Friday, February 24, 2012

Things to Do in Tampa this Weekend: 2/24 - 2/26

The 65th Annual Fiesta Day
7th Avenue - 2/25 - 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

A day to celebrate Ybor City's culture and heritage, this free, family friendly "street festival" offers food, entertainment and shopping. Prepare your senses as the smells of Latin food and the rhythms of Latin music will fill 7th Avenue, along with vendors, dancing and a whole array of family fun.

Please note: 7th Avenue will be closed from 15th Street to 20th Street from 6:00am to 7:00pm to accommodate crowds and vendors. The TECO Line Streetcar might be your best bet as 15,000 attendees are expected and parking might become scarce. Simply park in the Channelside garage or any of Downtown's parking garages and catch the streetcar to Ybor.

The TECO Line Streetcar will have an information booth, so don't be afraid to come by and say hi!

Ybor City is served by TECO Line Streetcar stations 1-4.

Visit for more information.

The 9th Annual Flan Fest
Centennial Park - 2/25 - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Flan is the star of this fest!
Consider yourself a big flan fan? The fabulous dessert will be featured once again at Flan Fest, held in conjunction with Fiesta Day. The flan-tivities will be held this Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Centennial Park in Ybor City. The main attraction is the Annual Flan Bake-Off, a 40 contestant flan slug-fest to determine who has the best custard treat the Bay area. Judging begins at noon with winners announced at 2:30 p.m.

The event will also feature live entertainment, shopping, and all day food and flan sampling.

And if you really, really, LOVE flan, a Flan Eating Contest is also scheduled for the event.

Flan Fest is a fundraiser for the Ybor City Saturday Market, a non-profit organization.  Make it a flan-filled day in Ybor and support a great Ybor City group!

Centennial Park is served by TECO Line Streetcar station 1.

Comedian D.L. Hughley
Tampa Improv - 2/24 - 2/26

Funnyman D.L. Hughley might be most known for starring in his own sitcom "The Hughleys," but Hughley's comic roots are what have provided him staying power.  This "Original King of Comedy" has been featured in a number of television shows, movies, and comedy specials. Most recently, Hughley took the helm of his own late night talk show "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News" on CNN. Catch him while you can, as he'll only be in town for the weekend. 

Shows are 21+ except the 10:00 p.m. Friday night show, which is 18+.

Nuclear Cowboyz
Tampa Bay Times Forum - 2/24 - 2/25 - 7:30 p.m.

Motocross Mayhem!
The world's top freestyle motocross riders are in town to perform some of the craziest tricks you have ever seen. If that isn't enough, this theatrical performance will be paired with state-of-the-art lights, lasers and pyrotechnics. It's sure to be a mind-blowing motocross experience!

Sounds like the perfect date night... for your significant other and his friends.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets!

The Tampa Bay Times Forum is served by TECO Line Streetcar HSBC station (station 9).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking to the Skies for Freedom

Freedom Rider Kredelle Petway
The Freedom Riders consisted of 436 individuals from different states, races and genders, each with their own story to tell.

Throughout February, we're telling the stories of 2 local Freedom Riders, along with the author who shined the spotlight on their courageous story.  This week, we feature Kredelle Petway, one of the only airplane Freedom Riders.

Activist by birth

Born in Camden, Alabama in 1941, Kredelle Petway is the daughter of Matthew Petway, a pastor and former NAACP activist.

With her father's ties to the NAACP, Kredelle Petway found herself active with the local movement.

In the early 1960's, she participated in Montgomery and Tallahassee sit-ins. Petway studied mathematics at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Petway spent her breaks from Florida A&M at home in Montgomery, Ala. In 1961, she filled in as a secretary for the Montgomery Improvement Association, a group started in 1955, after Rosa Park's arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus.

When King calls

That summer was particularly special for Petway.

She sat around the dinner table with Dr. Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy (Dr. King's close assistant and best friend) and her father Matthew Petway to discuss the Petway family's participation in the 2nd wave of Freedom Rides.
The Freedom Riders faced violence such as this torched bus

The first wave, originating in Washington, ended in a bombed-out bus and bloodied riders.

The plan for the family was to board a flight from Montgomery to Jackson, Mississippi. 

On July 24, 1961, Petway, her father, brother and Cecil A. Thomas, a fellow Freedom rider were arrested only minutes after arrival in the Jackson airport. She was just 20-years-old.

Kredelle Petwaywas arrested as a Freedom Rider
"When we landed in Jackson, they were waiting for us," Kredelle Petway said. The group spent three days in jail before being bailed out.

"It was very interesting, because I knew we were going to get out," Petway said. "I was too excited to be nervous."

Racial segregation on buses, trains and planes officially ended on November 1, 1961, six years after Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat and eight months after the beginning of the Freedom Rides.

Following the rides, Petway graduated from Florida A & M University in 1972 with a degree in mathematics. Over the years, Petway worked for a number of organizations, including the Louisville Urban League, U.S. Department of Treasury and Veteran Affairs. 

Remaining devoted to advancing civil rights, Petway retired in 1999 to focus on promoting equal opportunity employment practices. She now resides across the bay in Apollo Beach, FL.

It All Started on a Bus...

HART is honoring the Freedom Riders, and the author who shined the spotlight on their courageous story throughout February. Visit to find out what HART is doing to honor their contributions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It All Started on a Bus: The Freedom Riders

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat
Martin Luther King, Jr. was the face, the voice and the spirit behind the civil rights movement, but he was not alone. It all on started on a bus in 1955, when Rosa Parks, a seamstress, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man, which was in violation of segregation laws at the time. She later appealed the conviction, challenging the legality of segregation. Rosa Park's actions soon prompted bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama, which lead to the desegregation of Montgomery buses and became one of the movement's first victories. The boycotts, led by King, propelled him to the champion the cause.

The boycotts may have advanced the movement, but it wasn't until 1961, that widespread desegregation in public transportation was in seen in the South.
Freedom Riders' bombed-out bus

 Coming from a variety of racial, ethnic and economical backgrounds, 436 students risked their lives on buses, planes and trains, in pursuit of racial equality. What became known as "Freedom Rides" took place throughout the South in support of civil rights, where in some cases; participants were harassed, beaten and jailed.

HART is honoring Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. and Kredelle Petway, throughout February for their contributions toward advancing racial equality as part of the Freedom Riders. Joining them is Dr. Raymond Arsenault, author of the award winning book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, which shined the spotlight on the 436 courageous and determined individuals, 50 years after the rides t through the South.

Keep on the lookout for our PSAs featuring the trio on My Fox Tampa Bay (Channel 13 on most TVs) and PBS (WEDU) throughout the month. We'll also be featuring them individually on the blog over the next few weeks.

One man had a dream that one day all men would be created equal. That dream became a reality through the actions of many, including Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders. HART honors the role that transit played in advancing that dream of equality. It all started on a bus...

Above: Video (5 minutes) remembering the acts of the Freedom Riders, with a few interviews from two of the Freedom Riders, along with Dr. Arsenault, whom documented their stories.

Visit for more information and video clips on the Freedom Riders.