Tag Archives: Doug Twining

Festa Italiana 2013

Festa Italiana 2013

The 16th Annual Festa Italiana took place in Ybor City on Sunday, April 7, 2013.  Festivities officially kicked off at The Italian Club’s Wines of Italy event the Thursday prior, and the celebration continued each day until the main event at Centennial Park.  My work is a huge supporter and sponsor of Festa Italiana which amusingly began as my bosses’ picnic for their friends and family.  Today, a staggering 10,000 patrons attend their lil’ Italian festival picnic.

Way before I ever became involved with and worked for Festa,  I remember loving the event which can best be described as an overwhelming experience of food, drinks, culture and people.  To now officially be a part of a local tradition that honors and preserves a culture’s heritage and traditions is rewarding and very worthwhile.

Viva Festa Italiana!

Festa 2013 Group 1Festa 2013 Group 2Festa 2013 Group 3Photos courtesy of Radko Keleman Photography

Please click on an image to view / enlarge:


I have a slight obsession with Olly Murs whose Right Place, Right Time album has been receiving ample play on my iPod.  Olly rose to fame on the UK version of The X-Factor, and conquered the European charts before storming American shores. His current single “Troublemaker” is rapidly racing up the Billboard charts, and he’ll be playing at The RITZ Ybor next week Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

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Whoomp There It Is!

Skate RITZ Group

Last week, I went to my work’s second holiday party for The RITZ Ybor.  Unlike The Radiant Group’s holiday mixer with stone crab claws and champagne, this work soiree was a 1980’s / 1990’s-themed dress-up party at the Town & Country Skateworld with Chex mix, veggie dip and brownies.   My sole responsibility for the function was to dress in costume and to provide an iPod filled with hit songs from the 80’s and 90’s.  So I channeled my inner Bret Michaels: guy-liner, bandana and all, and assembled what I truly felt is the best musical soundtrack to those two fun decades.

One thing that I failed to truly realize when creating that night’s iPod playlist was the extremely diverse and abundant musical landscape (and fashion) that symbolized the 90’s: the grundge era (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), the power balladeers (Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey), gangsta & mafioso rap (Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg), corny dance pop (Ace of Base, Right Said Fred, Vanilla Ice), the Lilith Fair ladies (Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan), the pop rock bands (Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers), Florida booty music (2 Live Crew, Tag Team, 95 South) and so forth.

This year’s work holiday party #2 was a blast, and I am very fortunate and blessed to have a cool job working with some amazing individuals.  How fitting was it to celebrate one of the best decades ever with them.  Happy Holidays everyone!

SAMSUNGSkate Okie Corina Rod Jess

SAMSUNGSkate Pyramid 3
SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNGClick on a thumbnail to enlarge:

One of my favorite songs from the early 90’s…  “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” by PM Dawn

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Whiskey Me To The Runway

I wear many hats at my job.  On paper, I am listed as the Public Relations & Marketing Director of The RITZ Ybor, a special events & concert venue in Tampa, Florida.  In reality, I pretty much do a lot of… well… everything: contracts, accounting, scheduling, ordering, hiring, overseeing staff and assisting my corporate bosses, owners and management with making sure that the venue is on its A-game.  Another aspect of my job is creating and producing x-amount of in-house events per year to show off the venue in a positive light.

When my friend Dallas first approached me about Tribeca ColorSalon being a part of my fall Square One event in November, the more and more our discussions carried on, the more and more I was convinced that another fabulous event was in-the-works.  Brandon, the owner of Tribeca, secured Saks Fifth Avenue to outfit his models for the show and hair product line KEVIN.MURPHY agreed to sponsor the show, and voilà… Cocktails & Couture was officially born.

The past Sunday’s event was a fruitful collaboration between many creative players: Dallas with KEVIN.MURPHY, the Tribeca ColorSalon staff, Tyler and Teresa with Saks Fifth Avenue, Mathieu Stanoch and the Bella Danza team, Doug and Niely with The RITZ Ybor, Ch Hoy with Liquid Tampa.  Most importantly, this past Sunday reminded me of how much of a cool city Tampa can be to live and work in.   Sashay Shante!

Introducing the show with my good friend (& yoga instructor) Melissa Carroll

Anye Cole belting out “Next to Me” and “Read All About It (Part 3)” by Emeli Sande

Performance Art Installations by Mathieu Stanoch
featuring Bella Danza

COCKTAILS & COUTURE
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The RITZ Ybor – Tampa, FL

…and a featured cocktails menu worth dying for!
Thanks Doug & Niely

Next To Me” by Emeli Sande

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