Walking Tour- Ybor City

8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Meet in hotel lobby

Participants will meet in the hotel lobby, walk to the Fort Brooke Streetcar Station (less than a block away) and ride the streetcar(s) to Ybor City for the tour. We will conclude at Jose Marti Park where everyone can board a streetcar on 13th Street (next to Park) and head back to the hotel. Ybor City is Tampa’s National Historic Land- mark District: this tour will provide an update on the 2020 vision plan, streetcar study, mixed-use projects, preservation projects and redevelopment activity. Through the Ybor district CRAs and other programs, there are new businesses, expansions, historic renova- tions, streetscapes and facade projects. Highlights include the Ybor City State Museum, Centennial Park, Centro Ybor, Visitor Informa- tion Center, Ybor Square and a community college in the heart of Tampa’s Historic Latin Quarter. Interspersed with the existing historic structures in Ybor City, the buildings and infrastructure were designed to blend with the surroundings. We will walk down famous Seventh Avenue, designated “a 2008 Great Streets in America” for its history, character and strong community involvement.

Sponsored by the City of Tampa

Tour Guides: Wallace Reyes, Ph.D., Ybor Historian and Ambassador, and Brenda Thrower, Economic Development Specialist, Ybor City Corporation

CM I 3.0

Wallace Reyes Dr. Reyes is a social anthropologist, historian, researcher and author, with over 39 years of research work, and seven history books published.  His goal is “to help preserve our heritage and keep our history legacy alive via education”. He is a member of the Certification Board for the University of Florida in Gainesville, V.P. of the Gonzalez Habano Cigar Company in Tampa, Tour Director of the Cigar Industry History Tours and a member of the Ybor City Ambassador Program. He also works as a volunteer with the Ybor City Museum, as historian advisor, and Docent at the Plant Museum, in Tampa.  He has been a member of the Florida Anthropological Society (since 1990).

Dr. Reyes is a Grand Master Cigar Maker, with two Guinness Worlds Records in 2006 & 2009, as well as the World’s Longest Cigar Record, (196′ ft. 3 3/8″ inches) long, and for the first time in the U.S.A. (2009)  He is the author of the following bilingual books (English and Spanish) in paper and digital format: “Once Upon a Time in Tampa”; “Cigar City Architecture and Legacy”; “Florida, Frontier Territory” & “The Golden Era of the Cigar Industry”.

He was graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, with an Associate Degree in Business Administration, a degree of a bachelor and master’s in Philosophy, and a dual Doctorate Degree in Philosophy & History, from the University of Alcala de Henares, Spain. As a social anthropologist he obtained a post graduate degree in American History from the University of Florida.

Brenda Thrower Ms. Thrower is the Economic Development Specialist for the Ybor City Development Corporation, Economic and Urban Development Department, City of Tampa. She serves on the Florida Redevelopment Association Board of Directors.  She manages, plans, and promotes economic development initiatives for Ybor City’s two Community Redevelopment Areas. As your tour guide of the Ybor Walking Tour, Brenda is reprising her much sought-after role of bringing history, economic development and Ybor to life.