Overheard in Tampa Bay: Avatar acrobats, a Pride cruise, Christmas in Ybor and LGBT library collection at USF

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They’re blue, da ba dee da ba die
Have you longed to see the giant, blue nature-loving Na’vi tribe tangling tails since seeing them in James Cameron’s 2009 smash hit AVATAR? If so, you are not alone. The high flying acrobats of Cirque du Soleil are joining Cameron to bring the alien race to life with their new show TORUK – The First Flight, and they just announced they are coming to the Amalie Arena in Tampa March 17-20, 2016. Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale of two male friends on the brink of adulthood set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR. Make sure to get your tickets to what is sure to be the best show this side of Pandora.

Pride on the open waters
After enjoying the celebration of Tampa Pride 2016, you can continue the party on a six-day cruise hosted by Pride organizers Mark & Carrie and Hamburger Mary’s owner Kurt King. Set sail aboard the Carnival Paradise from the Port of Tampa and head to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The cruise will be filled with meals, parties and shows, as well as private events planned just for the Pride attendees. What better way to relax after the busy Pride weekend then to set sail. Visit AlandChuck.travel for more information and to book your tickets.

It’s beginning to look like Christmas in Ybor
Even before you have had a chance to throw the turkey in the oven and welcome the cornucopia of relatives who will all give thanks that they don’t have to clean up after Thanksgiving dinner, the Bay area is bringing you the winter wonderland of the Christmas season. Ybor City will have one of Tampa’s tallest Christmas trees erected by the time you read this and will have ushered in the season with Santa, cookies and hot cocoa. You can also expect to see snow on 7th, when the holiday parade marches through Ybor in the next few weeks and what would the holidays be without alcohol which will be in abundance before you know it with Ybor’s Christmas Pub Crawl. Heads down y’all, Christmas is coming!

USF catalogs special LGBT library collection
Rex Maniscalco was a legendary photographer in the Tampa Bay area who had documented the emergence of a visible LGBT community in Tampa. From the early Pride festivals to the beginnings of Equality Florida, Rex was there with his camera to create a visual history of photographs and videos of the people who created the community and culture of LGBT life. Rex passed away in 2009 at the age of 57. After his death, Mark Bias and Carrie West donated 16 boxes of photos, VHS videos and memorabilia from Rex’s estate to the Special Library Collections at the University of South Florida. USF spent several years organizing, scanning and cataloging the materials to create a special LGBT library collection and now has a portion of the collection is available online. Visit digital.lib.usf.edu and search Rex Maniscalco Collection. USF hopes to keep adding to it to make it one of the largest collections in the country.

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