5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 21
8:39 AM, Mar 21, 2013
TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 21.
(1) Internet sweepstakes cafe ban vote
The Tampa City Council is scheduled to hold a second vote on Thursday on an ordinance that would ban new internet sweepstakes cafes and put limits on ones currently operations.
The thirteen cafes would be for adults only, could not move to a new location, would not be allowed to advertise they offer gambling, and could not add any new machines.
The ordinance is similar to existing laws in Hillsborough and Seminole Counties.
People violating the ordinance could face a misdemeanor charge with a maximum fine up to $500 and/or up to 60 days in jail.
The ban would not affect any gambling operations regulated by state or federal law.
The vote is expected around 9:30 a.m.
(2) Dan Wheldon Memorial & Victory Circle unveiling
A special memorial for IndyCar Series race driver Dan Wheldon will be unveiled in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Wheldon, who lived in the city with his wife and two sons, died in 2011 during the season finale race in Las Vegas.
Dan's wife Susie, will wave the green flag to start the race on Sunday.
Representatives from the City of St. Petersburg, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, American Honda and INDYCAR will unveil the Dan Wheldon memorial and Victory Circle monument on Bayside Drive behind Turn 10 of the race track.
Drivers from the IndyCar Series are expected to attend the unveiling which occurs at 5:30 p.m.
(3) Grand Prix Illuminated Night Parade
The streets of St. Petersburg will be lit up on Thursday night for the annual Grand Prix Illuminated Night Parade.
The parade has been held in downtown St. Petersburg since 1969. It features floats, beauty queens, marching bands, neighborhood associations, dance troupes and drivers from the Honda Grand Prix.
The parade starts at Central Avenue and 5th Street, travels east on Central Avenue before turning north on 2nd Street. It will then head east on 1st Ave North, north on Beach Drive before ending on 5th Avenue North.
Parking is available at Baywalk Garage and the South Core Garage on 1st Avenue South. Handicap Parking will be available on the South side of 5th Avenue, East of Bayshore Drive.
All seating is available on a first come basis. The parade begins at 7:00 p.m.
(4) Police officers raise money for Special Olympics
Police officers in Tampa and Lakeland will be raising money for the Special Olympics starting on Thursday.
For the next three days, from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m., TPD officers will be on the roof of the Krispy Kreme at 3113 West Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. The officers will reel down buckets filled with coupons from the roof to customers who donate $1 or more to the Special Olympics.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor is scheduled to ride Chad the horse through the drive-thru at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday for his customary jelly doughnut.
Officers from the Lakeland Police Department and other Polk County law enforcement agencies will be on the roof of the Krispy Kreme at 4209 South Florida Avenue in Lakeland from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. through Saturday to collect money.
The money from both fundraisers will be used to help athletes with intellectual disabilities participate in Olympic style sporting events at Disney's Wide World of Sports this May.