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. The Tampa Sports Authority announced it is bringing the Tampa Taco and Margarita Festival to Raymond James Stadium on March 12. But Tampa organizers say they have learned from the past mistakes of the event's promoter and are taking measures to control the event.
  4. 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.
  5. Jim Zender exits an RV during setup for a previous Florida RV SuperShow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The show, often referred to as the nation's largest, is expected to have more than 1,200 recreational vehicles on display Wednesday through Sunday.
  6. Young revelers yell for beads at the 2020 Children's Gasparilla parade in Tampa. The parade was canceled in 2021 because of COVID-19.
  7. 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.
  8. Captain Tiger Lee, 59, the owner of Pirate Fashions in Tampa, helps 9-year-old Evan Hughes as he tries on a pirate costume while his family watches at the specialty store at 4006 W Cayuga St. In the background, from left, are Evan’s grandmother, Gloria Hughes, 57; his grandfather, Joe Hughes, 65; and his sister, Elaina, 11, from Riverview.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Performer Hector Pazaran performs a futuristic act for Cirque Italia's new "traveling water circus" that will premiere in Brandon and Wesley Chapel.
  13. Plant City, Dade City, St. Petersburg, Tampa and Brooksville will hold parades celebrating the birth of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  14. ZooTampa has rescued a total of 500 manatees since the opening of its manatee critical care center
  15. Guests stroll along Main Street at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. All four theme parks at Walt Disney World have reached maximum capacity today and New Year's Eve, according to Disney's website.
  16. Traditional dancers will be part of the Russian New Year celebration organized by the Russian Heritage Organization. It will be held on Jan. 8 at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach.
  17. New Years Eve fireworks light up the sky off Clearwater Beach in 2018.
  18. At Busch Gardens in Tampa, a slick steel track is combined with the footprint of the old wooden Gwazi coaster to make Iron Gwazi, North America's tallest hybrid coaster. It will open in March 2022, two years after it was originally slated to debut.
  19. ICON Park in Orlando in recent years had added a number of tall rides including StarFlyer, left, a record-breaking swing ride. This week it opened Orlando Slingshot and Orlando FreeFall, shown to the right.
  20. Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon water park is set to reopen Jan. 2 after being closed since March 2020. Guests will again be able to take a ride down the Crush 'n' Gusher coaster ride shown here.
  21. Snow Days have returned to the Florida Aquarium. The snow play area set up in the week after Christmas is included with admission. New this year, kids can launch snowballs off the Aquarium’s TECO Deck.
  22. In this photo provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, 22 Wing members are seen showing how they track Santa on his sleigh on Christmas eve during a media preview at the Canadian Forces Base in North Bay on Dec. 9, 2021.
  23. Dec. 23, 2021• Life & Culture
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