MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB
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Archive for April, 2011

Tampa International Dragon Boat Race 30 April

April 29, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Events No Comments →

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The 8th Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Race will take place on 30 April Saturday on the Garrison Channel near the Waterside Marriott. The Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races are held on the Garrison channel in Downtown Tampa, FL. The race course is between the Beneficial Street and the Franklin Street Harbour Island Bridges. Each team races n the 400m course three times during the event. Teams load the boats at the Convention Center docks on the west side of the Marriott, and then travel up the Channel to the start line. The finish line is in front of the Marriott. A central viewing location is located at the Marriott Waterside Hotel and marina (700 S Florida Avenue) or at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, adjacent to the Marriott and right behind the St. Pete Times Forum. The racing runs from 8:30am to 6pm. During the first ever International Food and Beer Festival from 11 am to 7 pm, athletes and spectators alike enjoy food, beverage and entertainment in the Athlete’s Village at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. For just $25, you can purchase a cup and receive unlimited beer sampling from 2 pm to 7 pm! The day’s entertainment will feature 3 live bands and kick off at 11 am with Early Morning Project and followed by No Money Down. AsiaFest 2010 will be taking place at the same time at the St. Pete Times Forum Plaza. Parking is available, you will just have to use patience.

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Free Spring Break Admission on the American Victory

April 26, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Events No Comments →


Pinellas and Hillsborough County students can play on the SS American Victory ship during their Spring Break for free with the purchase of one full price adult ticket. Once on board, they’ll receive a fun worksheet of items to be found on the ship. Kids are encouraged to walk the planks and other fun activities on this scavenger hunt. After the hunt, they can try their hand at make and take crafts. The mission of the American Victory Museum & Ship is to provide an unforgettable voyage of discovery through American Maritime History via a world-class, shipboard, maritime museum dedicated to honoring the men and women who built, sailed, protected and provided service, worldwide, through the American Merchant Fleet since 1775 during times of peace and war. The SS American Victory was delivered to the U.S. War Shipping Administration (WSA) by the California Shipbuilding (Calship) Yard at Los Angeles, California on May 24, 1945 at 1:30pm, the 442nd ship constructed, by the ship yard, with WSA-hull designation No. 792. She was named after American University in Washington, DC, to honor the school’s contributions to war training and weapons research during both World War I and World War II. Parking is available across the street at the Channelside parking structure or at the Florida Aquarium parking lot. If you don’t want to the go to the Gasparilla party, then you might consider stopping by Channelside. Channelside has a wide range of restaurants from Hooters to Stump’s and everything in between. Parking is available next to the Forum at the Regional South Parking Garage and next to Channelside.

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Salsa Dance Lessons in Brandon 26 April

April 25, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Self Improvement No Comments →


Come out to Brandon and have some fun and exercise at the same time with a little Salsa! The Way 2 Dance Studio is offering Salsa dance lessons on Tuesday 26 April starting at 6:30pm. The class is adults 18 years old and up. It’s never too late to learn a new move. With all the dancing shows on television, this is the chance for you to show what you can do at that next wedding or party you go to! The Way 2 Dance Studio is located at 610 Oak Field Drive. Brandon is about a 30 minute drive from MacDill AFB. The LeRoy Selmon Expressway runs from Brandon to Tampa and can cut 10 to 15 minutes off your commute during rush hour. Make sure you buy a SunPass transponder since there are no toll booths on the Expressway. Brandon has all the amenities that anyone would need. The Westfield Mall in Brandon is one of the largest malls in the Tampa area. Anchor stores at the Mall include Dillard’s, Macy’s, JC Penny’s, and Sears. With stores offering everything from shoes to sports to sunglasses and everything in between, the Westfield Mall is also a destination place for dining out from something quick to eat in the food court to a sit down restaurant in the restaurant courtyard. The Mall is open on Mondays to Friday from 10:30am to 8:30pm, Saturdays 10am to 9pm and Sundays from 11am to 6pm. With a large food court with wide variety of offerings or nice restaurants including the Cheesecake Factory and Ruby Tuesdays, you can find something to satisfy everyone and not spend a lot of money. In Brandon there is the MacDill AFB Branch Medical Clinic across the street from the AMC 20 Brandon Regency movie theater so that military families don’t have to drive onto MacDill AFB for medical appointments. Make sure ask to go to the branch clinic in Brandon when you register at TRICARE. Brandon Clinic Pharmacy provides initial prescription service to eligible beneficiaries seen at the Brandon Clinic.

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The Easter Bunny at the Florida Aquarium 24 April

April 24, 2011 By: maclaura Category: children, Events No Comments →


The Florida Aquarium will be hosting the Easter Bunny today! The Easter Bunny pulls on his bathing suit and dives in for a swim at the coral reef at 11 am and 3:30 pm. Children can get their picture taken with him from 10 am-2 pm. Children receive $5 off of their admission by printing this coupon. The Florida Aquarium is among the top aquariums in the world with more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and around the world. Come out and pet the stingrays. The Aquarium is located in the Channelside district of Tampa with parking for $5 for all day at the Aquarium parking lot. There is also a hourly parking structure across the street from the Aquarium and is closer to the Channelside Bay complex. After an evening at the Aquarium, take the children to a dinner at Channelside. There is a large variety of restaurants from casual eateries to fine dining. If you’re looking for pizza, sandwiches, steak, Thai, Spanish food or something in between, Channelside has it. Or if you’re just interested in dessert, then you can find some delicious ice cream at Channelside! Normal Aquarium ticket prices for adults is $19.95, $16.95 for seniors, and $14.95 for ages 3-12. Or plan ahead and buy discount tickets at the MacDill AFB ITT office at the BX Mall.

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Tampa Bay Youth Expo at the Tampa Convention Center 23 April

April 23, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Events, Sports No Comments →

Come out to the Tampa Bay Youth Expo at the Tampa Convention Center this Saturday. The Expo was created to celebrate positive youth sports for young people in the Tampa Bay community.  The Tampa Bay Sports Expo is a fun family oriented one day event on that runs from 9am – 5pm. The Expo promotes youth sports to kids, parents, coaches and youth program administrators. There is an interactive experience where professional athletes, trainers and sports experts offer kids and their families the opportunity to learn new skills both on and off the field. Boys and girls ages 6-18 can participate in sport clinics and demonstration with professional players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Rays and the Rowdies. There will also be representatives for hockey, tennis, golf, cheer/dance and volleyball. Parents, coaches and youth administrators can attend workshops addressing positive coaching techniques, sport injury prevention, sports nutrition, childhood obesity and preparing your student athlete for college. Also, check out information provided on sports camps, amateur teams and leagues, specialty sport retailers and youth sport organizations. There will be an Autograph Zone for a meet and greet with participating professional athletes and coaches. There are various public and private parking lots near the Convention Center and at Channelside. Usually the public lots offer the most cost effective price. But wherever you park, the Convention Center and Channelside are within walking distance of each other. The Florida Aquarium has a parking lot and Channelside has parking structure across the street. There is a large variety of restaurants from casual eateries to fine dining. If you’re looking for pizza, sandwiches, steak, Thai, Spanish food or something in between, Channelside has it. Or if you’re just interested in dessert, then you can find some delicious ice cream at Channelside! Admission runs from $5 to $15.

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Free Movie at Tarpon Springs 19 April

April 19, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Events No Comments →

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Take in a free movie at Tarpon Springs this afternoon. Sponsored by the Tarpon Springs Recreation Department, the free movie is “Tourist“. The movie will be shown at the Tarpon Springs Community Center starting at 1pm. After the movie take a walk on the sponge docks and sample cuisine from area restaurants. The oldest city in Pinellas County, Tarpon Springs combines the history of its sponge diving tradition with the rich cultural infusion of the Greek heritage. Tarpon Springs is famous for their Sponge Industry which helped build a large local Greek Community, Tarpon Spring has some of the finest Greek restaurants, markets, and bakeries in the Country. The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, first attracted attention as a place for winter homes about 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpons jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. The first Greek immigrants arrived to this city during the 1880s, when they were hired to work as divers in the growing sponge harvesting industry. The shops along Dodecanese Avenue in the Sponge Dock District of Tarpon Springs are still thriving as both a historic and a current tourist destination. The street winds its way from the bayou towards the Tarpon Springs Aquarium at the far end. Along the way it passes the marina and Sponge Boats docked along the north side of the street and the Historic Sponge Exchange on the south. The street is narrow and reminiscent of a seaside village in Greece, with delivery trucks parked in the right of way and locals that greet each other in Greek and stop to chat without regard to the traffic. Tarpon Springs is about a 50 minute drive north of MacDill AFB.

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Easter Egg Hunt at MacDill AFB 23 April

April 18, 2011 By: maclaura Category: children, Events No Comments →

If you’re looking for an Easter Egg Hunt, then look no further than MacDill AFB! Come out to MacDill on Saturday 23 April to participate in a classic Easter Egg Hunt! The kids will love it. Parents, make sure take along a camera to take pictures of all the fun. The hunt starts at 10am. The location for the hunt is the Adult Softball Field Complex located near Short Fitness Center. Parking is available near the softball field or on the parking lot behind the Fitness Center. Besides the egg hunt, there will be prizes awarded to those children finding the Prize Eggs in each age group and a clown to entertain the children. An Easter egg hunt would not be complete without the Easter Bunny! So remember the camera! Make sure that you bring a basket for each child who participates in the hunt. And since this is Florida, make sure you bring sunscreen and bug spray! The hunt is open to children ages 1 to 11. Parents have to be military personnel assigned to MacDill AFB or DOD employees from MacDill or retirees. To get ready for the hunt or if you work up an appetite after the hunt, then stop by the Golf Course Snack Bar for a tasty and affordable meal. The snack bar is open daily from 6:30 am to 2pm. My favorite breakfast special is the Hole in One. Besides the normal food that you would expect for lunch, the snack bar has some wonderful salads!

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Free Screening of “Freedom Riders” at Tampa Theatre 13 April!

April 11, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Events No Comments →

Courtesy of the Tampa Theater

The Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa is offering a free screening of “Freedom Riders” this Wednesday at 7:30pm. Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism. Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate “movie palaces”, the Tampa Theatre today is a historical treasure of Tampa. Located in downtown Tampa, the Theatre is easily accessible from I-275 and I-4. Designed by famed theatre architect John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the “atmospheric” style of theatre design. Inside the Tampa, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old world statuary, flowers, and gargoyles. Over it all is a nighttime sky replete with twinkling stars and floating clouds. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a Tampa City Landmark, and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres. There is on street parking nearby and parking lots within walking distance. Remember the street parking meters are not in service during the Federal holiday so parking at street meters is free. Just across the street from the Marriot Courtyard at Cass and N. Florida is a self-service parking lot that charges $3 for parking during non-working hours. If you ever come to watch a show it’s a tradition to hang out at The Hub, downtown Tampa’s classic dive that’s located two doors down, before or after a theater outing.

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April is National Car Care Month at MacDill AFB

April 10, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Self Improvement No Comments →

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Celebrate National Car Care Month during April at the MacDill AFB Auto Shop.  Call the Auto Shop to sign up for a free car care class during April.  Keep your vehicle running in top condition by having regular check-ups on all its vital parts.  The Auto Shop personnel can perform a variety of services including oil changes, filter replacements, checking belts & hoses, replacing brakes and more!  Prices are much lower than you would find out in town.  To make an appointment, call 828-4553. If you want to do your own car work, then stalls and lifts are available Tue-Fri from 11am-7pm and Sat from 9am-7pm. Stalls and lifts are on a first come, first serve basis. Stalls cost $2.50 an hour and lifts cost $2.50 per half hour.   On Thursday 14 April from 11:30am-12:30pm, there is a class called “How to Perform your own Vehicle Safety Check”. The staff will show you what to look for to keep your vehicle safe on the road. This is a great beginner’s class for the new driver in your family! Topics include tire treads and air,
checking fluids, wiper blades, and even how to put a vehicle on a lift to check the under carriage for damage or problems. On Thursday 21 April 11:30am-12:30pm, the class is “Tire Rotation to Keep You Rollin’”. Unevenly worn tires can put you and your vehicle in jeopardy. Skilled technicians will show you how to recognize tire wear, how to use a wheels-free lift and removal/replacement of tires. On Thursday 28 April, 11:30am-12:30pm, the class is “Auto Basics Class for Women”. Learn how to change/rotate tires and the oil in your car, as taught by one of our own auto experts. On Tuesday 26 April, 2-4pm, the class is “Teen Car Care and Safety”. Learn the basics to keeping your set of wheels running smoothly so it doesn’t leave you stranded! Tips on keeping your ride safe will also be demonstrated. Bring along any questions you may have on trickin’ your ride out, too! Open to ages 15 and up.

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Islands Fest 2011 on Davis Island on Saturday

April 09, 2011 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Events No Comments →

View of the Sea Plane Basin Park and Peter O. Knight Airport

Davis Island in South Tampa is the site of the Islands Fest this Saturday! The fun takes place from 10 am to 5 pm at the waterfront Sea Plane Basin Park and the Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Island.  The Sea Plane Basin Park on the Knight Airport are next to each and you can easily walk from one venue to the other.   Admission is free!  This annual event sponsored by the residents and businesses of Davis Island. This one day family oriented event will feature a British Classic Car Show, Live Music, Kids Events, Pram Races, business exhibits and more.   From noon to 12:30pm, there will be a pet parade and dog show on the Main Stage at the Sea Plane Basin Park.  There will be an art show which will provide a mix of Bay area artists, first-time exhibitors to older favorites. The range of mediums presented will include everything from watercolors, acrylic and oil painting to jewelry, sculpture, photography, printmaking, mixed media, metal, wood, and ceramics. Davis Islands is a Tampa neighborhood and archipelago made of two islands in Hillsborough County, Florida. Its proximity to Downtown Tampa, and its views of the Port of Tampa, make it a popular area to live. Davis Island is also home to Tampa General Hospital, the largest hospital in Tampa. East Davis Boulevard is the commercial area of the neighborhood. Along several blocks there are restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops in a tranquil sidewalk setting. The area is also very pet-friendly due to the pedestrian nature of the island. MacDill AFB is a 15 minute drive from Davis Island by car. Or you can take your bike along the wide sidewalk along Bayshore Drive.

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