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Tampa in Florida.
Tampa is a Gulf Coast Bay city in the U.S. state of Florida. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida.
Tampa is home to a variety of stage and performing arts venues and theaters, including The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, The Tampa Theatre, Gorilla Theatre.
Performing arts companies and organizations which call Tampa home include The Florida Orchestra, Opera Tampa, Jobsite Theater, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Stageworks Theatre, Spanish Lyric Theater, and the Tampa Bay Symphony.
Current popular nightlife districts include Channelside, Ybor City, SoHo, International Plaza and Bay Street, and Seminole Hard Rock. Downtown Tampa also contains some nightlife, and there are more clubs/bars to be found in other areas of the city. Tampa is rated sixth on Maxim magazine's list of top party cities.
Tampa is home to several death metal bands, an extreme form of heavy metal music that evolved from thrash metal. Many of the genre's pioneers and foremost figures are based in and around the city. Chief among these are Deicide, Six Feet Under, Obituary and Morbid Angel. The Tampa scene grew with the birth of Morrisound Recording, which established itself as an international recording destination for metal bands.
The underground rock band, the Baskervils, got their start in Tampa. They played the Tampa Bay area between 1994–1997 and then moved to New York City. Underground Hip-Hop group Equilibrium is based out of Tampa, as well as the Christian metalcore band, Underoath.
The Tampa area is home to a number of museums that cover a wide array of subjects and studies. These include the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), which has several floors of science-related exhibits plus the only domed IMAX theater in Florida and a planetarium; the Tampa Museum of Art; the USF Contemporary Art Museum; the Tampa Bay History Center; the Tampa Firefighters Museum; the Henry B. Plant Museum; and Ybor City Museum State Park. Permanently docked in downtown's Channel District is the SS American Victory, a former World War II Victory Ship which is now a used as a museum ship.
The city of Tampa operates over 165 parks and beaches covering 2,286 acres (9.25 km2) within city limits; 42 more in surrounding suburbs covering 70,000 acres (280 km2), are maintained by Hillsborough County. These areas include the Hillsborough River State Park, just northeast of the city. Tampa is also home to a number of attractions and theme parks, including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, Lowry Park Zoo, and Florida Aquarium.
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo features over 2,000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, educational shows and more. The zoo serves as an economic, cultural, environmental and educational anchor in Tampa.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre (1.36 km2) Africa-themed park located near the University of South Florida. It features many thrilling roller coasters, for which it is known, including Sheikra. Visitors can also view and interact with a number of African wildlife.
Adventure Island is a 30-acre (120,000 m2) water park adjacent to Busch Gardens. It features many water rides, dining, and other attractions typical to a water park.
The Florida Aquarium is a 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) aquarium located in the Channel District of Tampa. It hosts over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals. It is known for its unique glass architecture. Adjacent to the Aquarium is the SS American Victory, a World War II Victory ship preserved as a museum ship.
The Tampa Bay History Center is a museum of Tampa Bay History located in the Channel District, Tampa, Florida of Tampa. It boasts over 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) of exhibits through 12,000 years. Theaters, map gallery, research center and museum store.
Well-known shopping areas include International Plaza and Bay Street, WestShore Plaza, SoHo district, and Hyde Park Village. Palma Ceia is also home to a shopping district, called Palma Ceia Design District. Previously, Tampa had also been home to the Floriland Mall (now an office park), Tampa Bay Center (demolished and replaced with the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers training facility, known as "One Buc Place"), and East Lake Square Mall (now an office park).
Perhaps the most well known and anticipated events are those from Tampa's annual celebration of "Gasparilla", particularly the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a mock pirate invasion held since 1904 in late January or early February. Often referred to as Tampa's "Mardi Gras", the invasion flotilla led by the pirate ship, Jose Gasparilla, and subsequent parade draw over 400,000 attendees, contributing tens of millions of dollars to the city's economy. Beyond the initial invasion, numerous Gasparilla festivities take place each year between January and March, including the Gasparilla Children's Parade, the more adult-oriented Sant'Yago Knight Parade, the Gasparilla Distance Classic, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and the Gasparilla International Film Festival, among other pirate themed events.
Other notable events include the Outback Bowl, which is held New Year's Day at Raymond James Stadium. Each February, The Florida State Fair brings crowds from across the state, while "Fiesta Day" celebrates Tampa's Cuban, German, Italian, African-Cuban, Jewish and Spanish immigrant heritage. In April the MacDill Air Fest entertains as one of the largest military air shows in the U.S.. Guavaween, an nighttime street celebration infuses Halloween with the Latin flavor of Ybor City. Ybor also hosts "GaYbor Days", an annual street party in the GLBT-friendly GaYbor district. The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, held annually since 1989, is the city's largest film festival event, and one of the largest independent gay film festivals in the country.
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