It must be St. Patrick's Day weekend. The river is green and the mayor is walking around in his Shamrock festooned green trousers. Thousands are gathered in Curtis Hixon Park and along the Riverwalk, everyone is dressed in green and acting Irish for the day. Kids are playing cool games, and the lines for beer are several yards long. Happy River O’Green Fest!
It's a fun celebration but somewhat bittersweet. Mayor Bob Buckhorn is saying goodbye to the city that he has promoted and changed for the last eight years. Term limits says he has to go but he clearly is not ready.
I asked Buckhorn if he's ready to step down. He told me in no uncertain terms that on his last day there will be claw marks on his desk because they had to drag him out of the building. He noted how much the city has changed under his administration and direction. For nearly a decade he has been Tampa's biggest cheerleader and will leave a legacy of success for our city.
It's hard to say if the River O'Green Festival will return. A new administration might have different ideas on celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Nonetheless it has been a fun run. From one old Tampeño to another, thank you for all you have done, Mr. Mayor. Luck O’ The Irish to you!