5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, July 24

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, July 24.

(1) Citrus County preliminary budget hearing

Citrus County Administrator Brad Thorpe will present his proposed Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget to County Commissioners on Wednesday.

The budget proposal has to deal with a projected $16.5 million shortfall due largely because of a tax dispute with Duke Energy.

Among the proposals under consideration is increasing property taxes and cutting more than $1 million in county services.

Today's meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. in Room 100 at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness.

The proposed budget can be viewed online at www.bocc.citrus.fl.us.

(2) Epicurean Hotel hard hat tour

Members of the media and a few lucky Facebook fans of the Epicurean Hotel will receive a behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of the hotel on Wednesday.

The 137-room hotel is being built across the street from Ben's Steak House on South Howard Avenue in Tampa. It will feature a rooftop lounge, bakery, pastry shop, wine store and culinary classroom.

The Epicurean is scheduled to open in December. While it will be an independent hotel, the Epicurean will be part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection.

Today's hardhat tour begins at 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/EpicureanHotel.

(3) Buccaneers players report to training camp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers veterans will report to One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday to prepare for the start of training camp.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Bucs are hosting their training camp at the team's headquarters.

"We are thrilled to give our loyal fans their first glimpse of the 2013 Buccaneers on the field," said Brian Ford, Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer. "I know our entire organization is equally excited to get to work on what promises to be a memorable season."

The Buccaneers will host 10 public practices beginning on Thursday.

All practices begin at 8:45 a.m. (except for the night practice at Raymond James Stadium on July 27). Gates open at 7:45 a.m.

Admission to all training camp practices is free. For more information on training camp, visit www.buccaneers.com/news/training-camp-news.html.

(4) Mayor Buckhorn ribbon cutting ceremonies

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will hold ribbon cutting ceremony for three new downtown Tampa businesses on Wednesday.

At 4:30 p.m. the ribbon will be cut for the Paddywagon Irish Pub in the Element building. The pub features 24 beers on tap, a full liquor bar, dart boards, a pool table and an outdoor patio.

Mayor Buckhorn will cut the ribbon at Anise Global Gastrobar in the Skypoint building at 4:45 p.m. The restaurant/bar which opened a few months ago features cocktails, boutique wines and globally inspired dishes.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Crumb&Cork occurs at 5:00 p.m. The establishment offers cheeses, wines, characuterie with live jazz.

(5) Free ice cream in Tampa

Blue Bell Ice Cream is giving away free cups of their Dutch Chocolate and Homemade Vanilla ice creams in downtown Tampa on Wednesday.

You can get your free ice cream from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Look for the trailer parked near the splash fountain.

The free ice cream offer is good while supplies last.

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