TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, January 24.
(1) Darryl Strawberry opens substance abuse treatment center
Former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry will host a grand opening event on Friday for his new Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center in St. Cloud.
Strawberry helped the New York Mets win a World Series in 1986 and the New York Yankees to titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
His struggles with addictions are well known. In April 1999 he was arrested in Tampa for having a small amount cocaine while soliciting sex from an undercover police officer.
The following year, Strawberry was arrested for trying to flee from a traffic accident in Tampa. Strawberry admitted he had taken painkillers and while driving to see his probation officer he blacked out. A month later he left a Tampa drug treatment center to use drugs with a friend.
Since then Strawberry has become an ordained minister and hopes his recovery center will help others overcome their demons.
The center's 28-day residential treatment program will treat addictions and all forms of substance abuse including prescription medications.
A number of athletes are joining Strawberry for the opening of the center including NFL Hall of Fame inductee Jack Youngblood, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Randy Grimes, former New York Yankee Rick Rhoden and former professional tennis player Sally Greer.
The Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center is located at 81 Beehive Circle Drive in St. Cloud. The grand opening celebration will take place today from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.
For more information, visit strawberrycenter.com .
(2) North American Bitcoin Conference
The first-ever North American Bitcoin Conference (NABC) will open at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Friday in Miami Beach.
The conference aims to drive the currency from speculators to mainstream use. Bitcoin is a new kind of money that operates only online without governments or banks.
The currency has received a preliminary "Stamp of Approval" in the US Senate and more online merchants are accepting it.
The NABC will offer workshops targeted at merchants to allow vendors, exhibitors, and recent bitcoin startups to share their stories about using the new currency.
For more information on the Bitcoin Conference, visit btcmiami.com .
(3) Tampa Bay Home Show
The Tampa Bay Home Show opens at Tropicana Field on Friday.
The three-day show is the largest home show on Florida's West Coast. Do-it-your homeowners can stroll through displays to find hundreds of project ideas.
There will be the latest in carpet and tile, air conditioning systems, pest control, fencing, home security, storm protection and more at the show.
Hours are Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission and parking are both free. For more information, visit www.tampabayhomeshows.com .
(4) 7th annual Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival
The 7th annual Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival opens in Sarasota on Friday.
The event unites food, wine and beer enthusiasts with preeminent regional chefs and celebrated vintners from around the world.
Today and Saturday the festival features various winemaker events at area restaurants.
Tickets are still available for Saturday's interactive wine seminars which take place at the Michaels Wine Cellar.
For a full list of Forks & Corks events or to purchase tickets, visit www.freshoriginals.com/forksandcorks .
(5) A Celebration of Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort's A Celebration of Harry Potter three-day special event starts on Friday.
Multiple Potter-themed events, discussions and panels will take place over the next three days.
Harry Potter film stars Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley) are scheduled to make appearances during the celebration.
A Harry Potter Expo will be held inside a Universal Orlando soundstage. Guests to the Expo can get an up-close look at the artistry and craftsmanship that went into the film series costumes; experience an interactive dueling presentation by choreographer Paul Harris; go behind-the-scenes of Pottermore.com; meet artist Kazu Kibuishi who recently re-imagined the Harry Potter book covers; and see the Harry Potter postal stamps.
Panel discussions include a Harry Potter Tribute; a Q&A session featuring cast members from the movies; how the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was created and more. Admission into panel events will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information about A Celebration of Harry Potter, visit www.universalorlando.com/celebration .