Back to School, Game Day Tailgate and Eco Lunchbox
GIMME A BREAK: TAX FREE WEEKEND
The annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday runs this Friday to Sunday. It’s now a much pared-down version of the tax free week that used to be offered, with more restrictions. Gov. Rick Scott and the state Legislature reduced the holiday to three days and ruled that the credit this year will not apply to computers, only to school supplies $15 or less per item and certain clothing, shoes and accessories, less than $60 per item.
The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel want to reward you for shopping with them. Bring a receipt totaling $200 or more for purchases at any shop over the weekend and you’ll get a $20 mall gift card. For more information on the tax free weekend, visit freetaxweekend.com, and visit theshopsatwiregrass.com to find mall information.
BACK IN SESSION: ARRIVE IN STYLE BACK TO SCHOOL EVENTS
Speaking of back to school, here’s more evidence summertime is almost over: Two malls in the area are hosting these “Arrive in Style” events to help you get the shorties ready. It’s also convenient that the events fall on the tax free weekend, ya know, while you’re at the mall and all.
Gulf View Square in Port Richey’s event 1-3 p.m. Saturday features free entertainment and activities, including a bounce house, face painting, a balloon artist, goody bags, giveaways, a visit from GEM Princess Parties characters, a performance from KForce Dance and a kid’s Zumba demonstration.
WestShore Plaza in Tampa is making a day of it on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., starting with Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine’s ninth annual Back-to-school Fair. The first 500 children to attend will receive a backpack filled with school supplies and goodies, and there will be giveaways every half hour. Fashion blogger Angeline Christopoulos of thefabulessstylist.com will be onsite providing fashion advice.
Both centers are offering the nationwide “Arrive in Style” Sweepstakes through Aug. 21, with a chance to win a $2,500 shopping spree with personal recommendations by celebrity stylist Lo VonRumpf. Additionally, WestShore Plaza will award a local shopper with a $1,000 shopping spree for himself/herself and $500 for a friend. To enter the sweepstakes and for more information, visit shopgulfviewsquare.com and westshoreplaza.com.
COLLEGE CHIC: GAME DAY TAILGATE EVENT
Let’s not forget the colleges, too. St. Petersburg boutique Ashe Couture’s event on Sunday is sort of a back to school for college students. Or just fans of college football. In anticipation of the season, they’ve styled the entire store to reflect the colors of Florida university teams, representing FSU, UF, USF, UCF and UM. It’s a stylish way to show your team solidarity but still be fashionable. They’ll also be tailgating, which means there will be beer. And the event runs from noon-5 p.m. Sunday, the last day to take advantage of the tax free weekend. Enter to win a $20 in store voucher by commenting about which team you’ll be shopping for on their Facebook event page at tbtim.es/14mc. Tag a friend for an additional entry.
ITEM OF THE WEEK: ECOLUNCHBOX
With all the back to school shopping on the brain, why not consider a new, eco-friendly lunchbox? These ECOlunchboxes are totally plastic-free products made from stainless steel and silicone are stackable and clippable, come in various sizes and produce zero waste. California-based entrepreneur Sandra Ann Harris first launched the ECOlunchbox in 2009. It has been included in the “20 Global Startups That Are Changing the World” list for its commitment to helping families reduce dependence on plastics. They’re available at major retailers and online at ecolunchboxes.com.