Plus the Riverwalk expansion needs an additional $20+ million.
 
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74º | Partly cloudy | 8% chance of rain | Sunrise: 7:12 a.m. | Sunset: 6:17 p.m. | Tides | Old Tampa Bay | High: 4:24 p.m. | Low: 9:18 a.m. + 7:48 p.m. | Clearwater Beach | High: 12:23 p.m. + 11 p.m. | Low: 4:56 p.m.

 
👀 What’s new on the menu?
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The Pop Rocks Pickle in the flesh. | Photo by TBAYtoday
Hello, TBAY. City Editor Bailey here to bring you an inside look at a piping hot story.

The Florida State Fair kicked off its 120th season yesterday. This year’s party runs through Monday, Feb. 19, and features everything from live music performances, pony rides, a Ferris wheel, a sea lion show, dozens of games, and what we’re here to talk about today... so many inventive foodie dishes.

Here’s the tale of how I entered a sugar-induced coma before 12 p.m. on a Thursday:

Pop Rocks Pickle

It’s exactly what it sounds like: A massive kosher pickle dipped in milk chocolate and coated in your favorite explode-in-your-mouth candy. I’ll be honest — I was extremely hesitant to try this one. But I was cheered on by the booth’s staff, who assured me that the creation is pretty good.

I will say, once you get over biting into a pickle dipped in chocolate and coated with candy, the saltiness of the vinegar does compliment the sweetness quite well. And if you still are up for a bigger challenge, the booth also serves a Fruity Pebbles Pickle and a Flamin’ Hot Pickle.

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You’ll want to share the “Barbie” funnel cake with a friend or two.

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Photo by @TBAYtoday

“Barbie” Funnel Cake

We love a theme around here — and a funnel cake. So of course I had to give the “Barbie” Funnel Cake a whirl. Your favorite fair classic is drenched in a rainbow of sprinkles, also making it quite Instagrammable (follow us @thetbaytoday). The sprinkle infusion gave the cake a funfetti-like taste and was wholly delicious.

But if you’re up for a more savory funnel cake bite, there’s also a Temperamental Hog Funnel Cake this year — stuffed with cornmeal + barbecue seasoning and topped with pulled pork.

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The chocolate-covered strawberry lemonade was quite decadent.

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Photo by TBAYtoday

Chocolate-dipped Strawberry Lemonade

One of the best parts of any state fair is grabbing a lemonade to sip on while walking around. And for us Floridians, it’s necessary for cooling off on a steamy February day. This year, you can sip on an indulgent chocolate-strawberry topped lemonade.

The dessert... I mean drink also earns points for mobility. The reusable plastic cup boasts a screw-on lid, so you can cruise throughout the rest of the fair without losing a drop + purchase refills at reduced cost.

I’ll leave you with one more piece of advice: Make sure to pick up a map at one of the information stands, so you can plan you way around all of the new foodie items.

What other new fair food should we try? Let us know.
 
 
Events
 
Friday, Feb. 9
  • Galentine’s Day Cake Decorating Class | Friday, Feb. 9 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Hostess, 2635 Central Ave., St. Petersburg | $70-$130 | Decorate a cake with your bestie in the cute Sunshine City bungalow over drinks and music — buy a bundle of two tickets for $130.
Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Tampa Women’s Day | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | 250 Westshore Plaza, Tampa | Free with ticket | Mingle with other Tampa women, score free chair massages, hairstyling, mini facials, take a self-defense class or yoga class, shop local vendors, and enter giveaways.
  • Sweethearts Cookies & Card Boxes Class | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. | Fairgrounds St. Pete, 2606 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg | $40 | Decorate two sugar cookies to perfection, following examples or your own creative inspiration + carry them home in a colored card box — reserve ahead of time.
  • “From Broadway with Love” | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 2 p.m., 8 p.m. | Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg | $26+ | Prepare for a romantic afternoon as Broadway vocalist Ashley Brown sings tunes from “South Pacific,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Music Man,” and more.
Sunday, Feb. 11
  • Yoga On The Courts | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Shuffle, 2612 N. Tampa St., Tampa | $0-$15 | Get your flow on with Lucky Cat Yoga on the shuffleboard courts.
  • “Queens of London” | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 3:30-5 p.m. | Oxford Exchange, 420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa | $5+ | Head to the community hotspot to catch a conversation between authors Heather Webb and Sarah Penner.
Monday, Feb. 12
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
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Try This
 
A day of self-care in Water Street Tampa
The exterior of Crisp and Green in Water Street Tampa. There are two couples walking in front of the glass storefront, arm in arm, and another couple sitting to the left at a metal table under a tree.
Feel your worries slip away as you stroll Water Street Tampa’s spacious sidewalks. | Photo provided by Water Street Tampa
There is no shortage of self-care opportunities when it comes to spending the day in Water Street Tampa.

The neighborhood’s walkable streets connect a community full of fitness studios, shops, clean beauty salons, spas, and restaurants, offering you the idyllic chance to stroll + explore.

It is also a place where life, work, and leisure seamlessly intersect. From luxury residential towers and boutique hotels to wellness-focused waterfront offices, Water Street Tampa is a vibrant destination for visitors and locals alike.

City Editor Patrick here. I recently enjoyed an afternoon in the downtown neighborhood, attending a pilates class, soaking up a luxe pedicure, and savoring a leafy lunch in a few of the many hotspots Water Street Tampa has to offer. Keep reading to learn more about this dedicated self-care day:

What we tried:

Since my focus was health + wellness, it only made sense to combine a workout, lunch break, and salon visit into one perfect afternoon – starting with a sweat at BODYROK.
 
News Notes
 
Development
  • The Tampa Riverwalk expansion needs a $20+ million cash infusion. New cost estimates for the five-mile extension predict the project will cost $51.8 million, up from $30 million. City leaders are considering taking out non-ad valorem debt to pay for the difference. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
Sports
  • They’re here to stay. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash and baseball operations president Erik Neander just received long-term contract extensions. Both contracts extend past 2028, when the team expects to move into the long-awaited stadium. (Tampa Bay Times)
Announced
  • There’s only a few days left to donate your Gaspy beads to the Florida Aquarium. Through Sunday, Feb. 11, score half off an adult ticket for every five-gallon bucket of beads you bring in. The haul then goes to the MacDonald Training Center for future use + supports programs for adults with disabilities.
Show
  • One more encore, please. Local indie-rock songwriter Kerry Courtney is playing his final show (for now) at Bayboro Brewing in St. Pete. Next up, the singer is heading to the West Coast with his band, “Goodnight, Neverland.” Buy tickets to the show for $10. (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
Eat
  • Need to pick up some treats for Fat Tuesday next week? Alessi Bakery is selling King Cakes aplenty — complete with the customary tiny hidden babies. (That’s So Tampa)
Festival
  • The Collard Green Festival is back. The annual celebration is booked for Saturday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum (2240 9th Ave. S.) and the surrounding streets. Bring the family along for live tunes, vendors, and a collard green cook-off. (I Love the Burg)
Shop
  • Get ready to shop in support of the minarets. The Chiselers Market takes over Historic Plant Hall at the University of Tampa on Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop for furniture, crystal, china, silver, jewelry, art, and tons of other finds. (That’s So Tampa)
Travel
Sports
  • Planning to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday? Stream it with a Paramount+ with Showtime subscription — get 30 days free with code GOAT.*
Announced
  • We’re excited to share that 6AM City, our parent company, closed its Series A funding round led by the media company, TEGNA. This partnership means continuing to deliver the same hyper-local news and events while expanding our reach to new readers and communities. Learn more.
 
 
Retail
 
The best Valentine’s Day gifts for 2024
A graphic with cartoon candy hearts that have different gift categories written inside, like "Home Goods" and "Books."
Six & Main’s snacks, cards, and home goods might just be our love language. | Graphic by 6AM City
Consider this your official reminder that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We’re making it easy for you to find the sweetest, most unique gifts for friends, family, and significant others. Bonus: These gifts ship right to your door. Scroll and shop your favorites.

Spread the love

  • City Editor Bailey’s pick: “Enjoy a Valentine’s night in: Cooking dinner, candle slowly burning thanks to this candle warmer lamp, and your drink of choice. Nothing better.”
  • City Editor Patrick’s pick: “This Tampa sweatshirt is a great idea if you want to cozy up while showing your love for TBAY. Make the most of our (very limited) sweater season.”
  • Combine their favorite song and a photo of you together for a personalized song plaque they can hang.
  • Treat your loved one to a KitchenAid Stand Mixer in a Valentine’s color like lavender cream.
  • Gift recipe book “Dinner Tonight,” by Alex Snodgrass for 100 simple, healthy recipes to share.
  • A gemstone bracelet is the perfect addition to a jewelry lover’s collection.
 
The Buy
 
Your must-have from Six & Main’s winter skin edit, featuring face wash, lip balm, and serums to keep your skin hydrated and radiant during the cooler months. Did we mention all products are from small businesses, too?
 
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The Wrap
 
Bailey Lefever in a park near a pond Today’s edition by:
Bailey
From the editor
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