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

Keel Farms Wine Run

Do you like walking or running? Love wine? If you answered yes, then this race is for you. Keel Farms in Plant City is holding a 5K race on Sunday, January 31 around the beautiful scenery and landscape of Keel Farms Winery, Brewery and Restaurant.

The race is being held both in person and virtually with a free transfer to the virtual race if you change your mind. All participants will receive a race T-shirt, souvenir wine glass, finisher medal and a glass of wine (soda for our under-21 runners) after the race.

he race also has updated guidelines to assist with social distancing, which includes an open start time (no big group start; start time from 9-10 a.m.) and wine tickets are good anytime throughout the weekend to reduce group size at the winery.

To register, visit and select the Keel Farms location. Additional information can be found at

Sons Of The American Legion Car And Truck Show

The Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 138 is holding a car and truck show on Saturday, February 13 from 12 Noon until 4 p.m. The event will take place at the American Legion pavilion area at 5535 W. Prescott St. in Tampa and will include music from the 50s and 60s, food for sale, raffle prizes and great trophies for the winners as well as beautiful cars and trucks of all descriptions.

Entry registration fees are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event and include a free meal, raffle ticket and a voting ballot. All proceeds benefit veterans’ and children’s charities.

For additional information, call Larry Begy at 767-1197.

Cross Bay Ferry Changes Dock Location

The Cross Bay Ferry has temporarily changed its Tampa docking location from the Tampa Convention Center to Sparkman Wharf through Wednesday, February 17. The temporary new location is at 615 Channelside Dr. in Tampa and the nearest parking can be found in the Garrison Lot or Channelside Parking Garage.

During this period, the ferry’s operations, including ticketing, will be at the Sparkman Wharf location, the ferry will continue to run Wednesday through Sunday, with four departure times at both locations on Friday and Saturday.

The full schedule and additional information is available online at The ferry staff strongly advises passengers to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

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