RNC kickoff party to have local flavor - FOX 13 News

RNC kickoff party to have local flavor

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The invitations have been sent and the entertainers are ready to go. RNC delegates and visitors will taking a walk on the wild side.

Busch Gardens will be taking a lot of their acts on the road. Visitors will be treated to the Jungle Fantasy of Cirque Dreams. There will be singing, dancing, juggling, and pretzel-like contortions, says Busch Garden's VP of entertainment, Nancy Hutson.

"We're just trying to bring a little bit of all the fun we do here at Busch Gardens every day right there for their party," said Hutson.

The party animals include Jungala stilt-walkers, belly dancers, and even wild land and sea creatures for a hands-on experience with partygoers.

"I know we plan on doing a flamingo parade which you can't just do anywhere," said Hutson.

The welcome party is expected to draw close to 20,000 RNC visitors and media from the world. The host committee's Amanda Whitelaw says the sights and sounds of Tampa Bay will be on full display.

"Gasparilla krew members will welcome guests and ride with them as their welcome event ambassadors. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders, Tampa Bay Lightning girls, and of course the Rays Street Team will make an appearance that evening," said Whitelaw.

The headliner that night is country star Rodney Atkins and Tampa's own 'Idol' star, Shannon Magrane. It will be an unforgettable kickoff party under the big tent of Tropicana Field.

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