Tampa Pride Rises Strong Again

Live entertainment, influential guest speakers, and the waving of rainbow flags dominated the streets of Ybor City during the second annual Tampa Gay Pride parade and festival.

With the legalization of same-sex marriage passed in all 50 states since June of 2015, supporters and newcomers in the LGBT community are thrilled with the return of Tampa Pride, and vow for continued efforts to end discrimination in Florida.

“I think it’s a big influential part of the LGBT community,” said Achilles, an LGBT supporter. “You know it’s phenomenal. So, why not share it with the world?”

The event not only attracted new festivalgoers, vendors were also drawn in by the large crowd.

“It’s my first time, and I’m kind of loving it,” said Kara Wroblewski, owner of Happy Place Tie Dye.

While her company earns a profit from hand dyeing plain white t-shirts into any color the customer wants, Wroblewski said she also favors meeting new people at the festival.

“The people are sweet, I love it,” Wroblewski said. “Any time you can get a group of like-minded people together, it’s the way to go.”

The Pride celebration not only aims to usher in newcomers and supporters, forming a family with the LGBT community is another goal.

“They may have not have had the best past, they may have been thrown out or kicked out or lived on the street,” said Lindsey, a festivalgoer. “So they find a place to fit in, and be a part of a family because they want to be loved.”

 

Collecting The “Booty” From the Pirade Of Pirates

Pereira
Photo by Dana Achatz

Even though some people view Gasparilla as a holiday to make it an all day party Marilyn Pereira wasn’t convinced. Pereira decided to stay away from the madness at Bayshore Boulevard and work a double shift as a server at World of Beer on Saturday. To her there was not much of an appeal to attend the event. It was more important to her to make some money than see the parade.

“I didn’t request off for Gasparilla because I didn’t really even know what it was,” Pereira said. “I just moved here and I didn’t know Gasparilla was today until pretty much everyone I work with requested off.”

Sometimes called the Mardi Gras of Florida; the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates attracts thousands to Tampa every year. The parade takes over the streets of downtown for a majority of the day. People from all over Florida make the trip to celebrate, and most of them are dressed up like pirates.

Pereira worked all morning and through most of the evening. She said she saw an increase in customers during her second shift Saturday evening after the parade had ended.

She described large groups of people of all ages weighed down with beads and wearing fake black beards and hats with giant feathers. She seemed to find the outfits a little silly. Even though she made more money than she had originally expected, she decided it might be worth it to attend Gasparilla next year.

“Yeah I would go. It would’ve been fun to tag along with someone,” Pereira said. “Maybe next year.”

The song creation

Christian Ovalles, 21, has a life that many individuals dream about. He plays music for hundreds of people every Friday night at the Amphitheatre Event Facility in Ybor City, Fla.

Many people only see the end product of Ovalles’s music, but fortunately he has invited the public into his home to show everyone the process of creating a new track from start to finish.

Local Bakery With Historical Roots Serves Community

The La Segunda Central bakery’s production of fine baked goods has been a staple in Tampa’s Ybor City for over 100 years.

“My great grandfather Juan started the business in 1915, he came from Spain,” fourth-generation owner Copeland Moore, said.  “He fought in the Spanish-American war in Cuba, learned how to make Cuban bread.”

 

He came here in the early 20th century with cigar workers who were flourishing in Ybor City. “He brought the recipe and made the bread for the Cuban workers and the Cuban sandwiches and passed it on to his two sons, who are my grandfather and his brother,” Moore said.

Figure 1 Copeland Moore’s grandfather was the second generation to run the bakery

The rest is history.

La Segunda produces a variety of baked goods, but is most known for its world famous Cuban bread.

Figure 2 La Segunda Bakery is known for its renowned Cuban bread

“We distribute locally and nationally, but locally here most likely if you’ve had a Cuban sandwich it’s on our bread,” Moore said.

The Bakery also has a long-standing tradition of hiring employees that have family ties to the bakery. “I just do whatever they ask me to,” cashier Cathy Rosemurgy said. Moore is Rosemurgy’s son-in-law and technically, Rosemurgy is retired.

“I just to love come and help out because of all of the wonderful people here,” she said.

Figure 3 La Segunda is seen as a crucial part of Ybor City’s history

In addition to employing family and close acquaintances, the bakery also supplies many local restaurants with their Cuban bread. One example is the Columbia restaurant also located in Ybor City. “Providing the local community here in Ybor City with high quality products is important to us,” Moore said.

Moore currently runs the bakery with the aid of his father. When asked what his favorite aspect of the restaurant was, he pointed to new challenges and family.

“Helping with the customers, helping our employees work on their processes, that’s the most enjoyable, that’s what helps me get up and come to work every day and that’s what I like the most about it,” Moore said.

 

‘Photo gallery’ Ybor’s Seventh Ave. goes vintage

Ybor City streets were lined with classic cars and vintage motorcycles on Sunday as a charity event to benefit My Warrior’s Place, a nonprofit organization that serves the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces. Only in its first year, this event met with great reception. The streets of Seventh Ave. were lined with cars, motorcycles and delighted spectators. Owners brought their trailer queens, the name given to show cars, from all over the state. There was something to suit everyone’s taste.

Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition

 Ybor City’s Spanish and Cuban restaurant, the Columbia, was founded by Casimiro Hernandez Sr. in 1905. The Spanish traditions of the restaurant have been carried through family generations for over 100 years.

2014-11-29 12.08.39

“I enjoy the food here,” said Columbia customer Mark Anthony Puglio. “The food here is excellent. It always has been, since I was young.”

Continue reading “Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition”