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Rum will be running at Summer of Rum Festival in Tampa

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Published:   |   Updated: August 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

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Got rum?

The Summer of Rum Festival will — and lots of it.

At the inaugural Summer of Rum Festival, visitors can indulge in more than a dozen rum-based drinks, from Mai Tai’s and Pina Colada’s to Mojitos and Rumrunners, handcrafted by professional bartenders.

“Rum is such a great summer drink,” said Cristina Martin, owner of uDream Events, co-creators of the Rum Fest. “Everyone knows rum and Coke, but rum can be mixed with light citruses, served frozen, on the rocks, with exotic ingredients, or on its own. There are so many other varia- tions.”

Martin, Ferdian Jap and Monica Varner, of Big City Events, created the festival celebrating the liquor. The trio is the same group behind the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival, held in May at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

For Rum Fest, the group enlisted nine major rum distributors, including Cruzan, Naked Turtle and Appleton Estates. Each distributor will have its own rum zone, a tiki hut that will be taking up temporary residence at The Heights Waterfront for the weekend, from which their rums will flow.

Rum aficionados and novices alike will be able to partake in more than a dozen rum concoctions crafted from more than 26,000 ounces of rum.

Wander over to the Naked Turtle Shack and enjoy a Naked on the Beach, made with Naked Turtle rum, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and peach schnapps.

Head to Appleton Estates and indulge in a Kingston Breeze, made with Appleton Estate rum, lime wedges and grapefruit soda.

Cruzan Rum will be serving up a Pat O Brien’s Hurricane, with Cruzan dark rum and hurricane mix.

There also will be a Daiquiri Deck, a Mojito bar, a Malibu Ready-to-Drink bar, a Red Stripe Beer Tent and a lot of water stations.

Each cocktail will be priced at $5 for 12 ounces.

“We have over 60 bartenders from inside and outside the area coming to this event,” Martin added. “Each of them is trained and will be able to make the drinks quickly and efficiently.”

Guests will be treated to live entertainment from The Landsharks, Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apacolypso, Impulse World Beat and Rocksteady. There also will be a variety of food trucks and vendors selling island-inspired cuisine and merchandise.

Organizers have partnered with a designated-driver business, which will be onsite to offer attendees a ride home, as well as to nearby hotels.

Go to www.summerofrumfest.com for information.

No one under 21 will be admitted into the event — no exceptions.

SUMMER OF RUM FESTIVAL

When: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Heights Waterfront, 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa

Tickets: $15 advance; $20 at the door (if available); rum drinks cost $5 each for 12 oz. drinks; www.summerofrumfest.com

Other info: Endless Rum Cup tickets (a commemorative cut with unlimited refills) are $55 advance and $60 at the door (if available); no one under 21 will be admitted into the event

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