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Friday, November 12, 2010

Tour de Streetcar

Imagine all the activities you could pack into 2.4 miles, then add in a few more blocks of fun, food and great family deals, and what have you got?

It's the 8th Annual Streetcar Fest presented by Kimmins Construction, taking place tomorrow all along the TECO Line Streetcar System and In-Town Trolley Green Line, including Ybor City, the Channel District and downtown Tampa. Get onboard for just 25 cents from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and have a day full of family fun.

Come along for a guided tour of some of the great activities we have planned for you! Click here for the full streetcar and trolley system map so you can follow along.

Station #1 - Centennial Park
Station 1 serves Centennial Park and eastern Ybor City
We start at the northern end of the line next to Centennial Park. First, be sure to visit the Streetcar Fest information tent and grab a brochure - you'll need to present it for some of the deals being offered throughout the day.

When you arrive at this station, don't miss the Ybor City Saturday Market, which is open between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., for fresh produce, gourmet foods and sauces, fresh baked breads, plants, gifts, jewelry, crafts...you name it, they have it.

This is also your stop for the Ybor City Museum State Park, where you can get a first-hand look at historic Ybor. You can also visit our friends at Mema's Alaskan Tacos and Tribecca Color Salon for discounts available during Streetcar Fest.

Station #2 - Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union Station
Hop off at Station 2 for Centro Ybor and more
Stop here for all the fun, food and shopping of Centro Ybor! You can catch entertainment on the plaza from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., including Rayzilla’s PBS Band (Latin influence), the HCC Stage Band (Jazz), a Lifestyle Family Fitness workout demonstration, and an appearance by Teddy Roosevelt with stories of old Ybor City.

Hang onto the brochure you picked up earlier, because you'll need it for some of the discounts offered by merchants in the Centro Ybor area, like Roma Pizza, Gaspar's Grotto and La France Vintage Clothing.

Station #4 - Cadrecha Plaza
From Station 4, take a short walk to the streetcar barn,
just across the street from the Hampton Inn
Hop off the streetcar at Cadrecha Plaza and walk one block south to the streetcar barn. Here you can join the Friends of the Streetcar Society for behind-the-scenes tours of the streetcars' home, and ride into the past on the restored 1923 Birney Streetcar No. 163.

This is also your stop for the Underground Coffee & Thrift Store, where you can get great coffee for a cause - proceeds help in the restoration of vulnerable women.

Pulling away from the streetcar barn and leaving Ybor City, our next stop is the Channel District!

Station #7 - Cumberland Avenue 
Stations 7 & 8 are your connection to all the fun
in the Channel District
Jump off at the Cumberland Avenue station for the Florida Aquarium! Say hello to the fish and other undersea creatures for $5 off regular admission with your Streetcar Fest brochure (told you you'd need it!)

Station #8 - Tampa Tribune Station
Here's your stop for all the fun and excitement of Channelside Bay Plaza! If you're out and about early, you can pick up tickets for a special one-hour sightseeing cruise of Tampa Bay aboard Yacht Starship. The cruise departs at 2 p.m., with boarding between 1:30 and 1:45. Word to the wise - the sightseeing cruise is always a very popular activity, and tickets sell out fast. If you want to hit this one, be sure to pick up your tickets as soon as the office opens.

Inside Channelside Bay Plaza, don't miss deals and discounts from the Tampa Bay Visitor Information Center & Gift Shop, the American Victory Ship Mariners Museum, Channelside Bennigan's, Coldstone Creamery and Wine Design.

Station #9 - HSBC Station
At Station 9, visit the Tampa Bay History Center and
St. Pete Times Forum
Stop here to go back in time at the Tampa Bay History Center. Since you're already in the mood to ride the rails, don't miss the center's new exhibit, "From the Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay," and get a $2 discount off your regular admission.

While you're in the neighborhood, drop by the St. Pete Times Forum box office and pick up a free ticket for kids 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket to see your Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, November 14 at 5 p.m. (some restrictions apply, see box office for details).

Station #10 - Dick Greco Plaza
At Station 10, explore beautiful Greco Plaza and other
scenic locations
The beautiful Dick Greco Plaza is the southern end of the streetcar line, at least until the Whiting Street extension opens in the next few weeks. Hop out here and take a walk among the lush landscaping adjacent to the plaza (and take your picture with our former mayor, Dick Greco). You can also meander across the street and take in the views along the Riverwalk behind the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.

If you're feeling really energetic, you can catch a workout demonstration by Lifestyle Family Fitness or rent a bicycle from City Bike Tampa, with your second hour free (rental hut on the Riverwalk under the Harbor Island Bridge at the Marriott). City Bike Tampa will also be offering a free safety class at 10 a.m. at the Forum.

Feel more like relaxing? Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk outside the Tampa Convention Center has drink specials for Streetcar Fest attendees.

That's the end (for now) of the streetcar line, but there's even more fun waiting for you in downtown Tampa. From Greco Plaza, just hop aboard the In-Town Trolley Green Line, HART's rubber-wheel trolley network, and head a few blocks north. The In-Town Trolley fare is just 25 cents.
Some of the downtown venues served by the
In-Town Trolley Green Line
Once you've arrived downtown, check out the following Streetcar Fest specials:
  • Avanzare Bar & Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency - $5 and $3 drink specials noon to 10 p.m.
  • Ashley Street Grille at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk - $2 drafts and 2-for-1 wells; 20% off meals with your Streetcar Fest brochure
  • Glazer Children's Museum - 15% off gift shop purchase Saturday only with brochure
  • "Paws for a Cawse" event next to the Tampa Museum of Art
After the Streetcar Fest, you can enjoy a show at Straz Center for the Performing Arts:
Opera Tampa's "The Merry Widow," 8pm, Ferguson Hall
"Forbidden Broadway," 2pm & 7:30pm, Jaeb Theater
Jobsite Theater's "Mindgame," 8pm, Shimberg Playhouse
Jazz @ The Straz presents Ken Loomer Big Band, 7:30 p.m., TECO Theater

Whew! Are you tired yet? That's a whole lot of great stuff to do, packed into one terrific day along the TECO Line Streetcar System and In-Town Trolley Green Line. Gather the family, find a bunch of quarters, and come out tomorrow for all the fun. We'll see you on the line!

For more information about the TECO Line Streetcar System, visit our website, http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org/.

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