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Past Sun Riders Miata Club of Tampa Bay events

July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov. 2023

Summer transitions to winter time. Finally ! 

 The long hot summer has finally come to an end. 

 July 1st..   A group of Sun Riders made it out to the Heritage Isles car show in Tampa. Lunch afterwards.

 July 29th..  The summer sweet treats run

continues ! An early evening trip to Culvers in St Pete was enjoyed by a large group. That frozen custard really hits the spot.  

  August 11th..  A brand new event for us. A trip to Bradenton to check out the Bishop Planetarium. A special during the week trip was enjoyed by the group. There is so much to see there, we'll do this trip again one day.

 August 24th..  The August sweet treat was at Jeremiahs Italian Ice in Tampa.  

 Sept 23rd.. Mark organized a trip to see a Rowdies Game in St Pete. Unfortunately, they lost but we had a good time cheering them on !

 Sept 30th.. Sweet treat at the Brooklyn Pizza and Vampire Penguin. We've done this one before and it'll be on next years calendar too.

  Oct 10th.. We don't normally put anything on here about the monthly meetings but the October meeting was a little special. We celebrated and surprised our president Gerald for his birthday. Most everyone was dressed up in his favorite color, orange. Team orange was speechless for the first time in his life. A great time was had by all and that Glory Days food is pretty tasty !

  Oct 22nd.. The Big One ! The annual picnic held at Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. Close to 80 members came out for this event that was catered by Sonny's BBQ this year. Games, talk and friendship. That's what it's all about. Special thanks to our member and steel drum player Lightning Jack M. for providing the music. 

 Oct 29th.. A visit to the Tampa Bay Auto Show and lunch afterwards at Wing House.

 Nov 3rd, 4th and 5th.. Our almost annual trip to Fort Pierce for the Summer Crush Winery Miata Cruise In. This event features clubs from all

over the state. Most everyone met up on Friday for the drive down with a lunch stop on the way. Dinner that night at the Manatee Island Bar and Grill. Saturday morning, it was off to the winery for a day of fun and music. The weather was perfect and our group of 45 was one of the largest from the state. Saturday night was pizza, wings and desserts with trivia in the hotel lobby. Special thanks to all the Sun Riders who contributed to helping make this a great trip. And, oh yeah, check out those plaques won by Justin and Jenn for their NC and Jim and Kim with their ND.  


April, May, June 2023

Spring to the Summertime ! 

 March 25th..   A return trip to the Exotic Car Show in Lakewood Ranch. We've done this trip a few times now and it just keeps getting better and better. The layout of the show, the cars and the surrounding area is beautiful. Lunch afterwards at McGraths Irish Alehouse.  Rumor has it that it is Marc dressed up as the Caped Crusader .....  well, it could have been George Clooney too. It's hard to tell who it is behind that mask.

 April 22nd..  A new event for us. Planes, Trains and Automobiles held at the Plant City Airport !! As the name says, this event brought together some great looking and unique cars and planes. Indoors included some nice displays. Even Maya was impressed with the police wagon.  Gerald and Dave put this together as a club event and we're looking forward to this again next year.  

  May 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st.  We enjoyed the trip to the Tail of the Dragon so much in 2021, we did it again ! Gerald and Michelle once again out did themselves with planning and organizing this trip. Not only the Dragon but some other great rides and sightseeing were on the agenda. Check out those cool looking blue shirts everyone is wearing.  Three days of great roads with great friends and some really good eats made this one great trip.    

 June 10th..  Mike and Machell took us back to Pecks Restaurant in Crystal River. This is a favorite event for us as it has us driving on the Ozello Trail for the last 10 miles of the journey.  (Also known as the Tail of the Gator)  We turned quite a few heads along the way as 22 cars made this a great turnout and event. 

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January, February, March, April 2023

It's a brand new year !! 

 Jan 8th..   A return trip to the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee. A great trip led by Ray. Ted shows off the keys to his new purchase behind him. Wait a minute ... upon closer review,  that's his Miata key Fob.

 Jan 14th..  Gerald led a large group to Mote Marine in Sarasota. After the visit, it was off to the Columbia for lunch. 

 Jan 24th..  A Tuesday evening get together to work on those shootin' skills at Shooters World in Tampa.   

 Feb 5th..  Ray organized a trip to downtown St Pete for the St Pete Yacht Club Vintage Motor Classic. A large event with some of the best classics we've ever seen.

 Feb 19th..   A return trip to Bunker Hill Winery in Parrish with a ride to Toppers Ice Cream in Brandon via the Tail of the Gecko. With an emphasis on conservation and recycling,  Bunker Hill is one of the greenest winery's in America. After the tour and tasting, it was off to the The Gecko. The Gecko is a 20 or so mile scenic ride with some great twisty roads. It starts around Hwy 62 just east of Bradenton and runs north to about Hwy 672. It was nice to have members of the Southwest Florida Miata Club join us for this ride!

 Feb 25th..  A large group of Sun Riders met up at the TECO Manatee Viewing Center. It never gets old seeing the Florida Manatees. Lunch afterwards at Beef O Bradys. 

 March 3rd..   The St Pete Grand Prix. This 3 day spectacle is always a club event. With multiple types of racing going on, there's something for everyone. Obviously, the Mazda MX5 Cup series is one of our favorites. Great weather and great racing = one fine weekend !!

 March 12th..   The second annual FLA-Mingo Rally put on by Gerald, Michelle and Carrera. Cars were sent out 5 minutes apart with questionnaires in hand. Most participants made it to the end traversing through the streets of St Petersburg to the secret lunch destination. Those who didn't got there via the panic envelope instructions. Lunch at 3 Birds Tavern. Glenda and Suzanne got 1st place with Mark and Karen runner up. Dave and Deb took home 3rd place. Wearing his designer evening attire, Bill lit up the red carpet with winning his best dressed award. Hey Bill, wearing Carreras flamingo booties would have gotten you a ticket to the Oscars. Everyone had a great time. 


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Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2022

 Closing out the last part of the year  ......

  Sept 4th.. A large group of Sun Riders attended the always fun and sometimes frustrating bowling meetup at Pin Chasers in Tampa. We've got some pretty darn good bowlers in this club. New champs Karen and Jim showed the way. Thanks Kim and Jim for organizing this one.

  Sept 10th.. Gerald led the group on a trip to the Tampa Bay Auto Show in downtown Tampa. Lunch at Jacksons Bistro on Harbor Island. No Mazda's this year but some pretty good looking cars to drool over.

  Sept 18th.. A return trip to Stumpy's Axe Throwing. If you've never done this before, you gotta come next time. Bill and Deb organized this fun event. Brunch afterwards at Le Peep. 

  Oct 8th.. A large group of Sun Riders met up at the St Petersburg Super Greek Festival. A great day of fun things to do and some pretty good eats !! Thanks Paul and Maria for putting this together for our group.

  Oct 15th.. A trip over to Lakeland for the Lake Mirror Car Show. This is a huge show with some really classic cars.

   Oct 22nd.. A group of Sun Riders led by Ray met at the British Car Show in Safety Harbor. Some really nice looking cars at this one.

  Oct 23rd..  Our annual club picnic. Catered by Mission BBQ and free to all members, this is one of our biggest events with about 70 members attending this years picnic. The picnic was held again at the beautiful Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. Our very own club secretary, Fred provided the entertainment this year. An excellent musician with a full "digital" band behind him, he and the Sun Rider Doo-woppers amazed the crowd with some great singing and dancing. (well.... Fred was amazing but the doo-woppers need a lot more practice....) Fun times with great friends is what it's all about.

  Oct 29th.. Cars and Candy sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Palm Harbor. This has become an annual event for our group with the opportunity to show your car and pass out candy to the kids.

  Nov 6th.. Bill and Deb put together a fall getaway weekend event down to Ft Myers. Originally planned as an overnight event, it had to be cut down to a day trip because of  hurricane Ian's visit beforehand. The group had a great time at the Edison Ford Winter Estate and lunch at 2 Meatballs in Cape Coral. 

  Dec 3rd.. A return visit to the Dade City Car Show. We haven't done this in a while and it was sure nice riding those twisty roads through the country side to get there. This year there was also a huge arts and craft show going on. Everyone had a great time shopping and seeing all those great looking cars. Lunch at Del Carmen was good as always. Thanks to Woody and Rosemary for leading the way and keeping all 21 cars together for this trip. 

  Dec 4th..  Our other big event of the year, our annual holiday party. About 60 members attended this years party held at Banquet Masters Hall in Clearwater Fl.  A delicious buffet meal of several meats and fish were on the menu with great sides and desserts. The always fun Dirty Santa was a blast as usual with the get a gift, have the gift stolen, get another gift... well, you know how it goes. Many thanks goes out to all that helped put this one together. 



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May, June, July, Aug 2022

  No summer time blues for this club...

  May 15th.. A large group of Sun Riders met at Larry's Ice Cream in St Pete Beach. Not only the best ice cream but a lot to look at too. 

  May 21st.. A trip to the Early Bird Dinner Theater to catch dinner and a play. 24 Sun Riders attended a very funny play by Norm Foster called The Long Weekend. Definitely going to do this event again in the future. Thanks to Michael, Eileen and everyone else that helped organize this event.

  June 5th.. Main Straight Cars and Coffee. Some really nice vehicles here to look. Hopefully this show will return again soon.

  June 11th.. Another big turnout for a visit to the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St Petersburg. A museum docent led the group on a tour of some spectacular exhibits. Lunch afterwards across the street at the Oak and Stone. Thanks Gerald for organizing this outing..

  July 10th.. Ray led the group on a ride through some nice areas of the Feather Sound area on our way to the Tampa Bay Auto Museum. Some really one of a kinds to see at this place. Lunch afterwards at Orange County Choppers. Great food, good friends and some pretty cool looking bikes to discover here.

   July 29th to the 31st.. This years big one. 30 members in 16 Miata's (was supposed to be 34 members in 18 cars.. testing positive for covid a couple days before departure kept two of our couples home) made the trip to the Birmingham AL. area for the 2022 Miata Reunion held at the beautiful Barber Motor Sports Park and Museum.  

Parking in the club corral parking area and participating in on track parade laps with 230 Miata's was one of the weekend highlights. Members Robert, Dave and Tim participated in the track time event on Saturday learning to drive the track with some great instructors.
Many vendors were on hand and some good freebies were passed out.

The big highlight of the event was Saturday night's banquet inside the Barber Motor Sports Museum. Along with some great food, everyone was entertained with presentations and videos from Tom Matano and Norman Garrett. Those names should be familiar to most people as they were involved with the original design and launch of the Mazda Miata.
Sunday's cruise through the backroads of Alabama was put on by CAMS (Central Alabama Miata Society). Participants had a police escort and some great weather. Our club had the second most Miatas in attendance with the local club (CAMS) having the most.

Everyone had a great time and all agreed that they'd like to do this event again.

Many thanks go out to Gerald and Michelle for organizing this trip. 




Jan, Feb, March, April 2022

  It's been a busy 2022 for the club.

 Jan 9th.. Ray organized a trip back to the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee FL. This has been a club favorite for many years. So much to see and do.

 Jan 12th.. Though we don't normally mention monthly club meetings in this section, this months meeting was a special "Kick off the New Year" meeting. Several members were recognized and a review of the past and a look forward to the future were on the agenda.

 Jan 15th.. A club first ! The Florida Mines Ride. Dave, Deb and Gerald put together a ride through the Florida mountains (Phosphate hills) of central Florida. A large club turnout and lunch at Sonnys in Bartow made this a great day.

 Jan 22nd.. Bill and Deb took us back to Stumpys for some more hatchet throwing. Congrats to our new axe throwing champions, Karen and Ron. Lunch afterwards at Whiskey Wings in Oldsmar.

 Feb 20th.. Marc and Eileen organized a trip to Maple Lanes for some Sunday morning bowling.

Kim and Mark became the clubs newest bowling champs.   

 Feb 25th.. A group of Sun Riders met up at the St Pete Grand Prix to catch some great racing. Not only the Indy cars but the Mazda MX-5 Cup series was there again this year. We still don't know how Jim got in and then out of that MX-5 cup car. 

 Feb 26th.. Ray led a group over to Sebring to catch some great racing and eye drooling over some of histories great old cars. The group also got to run some laps on the historic Sebring circuit. 

 March 12.. an over night trip to the Summer Crush Winery in Fort Pierce to catch the British Invasion. Some great old classic tunes from the 60's filled the air for these Sun Rider hippies.

  April 9th.. A large group of Sun Riders took to the waterways looking for gaters and enjoying mother nature. Bill and Deb organized a trip to Tom and Jerrys Airboat Rides at Lake Panasoffkee. Lunch afterwards at Pico De Gallo Mexican restaurant.

 April 30th.. An outing to Congo River miniature golf with lunch afterwards at the Mellow Mushroom in Clearwater. 



Oct, Nov, December 2021

 October 1st to the 3rd..  Our annual trip (minus a covid year) to Summer Crush Winery in Fort Pierce. 19 cars made the trip for some fun and comradery with fellow Miata Clubs from around the state. Thanks to Jim, Kim, Bill and Deb for taking the lead on this one. It was a great time... and we picked up some new members too. A special thanks to Grover, our MC for the Saturday evening Trivia Pursuit game at the hotel. Grover, this job is yours for life.  LOL.

 October 7th..  And another first... Thanks to Mark for organizing a trip to see the Tampa Bay Rowdies play in St Pete. It was a great time.

 October 10th..  A lunch ride to Crumps Landing in Homosassa. Organized by Jim and Carol, a large group and their furry friends enjoyed the beautiful outside dining area.

 October 17th..  This year's annual club picnic was held at Philippe Park in Safety Harbor and catered by Mission BBQ. Great food, games and good friends. The surprise stand up comedian show was a lot of laughs for the over 75 members who came out for this years picnic.

 October 30th..  The Trunk or Treat ride and car show in Palm Harbor.

 November 7th..  Game Show Ride # 7. Despite the gloomy forecast, the rain held off and 20 cars showed up for this zany back roads ride and lunch.

Debbie and Dave became the new GSR champions answering 51 of the 60 questions correctly. Ron and Linda were 2nd with 49 correct and Doug and Paula took 3rd with 46 correct. Lunch at Papa Joes in Brooksville was excellent. (Yes, you are correct. That's a vette at the end of the line of Miata's) 

 December 2nd..  The Car Menorah parade in St Pete. Several members joined in on this annual event put on by the Florida Holocaust museum. 

 December 5th..  The Gasparilla Concourse Ride and show. A lot of nice looking cars at this one.

 December 11th.. The annual Sun Riders Holiday party. The club put a little twist on this years gathering. An afternoon event held in the party suite at Tampa Bay Downs. 60 members were in attendance and enjoyed a wide selection from the buffet and some fine horse racing. As usual, the dirty Santa was a hoot. Thanks to everyone who helped out with this years event. A special thank you to Ray and Peggi who coordinated and spent a lot of time putting this together.




July, August, September 2021

 July 11th..  A return trip to Brooklyn Pizza and Vampire Penguin for lunch and dessert.

 July 17th..   A large group of us headed south to Naples to see Revs Institute. Some great history of cars and racing at this place. We met up with the SW Florida group and all toured the museum. Afterwards, lunch at Spankys.  Many made a weekend of it and stayed a couple days. 

August 1st..  Back to Maple Lanes in Clearwater for some fun bowling. As you can see, 100% of the clubs 30th anniversary members were in attendance. Or we could look at it as 0.1 % of the worlds population of 30th anniversaries were there according to Mark.

 August 21st..  A first time Sun Riders event organized by Bill and Deb. A trip to Stumpy's Hatchet House.

What a fun time we all had.  Tami and Scott walked away with the honors of champ and champess. Oh sure guys, we're still not buying that..."it was our first time" line.  LOL.

We'll definitely do this one again sometime.  

 September 4th..  Lunch at Rodies Restaurant and Pancake house. Dessert at Bahama Bucks. Yummm....

 September 18th..  Another Sun Riders first time event hosted by Fred and Gerald. A trip to the Reload Gun Range. Some pretty good shooters in this club. First place honors went to Mark.

 September 19th..  A return trip to the Trop to see a Rays game organized by Ron and Linda. A large group of us had a great time and many thanks to Chef Paul and Maria for cooking at the pre game tail gate party.

 September 25th..  Back to Dairy Joy for a sweet treat run. Thanks Mike and Machel for leading this. 

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Apr, May, June 2021

 April 8th through the 13th.. To Fontana Village in NC. A trip to the Tail of the Dragon organized by by Gerald and Michelle. 18 cars made the journey for this wonderful adventure. Great friends, good eats and drivin them there back country roads was spectacular !

 April 25th..  Meet up at Fords Garage in Tampa. Always a good time.

 May 2nd.. An exhausted Miya hosted her first 4 legged furry friends Sun Riders event.  A great turn out at Enterprise Dog Park with an owners lunch afterwards at Fords in Clearwater.

 May 16th..  Ray led a large group on a back roads trip along the coast ending up at the Bayport Inn for lunch.

 May29th.. A tour of the Old Wheel Restoration restore shop in Tampa. Lunch afterwards at the Ballyhoo Grill.

 June 19th..  A trip to the Sweet Blossom Alpaca Farm in Dade City. A tour of the farm and Alpaca fur merchandise for sale.  What an interesting and fun trip organized by Fred and Gail. No Kim, those weren't Tribbles. Lunch after at Del Carmen in Dade City. 

 June 26th..  A great tour and demo of products at Garage One Pro Shop in Tampa. 



Jan, Feb, March 2021

 January 3rd.. Gerald led us on the first and hopefully annual FLA-Mingo Fun Rally and Scavenger Hunt. A large group spent the day looking for clues and answering questions all while looking for such things as Sheriff deputy business cards, toilet paper and fish scales.

 January 10th.. Ray put together our trip to the Mecum auction. This is always a fun trip.

 January 16th.. The Collection on Palmetto. Woody organized this event. A car museum in Clearwater and lunch afterwards.

 January 30th.. Our version of the famed Tail of the Dragon. The Tail of the Gecko. This central Florida roadway is a club favorite. Lunch afterwards. Thanks Gerald for another great drive.

 February 6th.. Food drive and sweet treat run afterwards. Mike and Machell led the group on this worth while cause.

 February 20th.. Over 40 members came out for the Tampa Bay Brewing Company lunch and tour. A great time with excellent food and brews. Thanks Dave for setting up this event!

 March 6th..  Mike and Marc put together the Ozello Trail ride. Always a club favorite. If you've never done this road before, you're missing a great ride. Lunch afterwards at the Marguerita Grill in Homosassa. 

 March 13th.. Tampa Joes car show and lunch. Some real beauties' here. 

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