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Hamil Fest Celebrates The Man And The Musical

Fans of Alexander Hamilton, both the historical figure and the musical one, can experience the second annual Hamil Fest Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Broadway's hit musical Hamilton will be performed at the Straz Center in Tampa from Feb. 12 through March 10. Festival organizers said the event is in response to the widespread popularity of the musical.

“The worldwide interest in Alexander Hamilton has been really invigorated since the musical came out. A lot of people before really didn't know who Hamilton was, but now it’s really sparked a great interest,” said event planner Greg Plantamura.

Even though the fest isn't officially affiliated with the production, Plantamura said it’s a great way for fans to express their love for history and the show.

“When you have a real passion and interest in something and you get together with other people who share that same love for something, then it's just automatically a really wonderful group experience, especially when people are doing the sing-alongs together,” said Plantamura.

“For people who are not familiar with Hamilton, this is a chance for them to come and get an idea of it.”

There will be special guests, including Mary Anne Hamilton, the widow of Alexander Hamilton’s great-great-grandson, and Rand Scholet, president and founder of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society.

Admission to the event is free, however some additional activities will have fees. A portion of those fees will go to non-profit organizations, including Puerto Rico Connect in Pinellas County, which assists those affected by Hurricane Maria.

The Hamil Fest is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m at St. Petersburg College Gibbs Music Center. You can find more information at the festival's website.

Rachel Smith is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for spring 2019.