Hey Gang!  We are going to change things up a little bit from what we've been bringing you lately.  Now that you know all about what's happening at the Florida Strawberry Festival, we want to let you know about some of the great Tampa Bay area events you can enjoy at the Florida State Fairgrounds. 

 

Events like these are happening throughout the year, so even is by some chance we don't post a month's events, log on to www.FloridaStateFair.com and take a look at their events calendar so you can plan your daily Tampa Bay tour.  But, since we are here today to tell you about them, here we go - 

 

March 3 - May 8: Rural Home Life Spring School Tours (ongoing weekly)
Held in Cracker Country, students can spend a morning immersed in a rural Florida community of the past. By engaging in hands-on activities, they will learn about the differences and similarities between their modern lives and those of children in 1898. These spring tours are held Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through May 8. Admission cost is $5 per student; one teacher/chaperone is admitted free for every 10 paid students and additional adult admission is $5 each. Reservations are required in advance to attend a tour. Parking is free for these student tours. Group visitors must enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. To make a reservation, please call 813-627-4225 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit online www.crackercountry.org, contact Susan Obarski by e-mail obarsks@doacs.state.fl.us or call 813-627-4225.

March 3-7: Gasparilla Charity Horse Show
Held in the Charlie Lykes Arena, the 24th annual Gasparilla Charity Horse Show continues its long established tradition of supporting Tampa's charities. Over the years, proceeds from this equestrian event have contributed over $150,000 to local charities. The five-day show features Saddlebreds, Morgans, Roadsters and Harness Ponies. Please inquire with the show office for performance times and entry fees to participate. Admission and parking are free for spectators. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. For more information, visit online http://gasparillacharity.org, e-mail jbquade@gasparillacharity.org or call Joanne Quade at 813-839-3476.

March 7-8: Spring Home Show
Florida's Largest Home Show, produced by Turner Exposition Corporation, provides a one-stop marketplace to see the latest products and services in remodeling, decorating, landscaping and furnishings for the home. Held in the Expo Hall, event hours are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $8 for adults; seniors ages 55 and up pay $7 each, and children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. 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 www.bighomeshow.com, e-mail turnerexpo@aol.com, or call Turner Exposition at 813-677-6925.

March 7-8: Tampa Reptile Mania & Exotic Pet Expo
Thousands of reptiles, small mammals, birds, pet supplies and more will be on sale during this two-day event. There will be live shows and activities throughout the day. Held in the Sweetbay Entertainment Hall, event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Adult admission is $8 per person; children five and younger are admitted free. 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 www.gilaproductions.com, e-mail lex@gilaproductions.com or call Alex Russell at 919-495-3233.

March 7-8: Fossil Fest
The Tampa Bay Fossil Club hosts its annual Fossil Fest in the Charles M. Davis Special Events Center. This event will appeal to anyone who loves science and nature, or has a penchant for history and adventure. Visitors can see fossils from around the world, artifacts, gems and minerals, exhibits and displays. Seminars will be held on both days to teach people how and where to legally hunt for fossils and artifacts, and how to identify them and prepare them for display. In addition, the popular children's fossil mine allows kids to dig through a sand pit and recover authentic fossils donated by club members; plus kids get to keep everything they find! Event hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children ages 12 and younger are admitted free. 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 M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information, visit online www.tampabayfossilclub.com, contact Mike Searle by e-mail fossilnerd@msn.com or call 813-909-9358.

March 12: MPI Annual Meetings Marketplace
The Tampa Bay area chapter of MPI presents the 8th annual Meetings Marketplace held in the Florida Center & Botanical Gardens. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the program starts at 2:30 p.m. More than 100 meeting planners are expected to attend the important industry event. An interactive education session will give attendees some "green" ideas to use in planning for an event. The cost to attend is $35 for members/planners/students and $45 for a non-member. Everyone registered to attend the education session and tradeshow will receive a gift certificate to Gallagher’s Steak House and be eligible for more prizes. Parking is complimentary for this event only, courtesy of the Fair Authority. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information, visit www.tampabaympi.org.  

March 13-15: Woodworking Shows
Take your craftsmanship to the next level by attending this woodworking event showcasing national and local exhibitors in the Sweetbay Entertainment Hall. Find the latest in tools and techniques for woodworkers and DIY'ers. Attend one of many free classes and hands-on clinics during the three-day event. Show hours are Friday from 12 to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $9 at the door for ages 13 and older and free for children 12 and younger. Purchase discounted tickets in advance online at www.thewoodworkingshows.com for a single or three-day admission pass. 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 www.thewoodworkingshows.com, e-mail teale@thewoodworkingshows.com or call 401-253-2531.

March 21: Concert – WiLD Splash '09 Music Festival
The WiLD Splash music festival is the annual event of the hip hop radio station Wild 98.7 FM. Artists scheduled to perform at the Ford Amphitheatre include Busta Rhymes, Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston, Slim Thug, Movado and Serani. Gate is scheduled to open at 4 p.m.; concert begins at 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for PIT section (general admission) and $46, $36, $24 and $14 for reserved seating. The lawn is closed for this event. 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. Only guests with VIP parking should enter through Orient Road. Tickets to all Ford Amphitheatre events can be purchased in person at the Ford Amphitheatre Box office or online exclusively at www.livenation.com. Tickets can also be purchased by phone by calling 877-598-8698. There will be a Box Office Service Charge added to the price of each ticket. All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. Rain or shine. For the latest concert information about Ford Amphitheatre events, visit online www.livenation.com or call 813-740-2446.

March 27-29: Florida Independent Tow Show
Unified Trade Shows presents this three-day event for the towing and recovery business that will showcase trucks and equipment both indoors and outdoors at the Fairgrounds. Vendors will have hands-on demonstrations, an on-site ride and drive course featuring the latest model chassis from leading truck manufacturers, and much more. This family event even includes something geared for the kids offering supervised towing safety seminars, games and prizes. Event hours are Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. 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 www.unifiedtradeshows.com or call 239-334-4874.

March 31-April 4: Tournament of Champions (Winter Equestrian Festival)
Presented by Stadium Jumping, 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. Please inquire with the show office for performance times and entry fees to participate. Admission and parking is free. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. For more information, visit online www.stadiumjumping.com or call Stadium Jumping at 813-253-2782.

 

And those are just a few of the events happening throughout the month.  Like I said, log on to the website and take a look for yourself.  And if you make it out to any of the events, let us know how they were!  

 

As always, keep coming back and checking for more great things to do in Tampa Bay!  We'll keep bringing you the best Tampa Bay entertainment, as long as you keep checking back and letting us know how the events were.  

 

Until next time, get out and enjoy that beautiful Tampa Bay weather!