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Tampa, Kansas visits Tampa, Florida

Group of vacationers pose for a photo in front of decorated Christmas trees.
Craig Kopp
/
WUSF Public Media
Nearly the entire population of Tampa, Kansas visited Zoo Tampa Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Nearly the entire population of Tampa, Kansas visited Tampa, Florida this week.

Through a promotion put together by local tourism officials, almost the entire town of Tampa, Kansas, came to the Tampa Bay region this week.

Ninety-five of the 105 residents of Tampa, Kansas were flown by Southwest Airlines in a free trip put together by Visit Tampa Bay.

Back of a man wearing a blue shirt with a Kansas to Florida map
Visit Tampa Bay
/
Facebook
Through a promotion put together by local tourism officials, almost the entire town of Tampa, Kansas, came to the Tampa Bay region.

CEO Santiago Corrada said it all came about after a staff member did a Google map search for directions home from another Florida city.

"The mileage didn't make sense," Corrada explained. "It couldn't be that far to get to Tampa, Florida from in the state of Florida so she had actually gotten Tampa, Kansas on her map."

During the week, the group has visited Busch Gardens and the Tampa Riverwalk. On Wednesday, they dropped by ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

"Some of the kids have never been to Florida," said Corrada. About 30 children are among the visitors.

"And now they've seen Florida and when they grow up, they're going to remember us and they're going to have families and they're gonna want to come back and visit."

Tampa Kansas Zoo Mascots
Craig Kopp
/
WUSF Public Media
A young visitor from "the other" Tampa realizes he's not in Kansas anymore as he's joined by ZooTampa mascots Wednesday.

Jesse Brunner from Tampa, Kansas said everything about the trip to Tampa, Florida has been great.

"The welcoming. People have been so gracious and so welcoming to us. That's probably the biggest thing," said Brunner.

Brunner also liked the Tampa, Florida weather. He said it was 27 degrees back in Tampa, Kansas.

The group returns home Thursday.

And, for future reference, there's also a Clearwater, Kansas about an hour and a half south of Tampa, Kansas.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.
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