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Tampa Bay Host Committee spotlights local cities in new promotional videos

The people and places of the



area sparkle on a quartet of promotional videos released this week by the Republican National Convention's host committee.

A main video highlights the b


area as a whole, from the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks to the Ringling Museum of Art in

. Three more focus individually on


St. Petersburg

, touching both on the obvious and some below-the-radar points of pride. The one on Clearwater, for example, touts the city's sugar-sand beaches and Winter the dolphin, but also mentions Clearwater High School graduate and NASA astronaut Nicole Passonno Stott. Clearwater High itself gets a shout-out for equipping its student body with Kindle e-readers.

The promotions use a wide variety of well-known local figures, including Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, fight doctor and painter Ferdie Pacheco, current and former members of the Rays, Bucs and Lightning and the mayors of the three featured cities.

For now, the videos can be found on the host committee's web site,, but committee spokeswoman Aileen Rodriguez said the group will take steps to share them with delegates so that visitors can get ideas about things to do and places to go before they arrive for the convention in late August.

The host committee also plans to produce a "Why Florida, Why Now" video to promote the state's economy and will show that to conventioneers "anyplace that there's a line," host committee executive board member Kathleen Shanahan said this week. It's not decided yet whether the new videos will be broadcast in the same way.

"We do want to share them as much as we can," Rodriguez said.