By LINDA CHION KENNEY
As the pandemic rolls through its second year with more and more vaccines on tap, a return to a somewhat normal order of business is quietly taking shape, albeit with unprecedented health and safety protocols in place.
In-person high school graduations have been scheduled at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, from May 25 through June 3, with limited attendance, face coverings and social distancing required.
Also at the fairgrounds in Tampa, at 800 U.S. 301, the Florida State Fair is set to return April 22 for its 11-day run, following on the heels of the Florida Strawberry Festival, which ended its 11-day run March 14 in Plant City. Visit www.FloridaStateFair.com.
Meanwhile, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has announced grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses and for businesses new to the chamber.
Back-to-back grand openings have been scheduled for O2B Kids and Glory Days, on April 6 and 7, respectively.
With its doors open to infants, toddlers and pre-K, and VPK children, the O2B Kids location in Riverview is at 11616 Boyette Road, next to the newly opened Culver’s restaurant.
Offering preschool and afterschool offerings, O2B boasts a nationally acclaimed program, based on a variety of experiences designed to give children classroom and playground experiences, designed “to build strong circuits in the brain.”
“Children learn best through play, and that is what our state-certified curriculum, ‘Funnydaffer,’ does best,” notes the O2B website. “We embrace the education and development of each child and assist our parents in providing a loving, nurturing space filled with care where children can grow.”
Visit www.o2bkids.com or call 813-491-1943.
As for nourishment, look no further than the Culver’s restaurant next door at 11620 Boyette Road, a second location for the Wisconsin-based company in the Greater Riverview area. Along with locations in Brandon, Plant City and Tampa, the first Riverview location is at 10721 Big Bend Road.
Known for its “ButterBurgers” (made from fresh, never frozen beef), cheese curds and frozen custard made fresh in small batches daily, Culver’s offerings include as well its “Harvest Veggie Burger” (made from, among other things, fire-roasted chickpeas, mushrooms, peppers and real Wisconsin cheese).
Visit www.culvers.com or call 813-591-1060 (Big Bend Road location) and 813-252-8378 (Boyette Road location).
As for the chamber’s April 7 ribbon-cutting, it’s at Glory Days Grill in Riverview, off Big Bend Road, at 13230 Lincoln Road, in the same shopping plaza as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
The Riverview Glory Days ribbon-cutting comes 25 years after the first Glory Days, sports-themed family restaurant opened in Burke, Virginia. The company today has nearly 40 locations up and down the east coast, from Maryland to Florida, where there are 14 locations, including in Brandon, Carrollwood, Odessa and New Tampa.
Company officials note they have received many awards, including for Best Rib, Best Wings, Best Chili, Best Burger and Best Bartender.
The Google address for Glory Days Riverview is 10248 Big Bend Road. Visit www.glorydaysgrill.com or call 813-704-2443.
Upcoming Riverview events also include the April 13 ribbon-cutting for the New Vitality Centers in Brandon, at 665 South Kings Ave., and the April 21 grand opening ceremony for Bliss Nail Lounge in Lithia, at 5635 Circa FishHawk Blvd.
The mission for New Vitality Centers is to provide clients with the tools necessary to defy the qualitative aspects of aging. Services include health assessments, regenerative hair restoration and medical weight management. Visit www.newvitalityformen.com or call 813-436-0708.
Bliss Nail Lounge, according to a chamber report, offers 18 manicure and pedicure chairs and two full-massage chairs, as well as organic products. Shields are said to be in place as a pandemic barrier between customer and nail technician. Visit Bliss Nail Lounge on Facebook. Call 813-444-5880.
As for the events themselves, Riverview chamber officials have pandemic-minded protocols in place, based on CDC recommendations and state and local guidelines. Members are required to wear masks and asked not to attend events if they have tested positive for COVID-19 over the prior 14 days, if they feel sick, are running a fever, are awaiting test results or have been recently exposed to someone stricken with COVID-19.
For more, visit the Riverview chamber at www.riverviewchamber.com or call 813-234-5944.