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Tampa Tidbits: Downtown Carnival, Mac & Cheese Throwdown & Carrie Fisher, Jena Malone Coming to Tampa

Tampa Bay Lightning 1 loss from Elimination 

The Lightning reached down deep on Thursday, April 23 in Detroit to pull off a come-from-behind win in overtime. The victory evened up their first round series with the Red Wings.


They had a chance to take control of the series at Amalie arena this past weekend but found themselves shut down by the Wings onslaught of offense and intense defense. After a 4-0 loss Saturday night the Lightning are just one loss away from elimination. They meet the Red Wings Monday, April 27 in Detroit. The puck drops at 7pm. 

There will be a watch party at the Channelside Bay Plaza (615 Channelside Drive #117). The party starts at 5pm with live music, Thunder Bug, the Lightning girls and more. #BeTheThunder



Tampa's 'RiverFest' continues to up the ante on entertainment

This weekend the Tampa Riverwalk announced a Jazz Festival as part of its huge RiverFest weekend! Performers include Orange Grove Magnet School of the Arts Jazz Band, Blake High Magnet School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, featured artist Phil Provenzano on the Flugel Horn and the Dick Rumore Jazz Cellar Orchestra. The Jazz Festival will take place at Water Works Park next door to Ulele! Takes place on Saturday, May 2, from 11am-4pm. 

*Photo via Tampa Riverwalk

What else can you expect at RiverFest? 'The Plank' pop-up bar will return to the Riverwalk on May 2. It opens at 11am in MacDill Park, on the southern end of Kennedy Plaza. The Tampa Downtown Carnival (the first ever) will bring exciting rides, chidlren's entertainment, carnival games and more to Cotanchobbe Park for the RiverFest weekend. The Carnival will be open to the public from 10am-10pm on Saturday, May 2, and 10am-6pm on Sunday May 3. Best yet, there will be FREE admission to the carnival all weekend. 

*Photo via Tampa Riverwalk

The cheesiest event of the year will be a part of the festivities. We're talking about the popular and craved for Mayor's Mac & Cheese Throwdown. Local restaurants and chefs will serve their own unique mac and cheese recipes with the public (we're partial to lobster mac and cheese ourselves). The Throwdown will run from 4-7pm  in Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, May 2.

The delicious event will be followed by a live performance by G. Love and Special Sauce at 7pm and capped off with a fireworks display at 10pm. 

You can also expect a Bloody Mary Festival, Free admission to the Tampa Museum of Art and Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, a paddleboard competition and more. For a full list of events and vendor information follow this link.


City seeks opinions for West Tampa redevelopment

The City of Tampa is creating a new Community Redevelopment Area in West Tampa. As the design process moves along officials are seeking feedback from the community with a public meeting on Thursday, April 30, at 6pm at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (2200 North Oregon Avenue). 

The boundary of the proposed West Tampa CRA is the Hillsborough River on the east; Armenia Avenue on the west; Columbus Drive on the north; and, Kennedy Boulevard to the south.

Be a part of the big changes helping to bring together the Tampa community as a whole. Follow this link for full details on the current redevelopment plan


Desire to revamp Tampa's historic streetcar

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will provide the city with $1 million to conduct a study on whether to extend and update Tampa's streetcar system or not. This decision comes on the heels of MAyor Buckhorn's commitment to transform the streetcars into a viable transportation option in the downtown area. 

*Photo via Triple Planner Magazine

The study will figure how to extend the route (could be as far as Tampa Heights), as well as factor in potential ridership, environmental impact and economic development opportunities. The funding will be available to the city this July. Tampa will provide $250k in matching funds. After the study is complete the city will evaluate pursuing additional state and federal money to aid in construction. 


Carrie Fisher and Jena Malone announced for Comic Con

With "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II" heading to the theaters in the near (but not soon enough) future, iconic actors Carrie Fisher and Jenna Malone wil be among the featured panelists at Comic Con to promote their films and discuss their carreers. 

Carrie Fisher will be in attendance at Comic Con from July 31-August 2. She is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. 

Jena Malone has moved with ease between cult classics and box office hits. She's starred in "Saved!," "Donnie Darko," "Cold Mountain," "Into The Wild," "Inherent Vice," and portrays the enigmatic Johanna Mason in the Hunger Games series. She will be in attendance July 31-August 2. 

Also appearing will be Matt Ryan from the hit show "Constantine," Iain Glen best known for his work as Ser Jorah Mormont on "Game Of Thrones," and Freem Agyeman whose had significant roles on "Doctor Who," and "Torchwood." 

Follow this link to get your tickets to Comic Con.


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