Monday Morning Memo

November 30, 2009

Welcome to this week's issue!
  Click on one of the sections listed below or scroll down to read the entire issue.
Congratulations to Rhea Law of Fowler White. The firm recently re-elected her as Chair and CEO of the firm for a three year term.
The Downtown Tampa Urban Excellence Awards finalists have been named! Have you made your reservation to be there when the winners are announced? The finalists are:

The Arlington
ARTE 2007 Tampa Bay’s Festival of the Americas
Brand Tampa
Café Hey
City Bike Tampa
Conversations Public Art Exhibit
Downtown Tampa Wayfinding Signage
Elements Salon
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Friends of the Riverwalk
HART Ride-n-Fly Service
HART Signature Station Charrette
Healthy Together
Lights on Tampa
National Parking Day/Super Test
Picnic in the Park
Pizzaiolo Bavaro
Super Bowl
Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club, Inc.
Tampa Bay History Center
Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races
Tampa Preparatory School
Tampa River Taxi
UC Tampa Magazine
University of Tampa
Vue Magazine
An Awards Jury representing a cross-section of Downtown constituencies will select six (6) Award Winners - honoring them for their leadership, innovation, hard work, talent and community spirit. The party will announce the winners, and acknowledge all the nominees. This event will now take place Wednesday (12/02) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum. To register for this event, click here.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership released a new updated version of its Web site, www.tampasdowntown.comThis week, check out how you can send direct communications to the Partnership about your downtown experience! The Partnership’s new site allows users to send comments (positive or negative). This new service is available throughout the site titled as “Tell Us Your Story.” If you have something you want the Partnership to know about then use this service. Comments may be used on the TDP Facebook site or sent out on Twitter.
The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department is looking for volunteer Santas to place calls to children from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10. The Parks and Recreation Department has been offering free phone calls from Santa to children for three years. Last year 1330 children received calls from Santa Claus.  No pervious Santa experience is required -- just lots of good cheer. Volunteers will receive a brief training, dinner, Santa hat, jingle bells and a plenty of holiday cookies. Interested in volunteering? Contact head elf Cathie Schanz at (813) 274-7731 or email
Downtown, are you ready for some football! This week we welcome the fans of Georgia Tech and Clemson University to the ACC Football Championship! The Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech and the Tigers of Clemson University are sure to be cruising around downtown starting later this week. The big game is on Saturday (12/05) at Raymond James Stadium. May the best team win!
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is holding an open house on Dec. 15 from 5 – 7pm regarding improvements being considered on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway Downtown Viaduct from Florida Ave to 22nd St. The preferred build alternative includes widening the existing roadway and bridge to add an additional lane in each direction. Click here for more information.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership is excited to announce the launch of 83 Degrees! What’s 83 Degrees? It is a new online magazine devoted to sharing the latest news about Tampa Bay. Stories covered include jobs, culture, technology, transportation and more. Check out 83 Degrees by visiting their Web site at You can subscribe to their newsletter on their site as well.
The City of Tampa is holding a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8 to review and comment on conceptual plans for a new park in the Channel District. The park will be located on the southwest corner of 12th and Washington Streets. The meeting will be held in the Board Room of the Tampa Port Authority offices, located at 1101 Channelside Drive. Anyone interested in this topic is urged to attend the meeting and provide input, share information, and ask questions. Representatives from the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and WilsonMiller, design and engineering consultants to the City of Tampa, will be in attendance to present the plans, answer questions and gather comments for the new community park. In accordance with the American Disabilities Act and Section 286.26 Florida Statutes, persons with disabilities needing special accommodations to participate in this meeting should contact the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, 813-274-5132, at least 48 hours prior to the date of the meeting. For more information, please contact Brad Suder, Superintendent, City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, (813) 274-5132.
Remember that Gasparilla Pirate Fest will take place in downtown on January 30th. That’s just two months away. If you are curious about street closures, click here. It is never too early to prepare for this major festival.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has loaded a list of holiday specials from various downtown restaurants, retailers, service providers and arts & entertainment venues on its website. Check out what deals are out there waiting for you to take advantage of by clicking here.
ARTISTS, TIME IS RUNNING OUT! TODAY IS THE DEADLINE! The Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races has extended its poster entry deadline is today November 30th to allow for additional entries to be received.  The Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races will be held for the 7th year on May 1st, 2010.  The poster contest each year yields over 20 entries from local and regional artists.  One lucky winner is picked by a panel of judges and becomes the face of the event for the year. The winner of the contest receives $750 and the opportunity to be recognized nationally for their talent, as well as the opportunity to work with the Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Institute on future projects including the 10th IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championship, being hosted by Tampa in August 2011.  The design is included on the event's posters, t-shirts, and event program cover. All entrants to the poster contest will be displayed in a prominent location in the City of Tampa, and will also be available for purchase at the silent auction that the Institute hosts during the Paddler's Party, scheduled for April 30th, 2010. For more information on submission specifications, click here.
It's time to un-stuff from all that turkey and good food and be thankful for good health with a walk to Plant Park at UT and the Victorian Christmas Stroll - this Friday (Dec. 4) at noon for the latest Do The Local Motion walk. As usual, the walking group will meet in the middle of Lykes Gaslight Square at noon. This walk offers you the chance to win 4 tickets to the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum for just for showing up.
Ah, the holidays! 
  • Come experience the innocence and charm of a Victorian Christmas. Escape the commercialism and stress of a modern Christmas and capture the warmth and joy of an old-fashioned holiday with your loved ones. The Henry B. Plant Museum presents the 28th annual Victorian Christmas Stroll from Tuesday (12/01) to 23rd, 2009, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily. 
  • Kick-off the holiday season Dec. 3 at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square during the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival hosted by Hillsborough County and the Friends of the County Parks. The free family event features snow slide rides, musical entertainment, Yuletide treats, carnival and inflatable games, arts-n-crafts, and the Christmas House with photos and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m. Hillsborough County will also be collecting unused or outdated cell phones, chargers and carrying cases, as part of their Cell Phones For Soldiers cell phone drive. Joe Chillura Courthouse Square is located at the corner of Pierce St. and Kennedy Blvd., across the street from the Fred B. Karl County Center. Call (813) 635-3500 for event information.
  • "Light Up the Night with the Downtown Tampa Attraction Association’s Holiday Lighted Boat Parades on Friday (12/04) and Friday, December 18th. Parades will begin at 6:30 PM. Come watch these festively decorated boats illuminate the sky and spread holiday cheer throughout Downtown’s Channel District. The Rough Riders will be accepting Teddy Bear donations during the parade and will be the boat to beat as they light up one of their best floats in honor of this holiday tradition!
  • Check out the Tampa Theatre’s holiday movies! The Tampa Theatre will be showing some great classics to get everyone into the holiday spirit. They are Holiday Revue & Picture Show (12/06), White Christmas (12/13), It’s A Wonderful Life (12/18-12/20) and A Rockapella Holiday (12/22). Get details by clicking here.
  • The American Victory Ship will host “Snacking with Santa.” Snacking with Santa is slated for Saturday, December 19th from 2pm to 4pm. Children can watch Santa arrive to the AmVic via his own boat in the Channel then engage themselves in arts and crafts, games, and a scavenger hunt. Children may have their pictures taken with Santa. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths 4-12 and include 2 food/beverage tickets for cookies, cupcakes and drinks. Groups of 10 or more receive a $2 discount. The event is sponsored by Tampa Bay Parenting and Costco. Tickets are on sale now by calling TicketWeb at (866) 468-7630, logging on to, or in person by coming aboard the AmVic. Groups of 10 or more receive a $2 discount by calling the AmVic at (813) 228-8766. The American Victory Ship is conveniently located directly behind The Florida Aquarium in 705 Channelside Drive..
Preschoolers and their favorite adults are invited to the Tampa Bay History Center to enjoy A Little History, a new program series designed for preschool age children. Beginning Saturday, December 12th with Seminole Indian Culture, the History Center’s early childhood educators will entertain and enlighten with stories, songs, crafts and other age-appropriate activities related to the History Center’s exhibits and galleries. A Little History is open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult companion. Programs are held one Saturday per month from 10-11:30 a.m. Each program is $10.00 per child and $6.00 per adult. Members of the Tampa Bay History Center will receive a $2.00 discount for both children and adults. One adult must accompany every two children. Space is limited, pre-registration is required. To find out more call (813) 675-8981 or log onto
Looking ahead…this summer the tall ships are coming to downtown Tampa! Tall ships refer to those with traditional rigging and large sails typical of early seafaring days. Sail Tampa could run four to five days and is tentatively scheduled to take place July 10-14, 2010, kicking off with the spectacular Parade of Sail; the event could draw between 200,000 to 300,000 visitors. Get details about this upcoming event by clicking here.

Nothing will get you into the spirit of the season quicker than a visit to the City of Tampa's annual holiday festival, Santa Fest and the Holiday Parade taking place on Saturday (12/05) from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Centennial Park, (1800 E. 18th Street in Ybor City).Centennial Park is transformed in to a winter wonderland with entertainers strolling about, children's make-n-take holiday crafts, the smell of roasted almonds and kettle korn, and the chill from the snow. that's right, SNOW! Nearly 20 tons of snow is brought in from the "North Pole" for kids young and old to toboggan down two giant snow slides. Children can also visit with Santa Claus, enjoy three stages of continuous holiday entertainment, get great stuff in the Magic 94-9 Courtyard, write letters to Santa, get hands on with MOSI, Lowry Park Zoo and Tampa Fire Rescue as well as enjoy magicians, jugglers and so much more! The festival culminates at 4 p.m. as the Santa Fest Holiday Parade steps off. For more information, please call the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department at (813) 274-8615 or click here.

601 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 1100, Tampa FL 33602
(813) 221-3686 phone; (813) 229-1328 fax:
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