County Park Passes Now Available Online
Annual passes to Hillsborough County’s regional parks offer a great way to enjoy hiking, fishing, bird watching, and a host of other outdoor activities. Now, getting a pass has become more convenient than ever.

Purchasing an annual pass used to require going to the regional park administrative office and completing the paperwork and payment on site. Outdoor enthusiasts now can skip the trip and buy an annual pass from their computer or mobile device.

An annual pass allows free access to the County’s 10 regional parks. The cost is $50 for an individual pass and $100 for families. The permit is issued in the form of a transferrable tag that hangs from a vehicle’s rear view mirror.

The new, more convenient system comes just as prime camping season begins in Hillsborough County. Moderate temperatures, lower humidity, and fewer bugs make late fall through March an ideal time for outdoor adventures. Camping for the general public is offered at these parks: Edward Medard, E.G. Simmons, Lithia Springs, and Alderman’s Ford parks, and requires an additional fee.

Regional parks include: Alderman’s Ford, Edward Medard, E.G. Simmons, Eureka Springs, Lake, Lake Rogers, Lettuce Lake, Lithia Springs, Upper Tampa Bay, and Upper Tampa Bay Trail. For information, call 987-6240.

Commissioner Stacy White Elected as Chairman During Board Of County Commissioners’ Annual Organizational Meeting
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners today selected Commissioner Stacy R. White as chairman, and Commissioner Sandra L. Murman as vice chairman, during the annual organizational meeting. Commissioner Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr. will serve as chaplain.

The organizational meeting followed a ceremony in which two returning members and one newly elected commissioner took oaths of office.

Re-elected commissioners Murman, District 1, and Miller, District 3, returned to their seats. New to the Board is Pat Kemp, who won election to serve Countywide District 6.

White was elected to the Board in 2014. From 2010-14, he served on the Hillsborough County School Board. White is a fifth-generation native of Hillsborough County who lives in Valrico with his wife of 19 years and their three children. After graduating from East Bay High School, he earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida, and has practiced pharmacy for 19 years.

2017 Headline Entertainment Lineup of the Florida Strawberry Festival
Below is the lineup of headline entertainment acts performing on the Wish Farms Soundstage at the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival, which will take place March 2-12, 2017. Plenty of country, classic country, Christian, rock, or oldies concerts to choose from.Tickets can be purchased at, call 754-1996 or in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Office, 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Is Bringing XTREME To Tampa
Prepare to be astonished and amazed by artists who redefine the word extreme in everything they do, magnifying traditional elements of the circus and combining these elements with never-before-seen spectacles, original, fast-paced performances and incredibly hilarious moments.

Join in at Amalie Arena, Tampa from January 25-29, 2017 a world of extreme beauty, flexibility, strength and dexterity are explored in ways you’ve never seen before. With such an exciting lineup, The Greatest Show On Earth® guarantees to dazzle and astound, and a Ringling Bros.® show wouldn’t be complete without a full menagerie of amazing animals. Circus XTREME features beautiful Bengal tigers and two-humped camels ridden by brave Mongolian women. Tickets for Ringling Bros.
and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME are on sale now. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by calling 800-745-3000. For group rates, call 866-248-8740. Purchase tickets and view show times on

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.