TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, September 20.
(1) Jacob's Ride comes to Tropicana Field
Jacob Landis will be at Tropicana Field for the Tampa Bay Rays game on Friday night.
Landis has spent the past six months bicycling across the country in an effort to raise money for cochlear implants. He lost his hearing when he was 10 years old.
Jacob's father says he cashed in on all of his retirement funds to spend seventy thousand dollars to allow his son to hear with a cochlear implant.
"It's the difference between speaking and not speaking. It's the difference between hearing music and not hearing music," said Landis
The father-son duo wants to help other families.
Donations gathered during the bicycle ride will allow Landis purchase cochlear implants for the Gift of Hearing Foundation.
Jacob has already visited 28 other Major League ballparks during his ride to spread his message. He will end his tour in Miami in a few days.
You can meet Jacob in the Party Deck at Tropicana Field beginning at 6:00 p.m. You can help Jacob reach his $200,000 goal by visiting http://www.jacobsride.com .
(2) Rays "Shirts Off Our Backs" fundraiser
The Rays Baseball Foundation begins their annual "Shirts Off Our Back" fundraiser on Friday. Proceeds from the fundraiser help support youth and education programs in the Tampa Bay region.
Two hundred volunteers will at Tropicana Field during the four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles offering scratch-off cards in return for donations.
Among the prizes donors can win are 2014 Rays game tickets, Rays game-worn jerseys and more. For more information, visit raysbaseball.com/community .
First pitch for tonight's game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (800) 745-3000 or visit raysbaseball.com .
(3) Busch Gardens new children's play area opens
The brand new Busch Gardens-themed children's play area at International Plaza opens on Friday.
"We're excited to bring a little bit of adventure into the community for all families to experience each and every day," said Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean. "This will be a fully immersive experience for kids, highlighting the exciting elements you'd find at the park."
The area will feature animals such as hippos, a baby elephant, baby lions and an alligator. There will also be a train, a safari truck and a 14-foot Cheetah Hunt Tower.
"I know it'll be a hit with young families living in the area, as well as those visiting from out-of-town," says Nina Mahoney, International Plaza marketing and sponsorship director.
(4) Halloween Horror Nights 23 opens
Halloween Horror Nights 23 opens to the public at Universal Studios Orlando on Friday night. The annual spookfest will be open select nights through November 2.
The event features intense street experiences, haunted houses, and an all-new 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" with TV, movie and music parodies.
Adult discretion is strongly advised because the event may be too intense for young children.
Guests may not wear costumes, make-up or masks at Halloween Horror Nights.
Florida residents can save up to $49 when buying in advance with a Coca-Cola product. Parking at Universal Studios is $16, with reduced prices after 8:00 p.m.
For more information, visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/index.html .
(5) 12th annual Tampa Theatre Winefest
The Tampa Theatre's 12th annual Winefest Weekend begins on Friday.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Theatre's artistic endeavors and educational programs as well as the theatre's ongoing restoration.
For the first time in Winefest history, dinner will be served on the Theatre's historic stage on Friday night. The $195 event pairs a delectable dinner with choice wines.
Saturday will feature a Wine Tasting event where you can sample boutique wines. There will also be a silent auction. Ticket prices start at $50.
A brunch will be served on Sunday morning with mimosas, Bellinis and a selection of light wines. Guests will enjoy live music by The Johnny Zoom Hi-Fi Show while drinking handcrafted wine based cocktails provided by the team from SideBern's.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tampatheatrewinefest.org .
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