or $10 per RV or bus. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information, visit online www.carnivaltampa.com or call 813-770-2449.
April 26: Concert – Nickelback
Nickelback with special guests, Seether and Saving Abel, will perform in concert on Sunday, April 26 at the Ford Amphitheatre. The gates will open at 6 p.m. and show begins at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $75 and $45 for reserved seats, $75 for PIT area, $29.50 for lawn area seating and $89 for a 4-pack of lawn tickets. Both the PIT area and lawn area are general admission; no specific area is assigned for seating. Prices include sales tax and parking; all tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service and handling charges. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via U.S. Hwy. 301 or the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For the latest concert information about Ford Amphitheatre events, visit online www.livenation.com/ or call 813-740-2446.
Ok, I've run out of room, so if you want more info on these Tampa Bay area events, or others taking place at the Fairgrounds, then head over to www.FloridaStateFair.com.
If you make it out to any of these, let us know what you thought. Until next time...Travis out!