Guests at the 2012 Celebrate Sinatra included, from left, Lyda and Carl Lindell, John Fitzgibbons and Kristen McDowell. This year's event is Saturday at The Ritz. HANDOUT PHOTO
BY LENORA LAKE Special Correspondent
Published: July 23, 2013
Updated: July 23, 2013 at 01:48 PM
NIGHT OF SINATRA
WHAT: 16th annual Celebrate Sinatra, music and dancing, cigar bar
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday
WHERE: The Ritz Ybor, 1503 E. Seventh Ave.
TICKETS: $60 in advance from http://celebratesinatra2013.eventbrite.com/ or at the door (Must be at least 21 years old)
INFORMATION: www.celebratesinatra.com or call (813) 251-0500
YBOR CITY - Every since Frank Sinatra died in 1998, promoter Ken Walters has celebrated the legendary crooner's music with a party. This year's Celebrate Sinatra, open to anyone 21 and older, will be from 8 p.m. Saturday July 27 to 1 a.m. Sunday July 28 at The Ritz Ybor. "I've been a fan of American standards music, although I wasn't nuts about Sinatra," Walters said. "However, when he died, my friends thought I should have a party." That tradition has continued with dancing and socializing in a nightclub-type setting for the black-tie-optional event.
"We recreate the way a nightclub was in the 1950s," Walters said. "There's no silent auction, no live auction. It is simply a nightclub." The event traditionally draws between 700 and 800 guests clad in tuxedos, dark suits, cocktail dresses and full-length gowns. "Over the years, we have added a Latin band," Walters said. "It's a great complement to the event." This year's celebration will feature ethnic music by Latin Lovers in the Copa Room, beginning at 8 p.m. The main stage performances begin at 9 p.m. with American standards performed by Tom Tiratto's 17-piece big band featuring Lisa Casalino, Ashley Lockee and Paul Phillips. The event also includes a cigar bar and a gaming table with roulette and poker. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa and the Florida Orchestra.