5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, January 11

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, January 11.

(1) Kathy Castor immigration news conference

Rep. Kathy Castor and coalition groups will attend a news conference on Friday to call for real immigration reform.

They will ask Congress to give people in American illegally a path to citizenship. Castor endorses the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' (CHC) principles for immigration reform will says anything that jeopardizes family unity is unacceptable.

The CHC calls for a reform that "all workers pay their fair share of taxes and bear the same responsibilities as all Americans."

Today's event is sponsored by multiple organizations including Florida Immigrant Coalition, ACLU-FL, Mi Familia Vota, UNO Federation, LULAC and CIR NOW!

The news conference will take place at 10:00 a.m. at Ybor City Centenial Park at 1800 East 8th Avenue in Tampa.

(2) Freddie Solomon community center designation

Hillsborough County will honor Freddie Solomon with a memorial birthday celebration by designating a community center in his name on Friday.

Solomon was a former college and NFL star and 20-year employee of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. One of his passions was coaching youth sports in the Nuccio Park community.

Freddie passed away from cancer in February 2012.

Today's event will be a dual celebration: it is Freddie's birthday, and the building at Nuccio Park will now be known as the Freddie Solomon Community Center.

The designation ceremony will begin at 4:00 p.m. at Nuccio Park at 4805 East Sligh Avenue in Tampa.

(3) New York Yankees spring training tickets

Single game tickets for all 2013 New York Yankees home spring training tickets go on sale on Friday.

This year the Yankees will play 17 games at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa beginning on February 24 including games against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, March 20 at 1:05 p.m. and the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, March 24 at 1:05 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $17 to $33.

Tickets can be purchased at the Steinbrenner Field box office, Yankees.com or by calling Ticketmaster.

(4) Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition

The Henry Plant Museum opens a new exhibit on Friday showcasing the history of Gasparilla, Tampa's oldest and most fun-loving community festival.

Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition features early memorabilia such as Krewe of Gasparilla coronation robes, ball invitations, programs, crowns and costumes as well as vintage photographs of the invasion, parade floats, pirates and royal courts.

Of particular interest is a 1950's princess gown designed by Anne Lowe, an African American fashion designer from Tampa, famous for her one-of-a-kind Gasparilla dresses. Lowe later gained fame when she designed and made Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's wedding gown and bridesmaids' dresses.

Film footage from the 1920's titled Memories of Gasparilla Festivals will be shown continuously.

To kick off the new exhibit a celebrity panel of former Tampa Mayors will moderate at discussion tonight titled Gasparilla: Tall Tales & Scandalous Stories. Sandy Freedman, Dick Greco, Pam Iorio and Bob Martinez are scheduled to attend.

The discussion will take place from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. in the Music Room at the University of Tampa's Plant Hall. The event is free, but seating is limited. For more information, call (813) 258-7302.

The Henry B. Plant Museum is located at 401 West Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. For more information, call (813) 254-1891 or visit www.plantmuseum.com .

(5) Gasparilla Collection

The 2013 Garparilla Pirate Festival is just over two weeks away, but you can get your hands on some great bounty beginning on Friday.

Officially licensed Gasparilla merchandise is now available. Gasparilla Collection features t-shirts, caps, hats, koozies and novelty items.

All merchandise will feature the official Gasparilla logo to identify the official brand.

The merchandise can be found at local Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Publix stores as well as online at www.gasparillapirategear.com .

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