Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day 

Each year, the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County stages a heartfelt gathering in remembrance of the Vietnam War and the service of its military brothers and sisters, many of whom were shunned upon their return from the war.

The community is invited join the 2018 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event on Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park and LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum, 3602 U.S. Highway 301 N. in Tampa.  The gathering precedes National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day will commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the Vietnam War in March 1965, including a salute to military war dogs and their handlers. Attendees will hear about the roles and contributions of canines in service from a local Vietnam Veteran whose own war dog is memorialized at Tampa’s Veterans Memorial Park.

The event will also feature: Bill “Hawk” Albracht, U.S. Army Special Forces, Retired, Pastor Ted Marshall, Great Hope Christian Fellowship Church, National Medal of Honor Day tribute to Florida’s 23 medal recipients, The Last Patrol living history war reenactment, Sgt. Walter P. Ryan Detachment, Marine Corps League rifle salute, and playing of taps and Refreshments courtesy of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8108.

The Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event and parking are free and open to the public.
Daily hours for Veterans Memorial Park are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services at 246-3170.

Special Exhibit On Reptiles At Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) for Reptilepalooza. Learn all about these cold-blooded creatures with fun activities and up-close encounters with live tortoises, snakes, skinks and alligators on select dates.

Now through Sunday, April 8 there will be an exciting array of reptile themed educational activities and exhibits. This will include a hands-on sea turtle triage and intake station each day.
Each weekend, the Aquarium will have a selection of live reptiles visiting. CMA will have gopher tortoises from FWC Gopher Tortoise Program; an alligator, Burmese python, blue tongue skink, African spurred tortoise, and a red footed tortoise from Amazing Animals Inc; as well as snakes and tortoises from Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. All activities are included with general admission.

Live Reptile Schedule: Sunday, March 18 – Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife, Sunday, March 25 – Amazing Animals Inc., Saturday, March 31 – Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife and Sunday, April 8 – Amazing Animals Inc.

CMA is located at 249 Windward Passage in Clearwater. Visit www.seewinter.com.

Experience the Soulful, Hip Singing Of Choo Choo Soul With Genevieve

Experience Disney Junior’s Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve Goings, the soulful, hip, singing train conductor and Constantine ‘DC’ Abramson, the beatboxing, breakdancing engineer on stage engaging children in sing-alongs, dance routines and lots of crowd participation as they perform all the hits you know and love; when it comes to the RP Funding Center on Saturday, March 31 at 4 p.m.

Genevieve Goings and Constantine ‘DC’ Abramson, the stars of Disney Junior’s ‘Choo Choo Soul,’ are entering their 11th year of entertaining preschoolers and parents worldwide. Born from the mind of a Silicon Valley video game developer, Choo Choo Soul began as a hip-hop/soul children’s album of music that “won’t drive parents crazy.” The album caught fire and the brand was acquired by Disney and developed into a live-action television interstitial paired with animation in 2006 that encouraged young viewers to get up and dance to the funky, urban sound. Choo Choo Soul began touring the country in 2007 and has performed for thousands of children in over 100 cities across the globe. With the wildfire success of the go-to duo for tots, Disney commissioned a release of the second studio album; a remake mashup of Classic Disney hits.

Genevieve Goings is now the voice of Disney Junior the Channel and the host of the ‘Radio Disney Junior.’ Writing music for acclaimed brands such as Leapfrog and Fisher-Price, releasing a children’s clothing line with Walmart.com, and touring schools with her ‘Do You Know?’ Brand, Goings has solidified her path in the Children’s Market. Along with Choo Choo Soul, Constantine ‘DC’ Abramson is an Entertainment Professional working with the NFL, NBA, and MLB through mascotting, choreographing, and fan engagement.

Tickets are on sale for $51 and $29. Service charges may apply and are available by visiting the RP Funding Center Box Office or toll free 888-397-0100, and at www.rpfundingcenter.com.

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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.