Coors may be the official beer of the NFL, but few companies leave their mark on the Super Bowl quite like Anheuser-Busch.
The company is always a major advertising presence during the game, and for the past few years, the Bud Bowl — once the dominion of football-playing bottles like The Freezer and Budway Joe — has turned into a very real party, with live music, drinks and more.
This year's Bud Bowl is scheduled for the Friday and Saturday before the Super Bowl near the Beneficial Bridge in the Tampa's Channel District. At a recent Tampa Port Authority meeting, Channelside manager Kathy Walsh and port director Richard Wainio said concerts could pose a noise problem to some Harbour Island and Channel residents, and parking could be an issue, but the event would otherwise provide a nice image boost to downtown Tampa. Free tickets will be given away through radio promotions.
We've heard rumors that Snoop Dogg and 3 Doors Down could be performing, but Anheuser-Busch said nothing will be confirmed until early January. Keep checking budbowl.com for updates.
Vincent Vega in the house!
Even if you're not into Super Bowl parties, you have to admit this sounds pretty cool: John Travolta is tentatively scheduled to participate in a talkback Q&A as part of a big-screen, 15th-anniversary showing of Pulp Fiction on Jan. 29 in St. Petersburg.
The event will be a fundraiser for the Sunscreen Film Festival, taking place April 29-May 3. Travolta attended last year's Sunscreen Film Fest, organized by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society. Assuming they can line up a 35mm print of Pulp Fiction, they plan to show it either at BayWalk (or possibly another venue, if the troubled entertaniment complex shuts its doors).
Paul Wilson, whose P.R. firm promotes the festival, added that they're putting out feelers to other stars to attend the screening. (Can you imagine if mega-sports fan Samuel L. Jackson is in town for the game, and he decides to show up? Jules and Vincent, live and in person!).
Travolta often throws a Super Bowl party in the host city; for the last few years, he's hosted the Saturday Night Spectacular party, which has been rumored to be taking place at the Pepin Hospitality Centre in Tampa.
Either way, details on tickets to the Sunscreen Film Festival fundraiser will soon be posted to sunscreenfilmfestival.com.
Want pirates at your party?
Because nothing says Tampa more than Gasparilla krewes, members of the Inter-Krewe Council are partnering with companies and charities to add local color and history to their Super Bowl parties.
The council, which represents 57 krewes from the Krewe of Agustina of Aragon to the Krewe of Zingaro, is offering krewe members to serve as ambassadors at corporate parties, private events and other Super Bowl-related gatherings. Members will hand out beads, greet guests or talk about the Gasparilla krewe tradition. Of course, they'll be decked out in their full krewe regalia.
Interested party hosts must fill out an application, which will be reviewed by the council and distributed to participating krewes. Depending on the party, a handful of krewe members, from the same krewe or different ones, will attend for free. Party host need only pay for the beads.
The ambassador program is an extension of the work many of the krewes do all year round. In addition to participating in local parades, krewes do charity work and promote Tampa at various events and venues.
To apply, contact Bill Hogan at email@example.com or call him at (813) 727-9616.
More Bucs raising bucks
Two Buccaneers, one current and one former, have their sights set on Super Bowl fundraisers.
Linebacker Cato June is sponsoring a Superslam Celebrity Basketball Game from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Bob Martinez Athletic Center at the University of Tampa. The event will benefit the June Family Foundation; some of the celebs who might appear include NFL stars Marques Colston, Lamarr Woodley and Steve Slaton and model Toccara Jones. June is also planning a summit for at-risk youths about the sports industry for Jan. 31. For details, see junefamilyfoundation.org.
And retired lineman Jerry Wunsch will join up with Cheap Trick's Robin Zander to host BandTogether, a fundraiser for the Wunsch Family Foundation and Zander's charity, The First Tee. It's scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach. Zander and the Greg Billings Band will perform. General admission is $20; VIP tickets are $100. For more info, call (813) 393.8986.
The guests keep coming
Two parties we recently told you about are starting to announce some invited guests.
Club 009, a game-day party in Tampa featuring Jerry Rice and Jesse Palmer, is expecting people like Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Tony Dorsett, Ronnie Lott, Joe Montana and Doug Williams. If that sounds like a killer guest list, remember, the party is being co-organized by former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, whose semi-annual DeBartolo Family Foundation All-Star Charity Galas regularly draw similar A-list guest lists. Get ticket info at club009party.com.
And the Circuit City Celebrity Flag Football Challenge, scheduled for Jan. 31 at the TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, will feature a performance by Doug Flutie and the Flutie Brothers Band, with invited guests slated to include Clinton Portis, Julius Jones, Willis McGahee, Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and Tae Bo honcho Billy Blanks. For more info, visit sppsports.com.
More party tidbits
• The 10th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. The only performers lined up thus far are Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, Hezekiah Walker and the NFL Players All-Star Choir, which has featured players like Ray Lewis, Richard Seymour and Tommie Harris. But past guests include Gladys Knight, Kirk Franklin, Patti LaBelle and a host of NFL stars. Tickets are $25-$95 through Ticketmaster. For info, visit superbowlgospelcelebration.com.
• The Florida State Fair kicks off Feb. 5, the Thursday following the Super Bowl, and they're hitching their wagon to the NFL's star. This year's theme: "Touchdown, Tampa Bay." The signature event will be "Blitz! A Tribute to Halftime Shows." Auditions for dancers and singers will take place starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds (use the Orient Road entrence). For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jay Cridlin, Susan Thurston