Christopher Spata - Features Writer

Features Writer

I'm focused on the offbeat side of life. I love stories about people pursuing unusual goals, and what drives them. I've written about retirees attending Santa Claus School, competitors at the World Sign Spinning Championships and an optician rebuilding old Chuck E. Cheese robots in his bedroom. I'm also looking for hyper-local culture stories, from tracing the global path plastic beads take to Tampa's Gasparilla festival, to pondering mysterious butt graffiti in downtown St. Pete. I also contribute to our entertainment and Things To Do coverage. I previously worked for the Tampa Tribune and Ocala Star-Banner. I'm a rare, native-born Floridian, and collect all things Floridiana, from alligator ash trays to vintage postcards for roadside attractions. I say Florida isn't "weird," just more interesting.

  1. The cast of "Floribama Shore," Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County.
    It’s probably not related to 'Floribama Shore’ filming in the St. Petersburg bar.
  2. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November.
    Episode 4 of the MTV reality series filmed in St. Pete features Gus on the rebound.
  3. The cast of "Siesta Key" on MTV.
    It’s a third season for the reality series filmed at the beach community in Sarasota County.
  4. Festivus, the made-up holiday "Seinfeld" made famous, is celebrated on Dec. 23 and features a Festivus pole. Here, a scene from the episode, "The Strike," featuring the pole. [Sony Pictures TV]
    Air your grievances. We’ll publish them, so the world can do better in 2020.
  5. Tim Fasano during his taxi driving days.
    His videos and blog posts had a following among the Sasquatch community.
  6. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County.
    In Episodes 3 and 4 of the MTV reality series, Jeremiah just wants to ‘have a good time, with my boy’ in St. Petersburg.
  7. Scott Hutchison, left, with Barrie Drewitt-Barlow. The couple's romantic relationship was announced via the British tabloid media this week. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow is still legally married to his partner of 30 years, Tony Drewitt-Barlow, who is not pictured. All three men live together with the Drewitt-Barlow's five children in Tampa, and have been fodder for European tabloids this week.
    Living situation makes South Tampa’s Drewitt-Barlow family fodder for Daily Mail and others.
  8. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premiered Nov. 14.
    In the Season 3 premiere, the crew hits St. Pete like an entire sheet cake thrown on a tile floor.
  9. Dave Bautista with Maggie and Ollie.
    Separated at a Hillsborough County shelter, their story caught the attention of many, including Dave Bautista.
  10. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres Nov. 14.
    And what does it mean for our future? St. Pete Beach and St. Petersburg prepare for the spotlight when Season 3 premieres with “more fights, drama, arrests, than ever before.”