If you've ever lived through a hometown Super Bowl, you probably know how many exciting events come along with the biggest sporting event in the country. This is my second Tampa Bay Super Bowl experience, but when it came here in 2001, I was not of the legal drinking age, so I wasn't as interested in all of the events as I am now.

I wanted to write this blog post to show you examples of some of the events that are going on this week here in the Bay area:



Wednesday, January 28th
Super Hyde Park Music Series
Take in a live music performance by country music star, Jason Young, and a festive atmosphere at this open-air concert in the heart of Hyde Park Village, one of Tampa's most breathtaking neighborhoods. I definitely have this event marked on my calendar, since it's also free and open to the public. Visit this Web site for more information.

Thursday, January 29th
Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash
Smash into Super Bowl weekend at one of the hottest concerts in the Tampa Bay area, featuring celebrity hosts, appearances by a few of the NFL's biggest names and most importantly, a concert featuring Rihanna, Fall Out Boy and Lifehouse. This event will be broadcast live on VH1 and tickets are between $20 and $45. Click here for more event and ticket information.

blu Kick-Off Event
Enjoy a star-studded evening of lavish entertainment, celebrity apprearances and tasty tapas, in the celebration of the unveiling of blu, the Bay area's ultimate luxury lifestyle magazine. This event will take place at The Florida Aquarium, located in downtown Tampa. A portion of ticket sales will benefit America's Second Harvest of Tampa Bay and the Florida Aquarium. Presale tickets cost $175. Visit www.blutampabay.com for more information.

Friday, January 30th
Bud Bowl 2009
This two-night block party (Friday and Saturday) will take place in the Channelside Bay Plaza in downtown Tampa and is for adult consumers 21 and older. Snoop Dogg will perform on Jan. 30 and 3 Doors Down will take the stage on Jan. 31. Tickets for this event can be obtained through Budweiser promotions in area bars, clubs and restaurants and through Clear Channel radio station giveaways. Visit www.anheuser-busch.com for more information.

Saturday, January 31st
DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl
Cheer on NFL Hall of Famers and Hollywood celebrities as they compete in an old-school grudge match game of flag football then enjoy a post-game concert featuring LL Cool J! This event will take place at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg and is free and open to the public. Visit www.directv.com for more information.

And then of course, Sunday, February 1st is the BIG DAY!!! Kick-off starts around 6:30 p.m., and as long as I am alive after four long days of Super Bowl events, I will be watching the big game from one of my favorite local hot spots. Or I might be stuck to my couch, completely exhausted and not able to move. Either way, what an exciting week we have ahead of us! I hope you are all able to join in on some of the festivities!

Make sure to check out our new Super Bowl page at www.VisitTampaBay.com/SuperBowl. These are only a few of the events going on, there are so many more that I could never fit into one post. Check them all out and see which events catch your eye. Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic Super Bowl week!