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  1. Arts & Entertainment

Tomi Lahren and Duck Dynasty: Fox Nation’s Patriot Awards hit St. Pete

A who’s who of conservative media, including an episode of ‘Fox and Friends,’ will descend on the Mahaffey Theater next week.
Duane "Dog" Chapman from Dog the Bounty Hunter, conservative commentator Tomi Lahren and country singer John Rich are scheduled to appear at Fox Nation's inaugural Patriot Awards, taking place Nov. 6 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [Associated Press]
Published Oct. 28
Updated Oct. 29

The lineup sounds a bit like the Golden Globes of conservative media.

Tomi Lahren! Diamond and Silk! Fox and Friends! John Rich! Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman! Duck Dynasty!

They’re all coming to St. Petersburg next week for the Patriot Awards, a new awards show “celebrating modern day patriotism," its website states, "by honoring individuals across the country who have shown steadfast dedication to our nation, and the patriotic values we hold dear.”

The event — created by Fox Nation, the Fox News website spun into a subscription streaming service last year — will take place Nov. 6 at the Mahaffey Theater. It will be streamed live on Fox Nation then shaped into a prime-time special for Fox News later that month.

“We have been looking for opportunities to include our subscribers and fans in events so they can meet our talent and be part of the growing Fox Nation community," John Finley, executive vice president of Fox Nation, said in a statement emailed to the Tampa Bay Times. "What could be better than giving them that chance while honoring great American patriots and raising money for such a worthy cause?”

Among the highlights: a performance by Rich, from the country duo Big and Rich, who will also sign bottles of his whiskey in the Mahaffey lobby; book signings by Fox News commentators Lahren, Gregg Jarrett and Dan Bongino; award presentations from “Dog” Chapman and cast members from Duck Dynasty; and appearances by Fox and Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt, who will air their morning show live from the Mahaffey the next day.

Other Fox News and Fox Nation personalities scheduled to appear: Abby Hornacek, Ed Henry, Pete Hegseth, Tom Shillue, Lawrence Jones, David Webb, Kat Timpf, Tammy Bruce, Britt McHenry and Diamond and Silk.

While Fox has a reputation as a haven for conservative commentary, organizers say this is not designed to be a political event. Rather, it aims to celebrate community heroes through categories like the Patriot Award for Service to Veterans, Most Patriot Sportsman, Most Valuable Patriot and the Ultimate Patriot Award.

There will be one local winner among the mix: Tampa Police Lt. Travis Maus, who received a promotion while deployed with the U.S. Army in Iraq. He’ll receive the Patriot Award for First Responders.

That the event is being promoted as apolitical doesn’t mean there won’t be a tinge of debate in the air throughout the city. On Nov. 7, the day after the Patriot Awards, the Palladium across town will host “The War for America’s Soul,” a roundtable discussion on “radical socialism, illegal immigration, racial divides and social infighting,” featuring Sebastian Gorka, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher and Larry Elder. Tickets to that event are $20 and up. Click here.

The Patriot Awards themselves are sold out, but for curious passersby down on Bayshore Drive, the action will kick off around 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaffey. Click here for details.

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