1. The Education Gradebook

Area shopping outlets plan sales tax holiday promotions

The area's major outlets expect robust sales during the state's school tax holiday, which runs Aug. 4-6.

For a complete list of tax-exempt items, visit and look under the "Current Topics" section.

Here's a breakdown of additional promotions major outlets are offering.

Westfield Citrus Park, 8021 Citrus Park Town Center. Beginning Aug. 1, shoppers can help raise money for local schools by participating in the Cash4Class School Rewards Program. Each purchase made during the promotional period (Aug. 1-April 30, 2018) earns "points" and ultimately cash prizes for the school of their choice.

Teachers, parents and friends can simply submit receipts online at, from their shopping, dining, service or entertainment purchases at Westfield Citrus Park. Your school earns at least five points for each dollar spent. During the tax free holiday, a bonus multiplier of five points will be awarded when receipts dated August 4-6 are submitted by August 31.

Westfield Brandon, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive, offers a Cash4Class School Rewards program like Westfield Citrus Park. Each school is guaranteed at least $300 and the winning school receives $5,000 in Westfield Gift Cards when you submit receipts online at

The contest runs through April 30, 2018. Each dollar spent is worth at least five points. The school with the most receipts logged each month will receive an additional $250 bonus prize.

The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive. Between Aug. 1-31, shoppers can participate in the Lucky Launch Back to School Instant Win. Enter and play for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Find the keyword on the "Lucky Launch" posters throughout the center or visit guest services to play.

Receive a $20 mall gift card when you bring same day receipts from August 4-6 totaling $250 or more from any Shops at Wiregrass store to guest services. Department stores, restaurants, and gift card purchases are excluded.

On Aug. 5, a blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and a farmers market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with local food, crafts, and live music.

It's open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive. The area's newest outlet is touting the shop tax free weekend and extra savings on top of already reduced prices.

Shoppers can enjoy the Tunes on the Lagoon Summer Concert Series on Saturday, July 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features live music, family activities, and more.

It's open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., continues its Family Fun Nights from 5-8 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 12 with live entertainment, oversized games, a mobile video game truck, face painter, balloon artist, giveaways, and opportunities to win gift cards abound. Some elements vary. Head to Sunset Point, located near the Food Court between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

It has also mailed post cards redeemable for $20 at Simon Guest Services to one of the stores listed. Approximately 10,000 of them will be mailed.

University Mall, 2200 E Fowler Ave. offers shoppers the tax free shopping between August 4-6.

It's open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

WestShore Plaza, 250 West- shore Plaza partnered with country music radio station, WQYK-99.5 FM for their annual Back to School Shoe Drive which runs through Aug. 6 and benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay. Shoes will be collected at guest services during normal mall hours for the duration of the program. In addition, representatives from the radio station will have a table at the mall on Sunday (July 30) from 2 to 4 p.m. and on Saturday (Aug. 5) from noon to 2 p.m. to accept donations.

Tampa Bay Parenting hosts their 10th annual Back to School Fair, which falls on Saturday Aug. 5 (sales tax holiday weekend) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids can meet and take pictures with characters and mascots including Tampa Bay Lightning's Thunderbug, Tampa Bay Bucs Captain Fear & Bucs Squad for Youth, pirates and princesses. Prize packs, gifts cards and more will be raffled throughout the day. Parents can learn about after school providers, doctors, tutoring services, fitness providers, lawyers, dentists, restaurants, wireless providers, stores, community service organizations, city and county agencies.

International Plaza and Bay Street, 2223 N West Shore Blvd. Nordstrom's anniversary sale continues through tax free weekend.

Pink will host a Pink Party on Aug. 4 during mall hours.

Gap will offer 40 percent off for tax free friends and family weekend (Aug. 4-5).

Dilliards will host a kids day event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Students who show their ID can receive 15 percent off at Sperrys for back to school.