Check Your Local Library For Free Programs For Entire Family

Join the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative for interesting, entertaining, and informative free programs for the entire family in April. For a comprehensive look at library programming, visit, select a library location, and view that library’s calendar of events.

The views expressed in these programs are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official policies, positions, or opinions of Hillsborough County, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries, or the Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County, Inc., which do not endorse the presenters.

Groups must register in advance. For more information about these and the many other programs @ your library®, call 273-3652 or visit

Like the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System on Facebook, and follow @TampaHillsLib on Twitter.

Wet Weather Won’t Drown Out Fun With Busch Gardens’ Spring Break Rain Guarantee

Visitors don’t need to change their plans if rain is in the forecast during a spring break visit to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The park is offering a ‘Spring Break Rain Guarantee’ allowing guests who have a rained-out day at Busch Gardens to come back for a free second visit within 30 days. The offer is valid today through April 30 for single day and multi-day tickets.

In addition to world-class coasters and amazing animal experiences, Busch Gardens fourth annual Food & Wine Festival continues through April 29. 

Full menus, concert lineup, and ticket details are available at

Time to Find Out Who Hillsborough’s Top Skateboarder Really Is

Hillsborough County’s most-skilled skateboarders will showcase their biggest air and most jaw-dropping tricks at the kickoff to this year’s three-tournament Best Shredder series.

Each tournament is held at a different County skate park. Skaters in four age divisions compete for first, second, and third place prizes at each event. At the final tournament, the top point-getter in each age division is named the Best Shredder in Hillsborough County.
The age groups are: 8 and under, 9-12, 13-15, 16 and up. For information, call 671-7635.

Tampa YMCA Wins Treadmill Tuesday Tie-Breaker

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA  announced its win in the Treadmill Tuesday Tie-Breaker, a third annual competition with the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. In total, 1,979 Tampa Bay residents completed 4,185.95 miles during the 12-hour event, surpassing the First Coast by about 1,385.15 miles. For the First Coast, 1,368 residents logged 2,800.80 miles. Together, the Tampa YMCA and First Coast YMCA leveraged a friendly competition to inspire community members to become more physically active and adopt healthier lifestyles. 

“The remarkable turnout of the Treadmill Tuesday Tie-Breaker has once again demonstrated the importance of community involvement in improving Florida’s health and well-being,” said Tampa YMCA President & CEO Matt Mitchell. “While this year’s tie-breaker ended in our favor, both Y associations remain committed to strengthening the health of our communities.”

In addition to participating at their neighborhood Y, community members were able to join the competition from other locations via social media. Of the 4,185.95 total Tampa Bay participants, 26 joined by uploading a post-workout photo of treadmill dashboard displaying the total distance on social media. The total distance and number of participants local Y’s are:

Campo Family YMCA, 308 Participants logged in 654.86 miles andn North Brandon Family YMCA, 165 Participants logged in 307.02 miles.
Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and caregivers on the third Thursday of every month.

A variety of speakers will provide information on topics relating to swallowing, balance, walking, speaking, mobility, exercise, self-care, cognition, and memory, all of which can be impacted by Parkinson’s Disease.

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases.

For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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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.