Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Manatee Viewing Center To Remain Closed

Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center, where people can watch manatees gather each year, will remain closed until at least fall as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The viewing center, located at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, has been a staple for more than 30 years and allows visitors easy access to the herds of manatees that are drawn to the plant’s warm waters in its discharge canal.

“As with so many of the changes we’ve seen this year, we know keeping the Manatee Viewing Center closed this season was a disappointment,” said Stan Kroh, manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for Tampa Electric. “Safety is our top priority, and with that in mind, we’re offering virtual ways to experience the center until we can welcome visitors back in person.”

It is expected to reopen on Sunday, November 1.

In the meantime, you can watch the manatees from the comfort of your own home by visiting

Holiday Charity Ball Benefited Toys For Tots

Bob Savage and Tatyana Frost, the Holiday Charity Ball producers, held a small gathering at The Way 2 Dance studio in Brandon to celebrate the holidays and to collect donations for Toys For Tots.

The toy drive was a total success, considering the very complex year of 2020, and Holiday Charity Ball Inc. is proud to have collected 38 bikes and 11 boxes of toys as well as to have been able to donate $7,000 to Metropolitan Ministries to help fill its Holiday Tent with essentials that will help make Christmas special.

Bingo Returns To St. Stephen Catholic Church

Bingo returns to St. Stephen’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The cost to play is $15 and there are cash prizes. The event is sponsored by St. Stephen Catholic Church Community for Women, who provide support to the St. Stephen community at large with donations.

St. Stephen Catholic Church is located at 10118 St. Stephen Cir. in Riverview.

Strawberry Square Dance Center Continues Social Dances

Plant City Social Dance will be hosting dances every Saturday night in January at the Strawberry Square Dance Center at 4401 Promenade Blvd. from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The number of attendees will be limited to 50 people and reservations are required. To listen to a sample playlist and find out additional information, visit

To make a reservation, call 863-409-7714.

Laser Show Coming To Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds

The Cabin Fever Drive-In Laser Show is coming to the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds in Plant City from Tuesday to Friday, January 7-10.

Being a drive-in show, you are able to avoid crowds and stay in your own vehicle and the dedicated ‘tailgate’ seating area for each vehicle, as well as bring your own chairs, blankets and refreshments. The family-friendly laser shows include the latest musical hits, mind-blowing lasers and fantastic graphic effects.

There are two shows per night, choose from 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. The cost is $25 per vehicle and tickets must be purchased in advance from

East Hillsborough Democratic Club Meeting

The East Hillsborough Democratic Club will hold a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, January 12, at 6:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Sheila McNamara. All like-minded individuals are welcome to attend.

For more information, visit

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