Overheard in Tampa Bay: Marines’ Toys for Tots, Trump, IGLTA conference and dance party honors

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Hot packages for charity
Toys for Tots is one of the most beloved and respected holiday charities in the country and it isn’t hard to see why. The amazingly talented and beautiful Marines showcase those big muscles of theirs, their hearts, as they gather toys for less fortunate children for Christmas. So it is no surprise that for the fifth year now the Marines’ Toys for Tots is being associated with the amazingly talented and beautiful Kori Stevens for a benefit and toy drive at St. Pete’s Flamingo Resort. Make sure to clear your Sunday evening Dec. 13 and come join in on the tastes, talent and toys of a charitable tradition, and who knows, you may actually get to take home a Marine.

The big elephant in the room
As if a visit paid by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump isn’t already enough of a circus, the area in and surrounding Robarts Arena at the Sarasota Fairgrounds was a three-ring free-for-all. The event even had an actual full-grown elephant by the name of Essex, with “TRUMP MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” painted on its side. While Essex was a living breathing billboard advocating for Trump to be elected, we can’t help but think an animal immigrated from overseas to America probably would vote Democrat. Protesters from both sides of the political line protested, yelled and held signs making it seem less like a presidential campaign speech and more like a WrestleMania main event. After an hour speech by Trump that brought attacks on Rubio, Bush and Clinton as well as chants from the crowd of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” he boarded his helicopter and was off leaving the crowd to disperse and ready the grounds of the Sarasota Craft Show and a Taste of Chanukah.

Guess who’s coming up winner
St. Petersburg has gone from the quite, retiree town of the past to the most progressive, inclusive city in the state of Florida and it is being noticed. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association selected St. Pete as the site for its 34th annual conference to take place May 3-6, 2017. This will be the first time the IGLTA, which provides visibility and education for the LGBT tourism industry, has held its event on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The 2017 conference will be at the Vinoy Renaissance. A press release from the IGLTA said, “Our goal as a travel association is to showcase the host destination in conjunction with the conference, so we look forward to expanding the global audience for St. Pete. We know our attendees are going to fall in love with it, if they’re not already fans.” Make sure to put out the fresh linens, looks like we have company coming.

Hey Mister DJ, put a record on
With the holiday season in full swing, parties will be popping up everywhere and Tampa is going to be one of the best places to shake it off this Christmas, according to ThumbTack.com that is. The Guettas and the Skrillexes over at the “hire the right professional for the job” website named Tampa the seventh best city to throw a dance party in. To achieve such an honor as one of the best cities to stop, drop and wiggle with it in, ThumbTack.com looked at the supply to demand ratio, average overall ratings and average price for DJ’s in metro areas around the country. The results have Tampa nestled between the cupid shufflers of Denver and the electric sliders of Salt Lake City. You might be asking yourself, who tops the list? The victors in that Dance, Dance Revolution belong to Atlanta. Rock on Tampa Bay; you earned it.

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