03 August 2009

Brandon Area Genealogical & Historical Society To Host Spanish Cultural Day

The following press release was received from Scott Peeler, President of the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society (BAGHS):

The Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society (BAGHS) is holding a Spanish cultural day on Saturday, November 14, 2009, to highlight one of the social clubs and cultures of one of our prominent ethnic groups in the Tampa area. At 10:00 a.m., we will meet at the Centro Asturiano building which is at the corner of Palm Avenue and Nebraska Avenue on the western edge of Ybor City, Tampa. I encourage you to carpool. Enter the gated parking lot from Nebraska. Enter the building from the parking lot and take the elevator to the 2nd level. One of the members of the Centro Asturiano will be giving us a brief overview of the history of the Spanish in Tampa, and specifically the people from Asturias. Asturias is a region in northern Spain from which the majority of the Spanish emigrants came to Tampa, many to work in the cigar industry. We will take a tour of the Centro Asturiano building which has been the recipient of thousands of dollars of grant money in recent years to restore the beautiful building which will soon be celebrating its one hundred year anniversary.

On the lower level of the Centro is Latam Restaurant where we will have a typical Spanish meal. This level of the Centro was formerly the cantina where male members smoked cigars, played cards and dominoes, and had their strong Spanish coffee and drinks after a hard day's work in the cigar factories. Mr. David Morejon, owner of Latam at the Centro Restaurant, has put together a great buffet menu for our group. There is no need to indicate a food choice when making your reservation since we will be served buffet style. We will have exclusive use of the restaurant that day as he does not normally open for lunch and is doing this just to accommodate our organization. Our menu will include baked chicken, roast pork, yellow rice, black beans, choice of coffee, tea or soft drink with flan for dessert. I am sure you will enjoy the delicious food. The total charge per person for the entire day's activities and meal is only $17, which is an excellent price, including tax and gratuities. Normally, there is a room charge which he is going to waive for us. We certainly do appreciate his kindness in being so generous to BAGHS and our friends.

After our meal, we will proceed to the original Centro Asturiano Cemetery where our guide will continue his informative lecture about well-known citizens who are buried in the cemetery. We can travel in convoy to the cemetery which is located on the corner of Indiana and Ola Avenues next to Woodlawn Cemetery. The cemeteries are located between Tampa Street and North Boulevard a few blocks north of Columbus Drive. It is about two miles west of the Centro. If you are not familiar with that area you will want to make sure you follow the others as we travel. Neither the Centro nor the guide for the day is charging us anything for this event so we are going to take up a voluntary collection at the cemetery which will be used for the upkeep of the cemetery. Of course, it is not mandatory that you donate, but I am sure they would appreciate any amount you can give for the upkeep of this historic cemetery since it is privately owned and not maintained by the city.