Before Joe and I moved to where we are now, in Orlando FL, we lived in Tampa for about 2 years. We were travelers even back then (we’re talking the very, very early 2000s) and spent more than our share of time at Tampa International Airport.
I have to admit that when I lived in Tampa, TPA always seemed pretty “meh” to me. In fact, when I think about the complex, it’s not the airport itself that stands out in my mind as much as how huge its parking garage is (I’ll never forget the time I was coming home from a work trip – they had flown me to Fort Lauderdale for the day [FOR THE DAY! That typically didn’t happen to occupational therapists, even O.T. managers like me. I thought I was SO FRICKIN’ IMPORTANT!] and had gotten my parking spot at TPA’s garage so early that I was sleepy enough to forget to write down where I had parked [I know, I know. Rookie move.]. I got home and literally wandered that cavernous garage, floor by floor, for well over n hour and a half, looking for my wild strawberry colored Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I was wearing “business meeting shoes” and my feet eventually hurt so much that I took my shoes off and walked around the garage in my stockings. I finally flagged down a security guard and he drove me around until I found my “big honkin’ truck.” Oh, it was awful, LOL! Anyway, THAT’S my strongest memory of TPA).
However TPA’s “nondescriptness” is now all changed, to the point that TPA is now listed as one of 23 airports that have made themselves fun to visit.
How’d they do that? With a flamingo sculpture. Except it’s not just any sculpture of a flamingo. Nope, this is a 21-foot tall sculpture that makes it look like you’re under water and you’re eye to eye with this big flamingo head that’s ducked its head under said water.
The $520,000 commissioned sculpture was unveiled earlier this year. It’s in TPA’s main terminal and I REALLY need to see it in person one of these days, because, well in case you didn’t know, this is a very important equation:
Sharon:Flamingos = Andy Luten:Puffins 😉
I mean, I’ve been known to go to SeaWorld and stare at their flock of flamingos for HOURS.
And the centerpiece of our Christmas display outside our house is 9 flamingos (gotta include Rudolph!) pulling Santa’s sled (and yes, that IS Santa’s legs sticking out of our chimney, and a blow up Buc-ee – cuz y’all know how I feel about Buc-ee’s)!
So anyway, yeah, TPA has this 21 foot flamingo sculpture. The artist, Matthew Mazzotta, gave it a name, “Home.” But officials at TPA apparently think someone can do better, so with Mazzotta’s blessing, they’re holding a contest to re-name its now-famous fiberglass and resin flamingo.
The public is invited to submit suggestions for the flamingo’s name at www.NameTheFlamingo.com. One entry is allowed per person and contest participants will be asked to briefly explain on the online form why they chose the name they are submitting.
Along with bragging rights of christening TPA’s fabulous feathered friend, the winner of the free Name The Flamingo Contest will win some really cool prizes:
- 4 nonstop, roundtrip tickets for themselves and 3 companions on Silver Airways
- A VIP Experience package to Busch Gardens Tampa, including 4 single-day admission tickets, 4 All Day-Dining passes, 4 Quick Queue Unlimited passes, and preferred parking
- A chance to bask in the limelight at a reveal event for the new name in TPA’s Main Terminal
The contest runs through Tuesday, December 6th, After the contest closes, the sirport will select the top three names. The public will then have a chance to pick their favorite at www.NameTheFlamingo.com beginning Monday, December 12. The winning name will be revealed on Friday, December 16 on TPA’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
So, what the flock? (well, actually “flamboyance.” A group of flamingos is commonly known as a “flamboyance,” “colony” or” stand”) This is an opportunity of a LIFETIME! Get moving! 😉
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