This photo of the Lafayette Street (now known as Kennedy Boulevard) Bridge was taken in 1925. | Photo via Florida Memory
The 1920s were a revolutionary time. Prohibition, economic growth, and social change dominated the national consciousness.
The Tampa Bay area was no exception, with the decade defined by a land + real estate boom, as well as an influx of tourism and population growth. Tampa’s population doubled between 1920 and 1930, and St. Pete’s nearly tripled.
Here’s a breakdown of what TBAY was like in the 1920s:
More people means more hotel rooms, jobs, and roads.
The Gandy Bridge opened in 1924, making transportation across Old Tampa Bay significantly quicker.
The New York Yankees’ ties to TBAY began in 1925, when the team started hosting their spring training season at St. Pete’s Huggins-Stengel Field. The field was formerly known as Crescent Lake Field.
Oct. 25, 1921 was the last time a hurricane made landfall in the Tampa Bay area. Experts believe the Tarpon Springs storm was a Category 3 hurricane. There was a storm surge of up to 11 feet, and Bayshore Boulevard was severely damaged + completely washed away in places.
Some evidence suggests Ybor City’s historic smuggle tunnels were built during the 1920s amid the emergence of gang culture. Legend has it they were used for criminal activity, including transporting alcohol to speakeasies during Prohibition.
Photography Hike | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 9-11 a.m. | Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg | $3 | Grab a camera and snap some pics of the preserve’s wildlife on this guided hike.
Holiday Shopping at the Tampa Museum of Art | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 10 a.m.-7 p.m. | 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa | Free with registration | Get a jump on your holiday shopping where local vendors will be selling a host of treasures.
Friday, Nov. 17
Festival of Trees | Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Nov. 19 | Times vary | The Long Center, 1501 N. Belcher Rd., Clearwater | $0-$10 | Gather around a bunch of decorated holiday trees alongside music, live performances, and exhibitions, with proceeds going to charity.
Winter Village | Friday, Nov. 17-Monday, Jan. 1 | Times vary | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa | Free | Get festive in Downtown Tampa as this seasonal event returns, featuring ice skating, food + drink options, vendors, and more.
Saturday, Nov. 18
Lightning vs. Oilers | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 4-7 p.m. | Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr., Tampa | $55+ | The Lightning take the ice against the boys from Edmonton.
100 out of 100. That’s Tampa and St. Pete’s scores for the Human Rights Campaign’s 2023 Municipal Equality Index which dives into municipal laws and how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. In case you missed it, that’s the same as last year’s scores.
He’s On The Road Again. Willie Nelson is coming to Tampa. The legendary songwriter will play at The Sound in Clearwater on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 17 + start at $54.50. (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
~80,000. That’s how many travelers are expected per day at Tampa International Airport over the next 10 days. The airport is preparing for what could be a historic number of people passing through for the Thanksgiving holiday. (FOX 13 News)
A Pinellas County RV park recently sold for $10.5 million. The nine-acre, 175-site Indian Rocks Travel Park (12121 Vonn Rd.) was sold to Beach House RV Resort LLC. It’s about two miles from Indian Rocks Beach. (St. Pete Catalyst)
Screen Door Microcinema in Ybor City (1624 E. Seventh Ave.) is putting on a holiday favorite. “Christmas at Pee Wee’s Playhouse” will be shown on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Grab your $8 tickets.
The Tarpon Springs Seafood Festival returns this weekend for its 35th year. Officials expect ~30,000 guests who will enjoy a range of vendors offering eats + drinks. The free festival runs from from tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 19. (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
From the on-screen meme to the Tampa stage. Actor and comedian Kevin James is coming to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino next year on his comedy tour, “Irregardless.” James will perform in TBAY on Sunday, April 7 + tickets are already on sale. (That’s So Tampa)
Southwest Florida officials met earlier this week and issued a water shortage order. But what does that mean? Here’s what you need to know:
The Tampa Bay area is in a drought after this summer’s four-month rainy season produced just ~26.8 inches of rainfall. That’s the least in 26 years, according to the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
The Modified Phase 1 Shortage order impacts 16 counties in total, and runs from Tuesday, Nov. 21 to the start of July, meaning certain restrictions for water usage are on their way.
I can’t wait for that Willie Nelson gig. In fact, this newsletter was written with his tunes playing in the background. If you’re looking to plan ahead for a concert, we rounded up some shows gracing our area in 2024.