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» Gems of Pinellas County
Last Updated: April 26, 2011
Fort De Soto Park, the largest park in the Pinellas County park system, is located in Tierra Verde (FL) at the mouth of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico and consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys).
The largest island is Mullet Key, where the Quartermaster Storehouse Museum is located.
Battery Laidley was the primary defense and Battery Bigelow was the secondary defense for Fort De Soto. Even though Battery Bigelow was destroyed during the hurricane of 1921, the Fort De Soto batteries were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Visitors can walk through Battery Laidley, home to the last four surviving carriage-mounted 12-inch seacoast mortars in the continental United States.
In the 1990s, historical interpretation was provided to park visitors with the creation of the display room, room descriptions, and a history booklet, about Battery Laidley. Visitors thought the battery comprised the entire post, not realizing that there were 29 wooden buildings and structures as part of the former military post. Construction of the Fort De Soto gun batteries and various post buildings began in 1898 and continued through 1907. The Quartermaster Storehouse building was originally built as a Post Exchange. The army post remained active until 1910. A caretaking detachment was left in charge of the post. During the 1920s and 1930s, hurricanes hit the area, damaging the buildings. The post buildings were sold for salvage and torn down in 1939.
With the reconstruction of the post’s brick roads and cornerstones of the post buildings in the mid-1990s, the historical trail leads park visitors from Battery Laidley to the locations of former post buildings. Park staff, volunteers, and visitors discussed the reconstruction of one or more of these buildings. The concept became a reality in 1999 when the Friends of Fort De Soto, Inc., a citizen support organization, applied for and received a matching grant from the state Historical Museums Grants-in-Aid Program for museum exhibits.
Using historical photographs, Army engineering condition reports, and government documents, the architect worked diligently to duplicate the size, scale, and massing of the original Quartermaster Storehouse building. The reconstructed 833-square-foot wooden building was built entirely by park staff. The head carpenter acted as the site contractor and the park’s mason laid the brick footers. Employees worked to install the cedar shakes on the roof, while others painted the exterior of the building.
At first glimpse, inside the museum, visitors see the post’s quartermaster surrounded by supplies he would have issued to the soldiers. Wall panels reveal the earliest history from the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors encountered the Tocobaga Indians in the Tampa Bay area and several panels on the Spanish-American War and its impact on the Tampa Bay area.
The wall panels are complemented by a touch-screen computer program with information, images, narration, and historical film clips. Visitors can learn about the earliest area history to present day information on the Friends of Fort De Soto, nature trails, and other park features. Three display cases contain Spanish-American War items, recovered artifacts from the park, and World War II military history, including an original practice bomb from the Mullet Key Bombing Range that was found in the park. A porch scene provides a glimpse of daily life with a woman’s dress, a deck of playing cards, a rattlesnake skin, and other items from the early 1900s period. The largest wall panel is a combination of three photographs showing the post buildings. Since most park visitors are unfamiliar with the army’s coast artillery corps, one wall panel provides the history, photographs of soldiers in uniform, and contains patches and pins. The museum officially opened on Veteran’s Day – November 11, 2000.
With this historical addition to Fort De Soto Park, the County hopes to spotlight the historical significance that Fort De Soto played in the history of the United States.
Fort De Soto Park’s Quartermaster Storehouse Museum project received a meritorious award in the category of non-residential restoration/rehabilitation from The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation during the 2001 Annual Statewide Preservation awards program held in Jacksonville on May 19, 2001.
A place of historical significance . . . in Paradise Found!
ABOUT FORT DE SOTO PARK:
The Park is home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment.
Whether you are sitting on the beach or kayaking near the still water’s edge at Fort De Soto, you find yourself absorbed in the abundance of natural beauty for as far as the eye can see. The complexity of the ecology is not immediately apparent, but the park offers the greatest diversity of systems just about anywhere. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De Soto.
Another amazing example of the importance of the park’s natural ecosystems is the more than 290 species of birds that have been documented by ornithologists. The beach also provides refuge to the loggerhead sea turtle, which nests between April and September.
Fort De Soto was named America’s Top Beach for 2009-10 by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest online travel community. In 2005, “Dr. Beach,” named Fort De Soto the nation’s #1 Beach. Annual park attendance averages more than 2.7 million visitors. Click here to learn more about upcoming Fort De Soto Park events.
Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715
Park Office (727) 552-1862
Automated Information Message: (727) 582-2267
FREE ADMISSION! (Donations accepted.)
CREDITS: www.PinellasCounty.org. 4/24/11.
Last Updated: March 2, 2011
Discover How Florida Grows Everyday!
At The Florida Botanical Gardens!
With spring approaching, Pinellas County gardeners are getting ready for a riot of colorful blooms, including Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Magnolia, and Oleander, to name a few. There’s even an array of flowering plants with a uniquely Florida “beach” theme at this time of year . . . including Beach Sunflower, Coral Creeper, Coral Honeysuckle, Shell Flower, and Shrimp Plant!
The Florida Botanical Gardens inspires and educate visitors by showcasing flora, fauna and natural resources in surroundings that promote environmentally friendly techniques. With over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas, the Florida Botanical Gardens are a unique local treasure.
The Gardens beautiful outdoor classroom is the perfect place to learn about plants, animals and responsible gardening.
Discover Florida’s wildlife, habitats and why our natural areas are so important.
Home gardeners, as well as flower and plant enthusiasts, will want to visit the Seasonal Garden Display. These beds are created to show off the best flowering annuals for use in Florida gardens. Plantings are changed three times a year. This area is a great place to see what’s growing (and what to plant) at this time of year!
For family fun, riddle me this . . . What is yellow and green and fun all over?
The Children’s Trail at Florida Botanical Gardens, of course!
Follow Flora on this Trail Just for Kids!
Flora will show you weird and wonderful things as you explore the Florida Botanical Gardens.
With the aid of a map (available for download on the Garden’s website or at the Garden’s Welcome Center), start at the Butterfly Garden, hike over to the boardwalk Tree Station, and scan for wildlife with the binoculars near the pond. Then stroll through the Fruit Garden, while the Garden’s mascot, Flora, teaches fun facts about Florida fruits. It is fun for kids of all ages!
You may wish to visit the Garden’s neighbor, Heritage Village, where you will find a fascinating collection of historical buildings lovingly restored to their original condition with fascinating interpretation including a host of knowledgeable docents to help you understand the buildings you enjoy.
Shopping is made easy at the Botanical Bounty Gift Shop. The shelves are “blooming” with gift ideas to accommodate the wishes of friends and family.
Visit Florida Botanical Gardens website and click on the Seasonal Guide to discover what is blooming in Pinellas County right now!
Many of the website’s featured plants can be found in Pinellas County’s parks and preserves, as well as in backyard gardens! In addition to the seasonal guide chart, you can find tips and fact sheets on the care and maintenance of popular garden plants from the Pinellas County Extension.
Bring the family and spend a day. The Florida Botanical Gardens are open every day of the year and admission is free!
Discover Paradise in Pinellas County . . . we refer to it as Paradise Found!
Open daily from 7A to 7P.
Located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774.
For information call: 1+ 727-582-2100
CREDITS: Images and content provided courtesy of The Florida Botanical Gardens. Florida Botanical Gardens is part of the Pinellas County Cultural, Education & Leisure Department. www.flbg.org. February, 2011.
Last Updated: January 6, 2011
2011 is here and there’s a buzz about the upcoming grand opening of the Dali Museum, which will feature the masterworks of Salvador Dali.
Stephen M. Wheeler, in his Double Take feature, appearing in the January February 2011 issue of AAA Going Places magazine, says it best in his whimsical take on the artist and his mustache, entitled “Must ‘Stache Dali.”
Wheeler suggests there’s an “undisputable commonality” between the artist and “the infamous curl of his moustache: They’re [both] surreal.”
To confirm this observation, share the pride of St. Petersburg and the highly-anticipated opening of the brand-new Dali Museum, scheduled to open on an equally surreal date . . . 1-11-11. Well . . . the artist was “one” of a kind!
The Museum, located at 1000 Third Street South in St. Petersburg, FL, is twice the size of the old Dali museum. The $36 million endeavor includes 66,500 square feet-for exhibits as well as meeting space.
You may see people–children and children at heart alike–throughout Pinellas County wearing a painted on or paper mustache on January 11, 2011 . . . of course, now you’ll know why.
It will be an artfully fun day . . . In Paradise Found!
MORE INFORMATON ABOUT THE DALI MUSEUM:
BECOME A MEMBER!
Step into the surrealist landscape with a membership to the Dalí Museum, and embark on an intimate journey through the world’s largest collection of Salvador Dalí’s artwork outside of Spain. Members enjoy personalized benefits that enrich the museum experience, and provide valuable support to enhance our essential programming. Join today to unleash your creativity, and maybe change the way you see the world.
ALL active Members will be invited to attend a behind-the-scenes Preview Party at our new museum building before the official Grand Opening in January 2011.
SAMPLING OF JANUARY 2011 EVENTS AT THE NEW DALI:
The Florida Orchestra and The Studio@620: A Night of Dalí & Music
Wednesday, January 5, 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Studio@620, 620 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Explore the link between art and music of the 20th century in saluting Salvador Dalí. The program will include several surreal surprises including special performances of “Party Pieces: Sonorous and Exquisite Corpses” by composers John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, and Virgil Thompson; readings from “Little mi-ma Monsterlet” and “Frankenstein”, plus a performance from “Nine Surrealist Studies (After Salvador Dali)” #3 Persistence of Memory. The program is a prelude discussion to “Hello Dalí”, the Florida Orchestra – Dalí Museum Grand Opening Celebration as well as part of the second season of “An Intimate Collaboration II: The World We Live In”, at The Studio@620. Cost: Suggested donation of $10 payable at the door. Reservations recommended by calling 727-895-6620 as seating is limited.
Grand Opening Procession, Ribbon Cutting & Festival
Tuesday, January 11, 9:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
The New Dalí Museum Open to the Public
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Dalí Museum is open to the public 10:00 a.m-5:30 p.m. Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, 10:00 am.-8:00 p.m. Thursday, and 12:00-5:30 Sunday. Tickets available for purchase at the door, starting January 12, 2011. Or, purchase them online by visiting www.thedali.org.
Family Day at the Dalí
Saturday, January 15, 10:30 – 4:00
Visit the Dalí for a day of events for families: At 10:30, learn about the Salvador Dalí and the Museum collection through a guided tour led by the 2011 Junior Docent class of Douglas Jamerson Elementary. At noon, Catch the Wave with performance artist Marcey Walsch, as she explores the Science behind Sound and Music with what else? Water balloons, slinkies, space phone and whoopee cushions! The afternoon culminates with Dillydally with Dalí with fun games, puzzles and craft activities which educate and encourage family interaction. In addition, activity sheets are available that enable families to explore the museum on their own.
CREDITS: With thanks to www.thedali.org and Stephen M. Wheeler, “Must ‘Stache Dali,” Double Take, AAA Going Places. January February 2011. AAA.com. Page 56. To read the full article, visit: www.aaagoingplaces.com.
Last Updated: December 1, 2010
Discover Paradise in Pinellas County!
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Florida Botanical Gardens and the holiday season.
See how more than 425,000 colorful lights can transform Florida Botanical Gardens into a holiday wonderland. Children admitted free.
Suggested $2 donation for adults. All pets must be on leashes. Sponsored by the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation.
Gift and Plant Sale – December 12 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Dog Parade – December 26 – 3:00 p.m.
For information, call (727) 582-2100
Vendors wanted weekends or nightly. For information, call (727) 582-2247.
Interested in volunteering for this community event? If so, contact Florida Botanical Gardens and ask for Chuck Scaffidi.
Help the Foundation and the community by sponsorship and/or donations for this exciting event. Send your tax-deductible gift to Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL, 33774. Attention: Holiday Lights.
To watch videos of last year’s event, visit http://www.flbg.org/foundation.htm.
And, for more Pinellas County holiday events, check out the Events Calendar at http://www.pinellascounty.org/Events/default.htm.
The Florida Botanical Gardens is a Pinellas County Government Program.
Last Updated: October 4, 2010
Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman are in negotiations to star in “Dolphin Tale,” Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment’s inspirational animal tale being directed by Charles Martin Smith. The movie will be a 3D release, perhaps becoming the first family film in this current climate of 3D frenzy to go with the format.
“Dolphin” is inspired by the true story of a dolphin named Winter rescued off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
ABOUT THE CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, working aquarium dedicated to public education, marine research, and the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured or stranded marine life.
CMA serves as a connection between the marine environment and Tampa Bay community. More than 500 dedicated volunteers assist in continuing efforts to protect Florida’s fragile marine environment. Each year, more than 150,000 people come to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to learn about dolphins, sea turtles and other wonders of the sea, but few know the fascinating history behind the big blue building near Clearwater Beach. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary and takes this opportunity to look back fondly on its growth from a tiny exhibit into an internationally-known animal care and environmental education facility.
The CMA volunteer program utilizes citizens willing to donate their time for the benefit of our fragile marine environment. Volunteers assist in conducting educational presentations, running the front desk and gift shop, and helping with animal care and rehabilitation. Volunteers are selectively placed with various Aquarium programs. CMA values its volunteers and acknowledges that their actions promote positive attitudes toward education and conservation. Year-round volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Students between the ages of 14 and 17 may apply to CMA’s Junior Volunteer Program, which is held each summer from June until August. The deadline for applications to this program is in late April of each year. Requirements for the program may vary from year to year so applicants are encouraged to be in contact with CMA after the first of the year for more information and the exact deadline date.
Another inspiring reason why life is amazing. . . in Paradise Found!
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm
Friday & Saturday 9am – 7pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm
New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day
CREDITS: Information and images used in this post provided courtesy of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium website, www.seewinter.com. Copyright 2004-2009 – Clearwater Marine Aquarium 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767. Telephone Number: 1 (727) 441-1790.
Last Updated: September 13, 2010
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is creating homeownership opportunities for people and families with the help of this community. We’re building together because we believe that a community where everyone has a decent place to live is a matter of conscience and action. Come build with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County!
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County will host their fourth annual dine-and-dance fundraiser on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Their Hammers & Heartstrings Ball takes place at the Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa and benefits Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and families waiting for their chance to build a better life.
Putting faith into action, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County promotes family stability by providing innovative and affordable housing solutions to qualified individuals and families. In partnership with our community, we work toward our ultimate goal of eliminating substandard housing throughout the county.
Get Involved in a Mission that Will Change Lives — Including YOURS!
What makes Habitat’s mission unique? You do! Volunteer opportunities make it possible for thousands of people to get active in our community and make a difference in the lives of children and families. Building a new home (or a remodel) takes time and money, but seeing a family get the keys to a home you helped build is inspiring. Come out and volunteer. Come make a difference.
If you are looking to help the environment, help build your community, meet new people, have fun, make a difference or earn community service hours, come volunteer at the Habitat ReStore, a non-profit retail outlet where new and gently used construction items, home improvement products and furniture are sold at discounted prices. Often people want to donate these things for use in Habitat homes. However, it is not practical, efficient or economical to try to adjust plans to accommodate most donated materials. The ReStore is Habitat’s solution for turning these donations, from environmentally concerned individuals and businesses, into money to build homes for families. Volunteers are needed to assist with off-loading donations, stocking the showroom, assisting customers and other administrative duties.
For more information about the Hammers & Heartstrings Ball or to learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, visit the organization online at www.habitatpinellas.org or call (727) 536-4755.
Building hope is about believing in a new day . . . in Paradise Found!
CREDITS: Information and some images courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. www.habitatpinellas.org.
Last Updated: August 27, 2010
Clearwater Jazz Holiday is proud to announce the Third Annual Clearwater Jazz ‘N Art Walk in Clearwater, FL, October 16th and 17th from 10AM – 5PM.
Each year more than 50,000 visitors come to Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater to enjoy four days & nights of FREE Jazz by some of today’s greats.
The Clearwater Jazz ‘N Art Walk is an art show on the 500 & 600 block of Cleveland St. from Ft. Harrison to East Avenue. Fine art of different mediums will be on display and for sale to the general public.
The GTE Federal Credit Union main stage will be located at Garden Avenue with fantastic entertainment featuring local and regional talent for one to enjoy. Artists scheduled to perform will be announced soon.
The Clearwater Jazz ‘N Art Walk will feature a Kids Educational Zone, located in Station Square, in cooperation with the Dunedin Fine Art Center, showcasing some of the Bay area’s youth works and talents. Kids of all ages can enjoy the art and experience hands-on activities created just for them.
About Jazz ´N Art Walk & Clearwater Jazz Holiday
What started as a 10-day series of jazz concerts held on the back of a flatbed truck and at venues all around the City of Clearwater, has evolved into a major regional jazz festival and draw for tens of thousands of visitors. The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a world-class gathering of the some of the greatest talents and greatest fans of jazz. The event takes full advantage of its home in Clearwater, Florida, offering music against the backdrop of warm breezes, brilliant sunsets, and one of the world’s greatest beaches, on the Gulf of Mexico.
Over its 30-year history, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday has featured such legendary talents as Tony Bennett, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann, Dave Brubeck, Tito Puente, Stephan Grappelli, Stan Getz, and the Count Basie Orchestra, to name only a few. Today’s most popular and innovative jazz stars have also made stops in Clearwater, including Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Al Dimeola, Stanley Clarke, Kevin Mahogany, Hiroshima, Julian Coryell, The Rippingtons, Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, Herbie Hancock, Paquito D’Rivera with New York Voices, Rick Braun, The Neville Brothers, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Clarke – Bela Fleck – Jean-Luc Ponty, Koko Taylor, Boney James, Kenny G, Manhattan Transfer, Buckwheat Zydeco, Patti Austin, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Chris Botti and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.
The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a unique community event, free to the public and administered by a charitable foundation, The Clearwater Jazz Holiday Foundation, The City of Clearwater, and its volunteers. Jazz Holiday not only brings live music to the Tampa Bay area, it benefits jazz education through its scholarship and educational activities each year.
Clearwater Jazz Holiday programs are funded in part by grants from The State of Florida , Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, The Florida Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pinellas County Commission through the Pinellas County Arts Council Cultural Development Program.
Grants Program of the Cultural Affairs Department
The four-day Clearwater Jazz Holiday is administered by an all-volunteer staff, “The Jazz Force,” which plans and executes hundreds of services needed to accommodate more than 50,000 visitors during the third week in October.
It is the mission of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to be the leading proponent of jazz entertainment and education in Florida through the annual presentation of a world-class, live music festival in Clearwater, Florida during the third week of October and to promote tourism to Pinellas County as a key component of this celebration.
For more information about the event, please call 1+ (727) 461-5200 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CREDITS: Event information and images courtesy of www.jazznartwalk.com. August 27, 2010. About the Poster Art: Lorraine Potocki started her business, Florida Pastels LLC, in February 2008. Her medium, pastels, allows her to capture the beauty of Florida’s beaches, wildlife, and environment. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in Fine Arts and Education. She has exhibited in Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Madeira Beach, Clearwater and Jacksonville. Lorraine is an active member of the Pastel Society of Tampa Bay, PAVA, and the Greater Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce. She will be the featured artist at the Greater Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in December. She also teaches private lessons in her studio and conducts pastel workshops in the Greater Tampa Bay Area. She won third place in the “Fall in Furniture Love” Scan Design competition, Tampa region. Lorraine and her art were featured in the July/August 2009 issue of Tampa Bay Magazine. Lorraine was the recipient of The 2009 United Way Volunteer of the Year in Arts and Recreation for her work at Bakas Equestrian Center Horses for Handicapped in Tampa.
Last Updated: July 19, 2010
Pinellas County Beaches
An unspoiled, beautiful part of life . . .
. . . in Paradise Found!
Pinellas County maintains three major parks along the Gulf Coast. Fort De Soto Park, located in Tierra Verde, at the south end of the county, is one of the largest county parks in the State of Florida, with over seven miles of shoreline.
Sand Key Park, located in central Pinellas County, has almost a half mile of beachfront. Howard Park is a gem located on the Gulf of Mexico in the northern reaches of the county in Tarpon Springs. These parks offer a list of amenities that include picnicking facilities, fishing opportunities and other items of interest to residents and tourists alike.
In addition to these major beach park facilities, Pinellas County has six beach access parks, including Indian Rocks, Tiki Gardens/Indian Shores, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and St. Pete Beach. These beach access parks expand public access, and include restroom and shower facilities. Pinellas County beach access parks are used by almost eight million visitors each year.
There are several fabulous links on the official Fort De Soto Park website, including virtual tour views, a beach access guide and beach finder, a beach and shell guide, a birding checklist for Fort De Soto Park, a Google Earth tour of Pinellas County Beaches, and a water quality guide. This information is also available from the Pinellas County and Visitor’s Bureau websites, too. Helpful links provided below.
Two state parks in Pinellas County, Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island, provide almost five miles of direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Honeymoon Island State Park is accessible by car, while pristine Caladesi Island State Park is easily reached by modestly priced public ferry that departs several times per day from Honeymoon Island State Park. Amenities and ample public parking is available within the grounds of Honeymoon Island State Park for both facilities.
In addition to the parks mentioned above, several important municipal parks provide direct beach access, amenities and public parking as well. St. Pete Beach’s Pass-A-Grille and Upham Beaches, Treasure Island’s four city-operated beach access parks, Madeira Beach’s Archibald Park and Clearwater’s North and South Beach Parks are examples of municipally operated beach access facilities.
In Pinellas County, beach access is provided at 31 parks and 135 public easements providing well over 12,000 parking spaces available to the public.
Pinellas County continues to recognize the need for expanding the publicly available beach access points and the desirability of providing properly designed and aesthetically pleasing walkovers. The joint efforts on the part of Pinellas County, the State of Florida, our local beach municipalities and the tremendous citizen volunteer efforts employed in our dune replanting, continue to make our beach access expansion and enhancement program a resounding success.
About Pinellas County Beaches
Occupying a peninsula along the Gulf Coast in the heart of west central Florida, Pinellas County is the second smallest county in the state, containing less than 281 square miles. While small in total area, Pinellas enjoys a long coastline along the Gulf Coast, providing over 35 miles of fine white sandy beaches stretching from Tarpon Springs to Fort De Soto.
With over 3,150 people per square mile, Pinellas County today is by far the most densely populated county in the State of Florida and is second only to Atlanta Georgia’s Fulton County, in the southeastern United States. Large numbers of residents are attracted to the county’s mild sub-tropical climate and strong economy. In 1996, over 4.1 million overnight visitors came to Pinellas County from around the state, the nation and throughout the world. To support the growing needs of our expanding residential population and the large number of visitors drawn to our area, enhancing our beaches, the county’s greatest asset, is vitally important to our overall economy and quality of life in our community.
Spotlight — Fort De Soto named America’s Top Beach – 2008
Pristine Area Favorite Lauded as “Portrait of Tranquility”
Citing a “spectacular combination of soft white sand, calm, clear water and a laid-back atmosphere,” the popular online travel network put the park’s North Beach at the top of its annual best-of list, based on TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index.
This marks the second time in three years the pristine Pinellas County beach has received top honors on an annual “best-of” list. In 2005, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach,” named Fort De Soto the nation’s #1 Beach.
CREDITS: Information courtesy of www.PinellasCounty.org. Photography provided courtesy of my personal photo collection, my friend Brian Greene, and the beach panoramic scene photo provided courtesy of Pinellas County Communications Department
Last Updated: May 26, 2010
Bring your appetite for fun!
A Taste of Pinellas is an annual food and music festival for the whole family, held at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg in Pinellas County (FL).
Join the fun on the waterfront for taste sensations from local restaurants from throughout Tampa Bay! There will be great live music from national acts, A Kid’s Zone, games, crafts, and more! It’s sure to be a good time and it supports a great cause — the exceptional care that All Children’s Hospital provides for children in need.
A Taste of Pinellas 2010 is scheduled to take place Friday, June 4 from 5P to 10P, Saturday June 5 from 11:30A to 10P, and Sunday, June 6 from 12N to 7P.
Buy tickets online for express and guaranteed entry into Vinoy Park. General Admission only $5 a day on Friday and Saturday, FREE on Sunday! Children 12 and under admitted FREE every day!
To learn more about All Children’s Hospital, check out http://www.allkids.org/.
For an overview of entertainment and contests, list of participating sponsors and restaurants, news, and general information , visit A Taste of Pinellas 2010 online.
Proceeds from A Taste of Pinellas 2010 benefit All Children’s Hospital Telethon.
As a proud member of our Realtor® community, one element of A Taste of Pinellas that is not widely publicized is that many of the event volunteers are real estate professionals who come from throughout the County to support this worthy cause.
Plan to attend . . . support All Children’s Hospital . . . and join the fun!
Just another fun (and rewarding) thing to do . . . in Paradise Found!
CREDITS: Event information, artwork and photos, courtesy of the A Taste of Pinellas 2010 website.
Last Updated: May 16, 2010
St. Petersburg International Folk Fair
Third Annual Asian Pacific Rim Festival
England Brothers Band Shell
5121 81st Ave. N., Pinellas Park (FL)
The St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS) hosted the Third Annual Asian Pacific Rim Festival on May 15-16, 2010, in Pinellas Park, a vibrant community in Pinellas County (FL). The event featured a ceremonial dragon dance, ethnic cuisine, arts, crafts, fashion shows, martial arts demonstrations, live entertainment, and an Asian beer garden. The event was free and open to the general public (although there was a charge for food and beverages).
If you missed the Festival, don’t fret! SPIFFS plans to host a November Folk Fair in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of St. Petersburg’s waterfront parks!
The General Assembly of the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society plans to host the Thirty-Sixth Annual SPIFFS Folk Fair as a part of the special celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. Petersburg’s waterfront parks. On November 3, 4, and 5, the Folk Fair will be open for students from schools in the Tampa Bay area, and on Saturday, November 6, it will be open to the general public. The Folk Fair has been staged on or near Tampa Bay for most of its history, first in the Bayfront Center, and more recently at Vinoy Park and Albert Whitted Park.
SPIFFS is the only independent multi-ethnic organization of its kind in the United States and has been named as a local legacy by the Library of Congress.
Another Gem of Pinellas County . . . in Paradise Found!
Services offered by SPIFFS members:
Folk Artists and ethnic resource volunteers visit schools and other community venues to discuss the heritage of their ethnic group, share their music, dance, arts and crafts, and sometimes demonstrate ethnic food specialties.
More than 100 individuals handling over 30 different languages and dialects serve as translators and interpreters for the community in courts, hospitals and schools, and assist local city and county officials with translations for visiting dignitaries.
Traveling Ethnic Suitcases
Contain books, videos, music tapes, artifacts, toys and information on the geography, history, arts and culture for students and teachers to explore.
Folk Dance Groups
Many members have dance groups which are available to perform throughout the community.
For more information about SPIFFS or to become a member, visit their website at www.SPIFFS.org.
St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS)
330 5th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701
Telephone: (727) 552-1896
The following pictures from past SPIFFS events are truly worth 1,000 words (and then some). Enjoy!
CREDITS: Photos from past SPIFFS events and press release information courtesy of the St. Petersburg International Folk Festival Society website. www.SPIFFS.org.
- Come join the Tampa Bay Rowdies for Military Appreciation Night for a chance to honor local troops!
- Greek Wine and Food Tasting to benefit All Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Time is running out to stand up for sensible mortgage rules
- Fort De Soto – Quartermaster Storehouse Museum
- Midday By The Bay
- May 2012
- September 2011
- July 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009