Advertisement

Bright Spots

The world is hard right now, but there's still good news out there. People helping each other, companies changing missions to serve the public need and more. We're all in this together.

  1. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will open Iron Gwazi, the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster, for passholder previews Feb. 11 and will officially open March 11.
  2. Construction is underway, including two new rides in the background, at Adventure Island in Tampa. The park is undergoing its biggest enhancement in 30 years.
  3. Jack Timmel, 34, and his father, John Timmel, 65, who are licensed harbor pilots, serve as the sail masters for the "Jose Gasparilla" pirate ship that leads a flotilla of private boats into downtown Tampa before its signature parade. They are standing in the elevated perch that the captains use on the ship, which was built in 1954 for the festival.
  4. Young revelers yell for beads at the 2020 Children's Gasparilla parade in Tampa. The parade was canceled in 2021 because of COVID-19.
  5. The Jolley Trolley, shown here on Mandalay Avenue on Clearwater Beach, will become the Jolley Roger Trolley for free rides to the Children's Gasparilla Parade on Jan. 22.
  6. Fans hangout at Buc's Beach prior to a NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 9. The team will hand out free swag to fans on Friday morning to get ready for Sunday's playoff game against the Eagles.
  7. Shoppers browse booths at the 2021 Localtopia in Williams Park in St. Petersburg, when crowd capacity was limited. The festival will be back with more than 300 vendors when it returns Feb. 12.
  8. Busch Gardens in Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando are bringing back the popular Preschool Card, letting kids 5 and younger in the theme parks for free in 2022. But you need to go online and register soon.
  9. Performer Hector Pazaran performs a futuristic act for Cirque Italia's new "traveling water circus" that will premiere in Brandon and Wesley Chapel.
  10. Harper Gage, 6, puts on her gloves before taking her go-kart around the track at Andersen RacePark in Palmetto. Harper races competitively despite bilateral hearing loss.
Advertisement
Advertisement