Thespians vs. bikers: Parents upset over dueling events downtown

12:50 AM, Feb 15, 2014   |    comments
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Gasparilla Criterium Bike Race



Tampa, Florida - There's some pushback Friday night, after the city of Tampa approved the Gasparilla Criterium Bike Race to happen the same weekend as the Florida State Thespian Festival.

Thousands of people from each event are expected to cross paths at the Tampa Theatre - located in downtown Tampa on Franklin Street.

The Gasparilla Criterium Bike Race - a national event - will draw about 10,000 people, while the Florida State Thespian Festival will draw about 7,000...causing a collision of nearly 20,000 people in March.

Co-Sponsor of the Shorecrest Preparatory School Thespian Group Cheryl Lee said, "There will be more foot traffic, bike traffic and alcoholic beverages."

10 News facetimed the local Thespian group - which happened to be in New York Friday night, and they said they are on the same page as a letter which states there's "...potential of excessive alcohol consumption..."

"We always struggle to make sure the events come off successful for everybody," said Ali Glisson from Mayor Bob Buckhorn's office. 

But the Director of Florida State Thespians says it's been a struggle to get their point across. 

"The biggest issue will be crowd control and child safety."

The Criterium event organizers say they've spent an extra $20,000 on additional safety barricades, security and staff, and they expect a safe weekend. They say this is the 6th year they've held this event and each year has been without incident.

Orangizers from both groups say they are excited to be hosting their events in Tampa,  and according to a city spokesperson, this is the busy season for the city and there will be a handful of other events happening that same weekend, March 26th-29th.

Click here for the City of Tampa website, where you can access a list of other events taking place that weekend.

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