TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, September 21.
(1) iPhone 5 releases
One of the hottest items of the year, the iPhone 5, officially goes on sale on Friday.
Apple, its cell phone partners and retailers began taking orders for the smart phone on September 14. Within an hour Apple had sold out of its preorder allotment. AT&T and Verizon reported they were sold out later that day.
The iPhone 5 has a number of new features compared to the iPhone 4S:
- The display is now 4-inches instead of 3.5-inches.
- It has a faster A6 processor.
- It supports 4G LTE technology and dual-band Wi-Fi.
- It has an upgraded 8 megapixel iSight camera.
The iPhone 5, with a two-year contract, will cost you $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. The list price of the phone without a contract starts at $649.99.
Three major U.S. mobile carriers are offering the iPhone 5: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Some other smaller mobile phone companies will also be carrying the device.
To learn more about the iPhone 5, visit www.apple.com/iphone .
(2) Howl-O-Scream Freaky Preview
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomes guests to the Dark Side of the Gardens on Friday night during a Freaky Preview of Howl-O-Scream 2012.
For the 13th year in a row, Busch Gardens' 335 acres will be turned into adult-targeted Halloween fun.
This year features two new haunted houses: Blood Asylum and Circus of Superstition 3-D.
Five other popular demented houses from previous years also return: Ultimate Gamble: CONDEMNED; Nightshade Toy Factory: MUTATION; Nevermore; Zombie Mortuary; and Alone... (A personal experience in horror).
Following tonight and tomorrow night's Freaky Preview, Howl-O-Scream will run Thursday through Saturday nights from September 21 to October 27.
Hours are from 7:30 p.m. to 1:00 during the Freaky Preview and on Thursdays, and 7:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.
General admission is $79.99 plus tax but reduced advance purchase rates and special offers are available for Busch Gardens pass members at TheDarkSideOfTheGardens.com .
For more information, call (888) 800-5447 or visit www.howloscream.com/tampa .
(3) Halloween Horror Nights 22
Beginning on Friday night for the 22nd consecutive year, Universal Orlando Resort transforms into Halloween Horror Nights.
The Halloween event features terrifying haunted houses including flesh-eating walkers from AMC's The Walking Dead, demonic being from the popular video game Silent Hill, Penn & Teller's nuclear ooze-covered Las Vegas wasteland, and twisted concepts pulled straight from demented mind of legendary rocker Alice Cooper.
Halloween Horror Nights runs select nights from tonight through October 31. Gates open each night at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets and vacation packages begin at $41.99 online for Florida residents and can be purchased at Halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando .
(4) PBR DEWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational
The top 35 bull riders in the world will compete for more than $125,000 in prize money in the two-day DEWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational which begins Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The nationally-televised PBR Built Ford Tough Series features the best, highest-paid bull riders in the world, including Florida native and top 25 riders, Caleb Sanderson of Kissimmee.
Each of the top 35 riders in the world will ride on Friday and Saturday. Following Round 1 on Friday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will each compete with one more bull.
Following Round 3 on Saturday, the riders with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round where they will compete with one more bull.
The overall event winner will be the rider with the highest combined score from all four rounds, earning $30,000 for first place.
Tickets begin at $10 and are available at the Tampa Bay Times Forum box office, www.ticketmaster.com and by calling (800) 745-3000.
Tampa is the 25th of 29 stops on the 2012 BFTS schedule. The season will concludes October 24 to 28 in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals. The PBR World Champion will be crowned and awarded a $1 million bonus
For more information on the PBR, visit www.pbr.com .
(5) Blue Jays vs. Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays continue their nine game stretch of playing sub-.500 teams when they host the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on Friday night.
The first 10,000 fans to the game will receive a Desmond Jennings collectable T-shirt.
James Shields is scheduled to start for the Rays. He is 14-9 with a 3.77 ERA.
Carlos Villaneuva is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays. His career numbers against the Rays are not impressive. Villaneuva is 1-2 with a 8.41 ERA in 20.1 innings.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (888) FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com .
The Rays Baseball Foundation and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association's Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) are teaming up for the annual