Publisher’s Message June/July 2017

It is hard to believe we have been bringing you Paradise NEWS for 22 summers now. Renee and a partner started out to bring St. Pete Beach a city-wide newsletter in 1995. From there Paradise NEWS has grown into south Pinellas favorite source of advice for enjoyment of life, in print and online. Time does fly when you are having fun.

This issue we are celebrating the first anniversary of Eileen Brock’s career as a Paradise NEWS marketing executive. Between HEC and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Eileen’s networking skills have worked out well enough that we are bringing on another ‘Brock’ Eileen found us to add depth to our marketing team.

We have more to market than ever before. With ageographically expanding subscriber and distribution base and a fast-growing online presence it is hard just to keep up.

This June-July issue is the first of two bimonthly summer editions. Our website, is now mobile-friendly and scalable, is updated continuously and our weekly e-blast “Discover Paradise this weekend” continues to magically appear every Thursday in e-subscribers inboxes. You can subscribe on the right of our home page

Tampa Bay just won honors as a top place to Staycation, so we chose toemphasize all of the FUN THINGS you can do without leaving Tampa Bay in this issue. It is important to remember that hurricane season has just begun. If a storm threatens and you want the benefit of our advice, take a look online at for some clear to follow hurricane preparation tips.

We are making plans to be in the eighty mile wide ‘swath of totality’ on August 21st, 2017 when the sun will disappear for 2 minutes in the mid-afternoon. Rooms at most of the places we looked at in that swath from Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina are already sold out for the event.

One of the great things about doing what we do is sharing what we learn about our neighbors. There is so much talent here. Last month we highlighted the new Academy of Performance Arts on the beach. We have written before about Steinway artist Rebecca Penneys, who appears again on the facing page.

At press time we also learned that Eileen D’Angelo Mattioli, who has been teaching private piano and accordian lessons for over 61 years,has been named “Steinway Teacher of the Year.” The award will be presented to her at her recital June 25th, 3PM at St. Pete Beach Comm. Center. In case you didn’t know, Renee taught dance to children for 30 years. She was honored in May by Trina Collins Jackson, one of her protege’s who has gone on to teach music and dance in Louisville, Kentucky.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Summer Tips for Staying Healthy

Whether you’re planning a staycation or vacation out of town, here are some tips for staying healthy at home, at play and on the road. We’ve talked about the importance of sunscreen in our past issue. Here are some more recommendations for enjoying paradise this summer.

Travel Tips:

Are your immunizations up to date if you’re going abroad? Have you had a recent tetanus shot and if so, be sure to bring copies of both papers. Add to that a week’s worth of extra meds and copies of your prescriptions and all allergies. Prevention goes a long way. If you are going into a Zika zone, be sure to take extra precautions and if you’re pregnant, or considering getting pregnant, change your travel plans.

Stay Hydrated:

Water plays a critical role in many bodily functions like eliminating toxins, lubricating of joints, and helping digestion. Water loss can also upset the balance of minerals (salts & sugars) in your body, which can then impair its proper functioning. To prevent dehydration, keep yourself hydrated with at least 1.5 liters of water a day – but never all at once. Instead, keep drinking water and other fluids (soups, milk, fresh juice, coconut water, lemon water) and also eat water-rich foods such as salads and fruits

The weather and your level of physical activity affect how much water you need but on average, an adult woman needs approximately 2.1 liters of water in a day while a man needs about 2.6 liters. You might need more if you’re on a high protein or high fiber diet, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and darker-colored urine as well as feeling nauseous, dizzy, or tired; getting muscle cramps and headaches; and having a dry mouth. If you start losing consciousness or feel confused, you could be dangerously dehydrated and might need immediate medical attention.

Sunburn 101:

You feel asleep or forgot to re-apply your sunscreen. Now, you’re a lobster. Here are some general tips for reducing the pain and discomfort. And for heaven’s sake, get out of the sun.

  • Apply aloe or over-the-counter Vitamin E cream or suggested moisturizing lotion to skin as directed.
  • To soothe and cool skin, take a cool bath or shower or apply cool compresses to the area.
  • For pain, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. (As always, check with your physician first about what you can take.)
  • If blisters form, don’t break them.

Eye Health & Safety:

To protect your vision at work and at play, wear protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts and surfer’s eye as well as wrinkles around the eyes. When playing sports or doing tasks such as mowing the lawn, wear protective eyewear and check with your eye doctor for sport-specific recommendations.

Stingray Shuffle:

You know the drill; shuffle your feet to avoid a painful stingray sting. If medical attentionis not readily available, the following guidelines are recommended in treating a stingray sting:

  • Flush the wound with fresh water.
  • For pain relief, soak the wound in water as hot as the person can tolerate (approximately 110 F, 43.3 C)
  • Use tweezers to remove the stingers.
  • Scrub the wound with soap and fresh water.
  • Do not cover the wound with tape or close it with stitches. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Apply topical antibiotic ointment if signs of infection, such as pus, redness, or heat, occur.
  • Check with your physician to see if you need oral antibiotics that are usually recommended for infection.
  • Patients with an impaired immune system (for example, HIV, diabetes, cancer) should seek medical care.

Insect Stings:

Whether it’s a mosquito or a bee, here are some general tips for those who are not allergic to stings (check with your physician).

  • Move away from the stinging or biting insect. Bees will alert other bees, making them more likely to sting.
  • Remain as calm and quiet as possible. Movement increases the spread of venom in the bloodstream.
  • If you have been stung by a bee and the stinger is still in the skin, remove the stinger as quickly as possible.
  • If you have been stung on the arm or leg, lower the limb at the time of the sting to slow the spread of venom. Hours later, if swelling is present, you can elevate the limb to help reduce swelling.
  • Apply an ice pack to a bite or sting for 15 to 20 minutes once an hour for the first 6 hours. When not using ice, keep a cool, wet cloth on the bite or sting for up to 6 hours. Always keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack. Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin.
  • Try a non-prescription medicine for the relief of itching, redness, and swelling. Be sure to follow the non-prescription medicine precautions. Don’t have any in stock?

Hit the kitchen, and hold a refrigerated, dampened green tea bag on the bite or take a soak in a soothing oatmeal bath.

Other Summer-Related:

Check out these videos for tips on dealing with other unexpected encounters. As always, consult a physician or visit one of the excellent local Urgent Cares.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Marinas – Our Gateway to the Gulf

As the boating and watersports capital of Florida’s west coast, our Gulf Beaches and surrounding area offers many great marinas, boasting a wide array of services. Included are covered wet slips, high and dry slips, marine mechanics, bait & tackle shops, at-dock refueling, and retail outlets.

Featured in this update sampling are the Pass-a-Grille Marina, Tierra Verde Marina, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club Marina-Gulfport, Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club Marina, Maximo Marina and O’Neill’s Marina, both St. Petersburg.

Pass-a-Grille Marina

There has been a marina operation at 1901 Pass-a-Grille Way long before the first PAG Marina opened in 1966. Al Bobellis bought it from Bruno Falkenstein about 17 years ago. He told Paradise News, “We are one of the few ‘box dealers’ for Yamaha, offering motors and service for more than 30 years. Ryan Miles, with me from the start, is Manager of our authorized Yamaha Outboard Motor Service & Warranty Center.

After Tropical Storm Debby took off part of the roof in 2012 we completely rebuilt with a new roof. Other improvements include rebuilt floating docks, a new high-tech service truck, a new Marine Travel Lift for up to 15,000 pounds; all-new electric dock pedestals, and a rebuilt Yamaha Service Department.” Features include 100 Indoor Hi/Dry Boat Storage spaces; 30 Deep-water Wet Slips with Floating Docks, with 30 – 50 – 100 Amp Service; Transient Boat Slips for Daily-Weekly-Monthly Rentals; Secure Fenced Lot Boat Storage; Fuel Dock – 6 Pumps with Ethanol Free 90 & Marine Diesel; Ships Store with Live & Frozen Bait, and Ice. More information available at 727.360.0100 or online at

Tierra Verde Marina 

Located at 100 Pinellas Bayway South, the marina’s origins go back to the 1960’s when the first bridge to Tierra Verde was built, with a new company taking over in 2011, according to Jeremy Heckler, manager for the past three years. In addition to unobstructed quick access to the Gulf, the marina offers, 50¢ off per gallons of fuel if your boat is stored with us; Valet type service – Complimentary Rinse off & Engine flush; Unlimited In & Out Lifts; two fork lifts; Ethanol-free & Diesel fuel available; Transient storage with Electricity & Water; a 26,000-Sq-Ft Retail Center; Boat & Jet Ski Rentals; Bait Shop, Food Mart, Subway & much more! Heckler told Paradise News, “Recently all the parking lot concrete and asphalts resurfaced, replaced all landscaping. On our website you can click on the Retail Space tab for store details and available commercial retail space. With our superior location, featured retail center, services offered, and a staff of experienced fishermen and boaters, we offer the best customer service on the water, We’ve become one of the largest and most convenient, location wise, marinas on the West Coast.” For more information call 727.866.0255 or online at

Pasadena Yacht & Country Club Marina

Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast at 6200 Pasadena Point Blvd. South, just steps away from the artsy beach town of Gulfport, PYCC combines the luxury of country club and yachting lifestyles to offer the ultimate boating experience for our members.

Established in 1924, PYCC has a remarkable history that lives today. Golfing greats such as Arnold Palmer (course design) and Walter Hagen (the Club’s first pro) and celebrities such as Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan have contributed to the legacy of the championship course. The 82-slip marina complex can accommodate vessels from 34 to 110 feet. The marina is well protected with a deep-water access channel with 8-foot controlling depth. Local captains and yacht owners rate PYCC as a top “hurricane hole” and consider the marina to be one of the best kept secrets in the area. PYCC Membership Manager Sarah Harvey told Paradise News, “The original marina was built in the 80’s, extended in the 90’s and underwent a major renovation in 2005. Recently, in addition to enhancements and upgrades, security gates were added. The facility has a full time Dockmaster and assistants who offer superior service.

This marina is well known around the area as one of the most protected harbors on the west coast. Owners and renters need to join the Country Club and enjoy use of the health club, tennis courts, heated Jr. Olympic swimming pool, three dining area, reciprocity with some area Yacht Clubs and an active social scene.  The Club, under the new ownership of Dr. Jeff Paonessa, is undergoing an ambitious renovation of many areas including the pool area, health club, fitness studio, clubhouse, golf course and practice areas.

We invite you to book a tour of the Club with a call to 727-381-7922 or email

Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club Marina

On beautiful Boca Ciega Bay at 6000 Sun Blvd., the Isla del Sol YCC Yacht Basin offers a 76-slip yacht harbor with depths ranging from 6 to 22 feet; Handling yachts up to 65 feet; Designated a “Clean Marina” by State of Florida; Dry storage for dinghies, canoes & kayaks; 30/50 Amp electrical, water, phone, CATV service at each slip; Wireless Internet Access; Holding tank pump out from any slip or lift; 7-Day a week staff coverage, from 9am – 5pm; Ice (cubed, crushed, block); Picnic cabanas on docks; Yacht Club Lounge with HDTV & DVD/VCR, showers, coin laundry, refrigerator & microwave; and a Gourmet restaurant & bar in the club house; and a large swimming pool with a Tiki Bar & Grille (seasonal opening).

Star Garcia, Club Membership & Marketing Director, told Paradise News, “Our marina features a 76-slip Yacht Basin with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. Every slip is equipped with electric pedestals, hoses and lock boxes. We are in the second stage of the $1.2 million renovations to our Yacht Basin. All of our docks are being replaced with recycled plastic decking by Advantage. Everything will be new, with wrapped pilings, framing and cross braces. The completed areas of the docks look absolutely amazing and, more importantly, safer for our Members and their guests. Transient members of YCA member clubs are welcome, based on slip availability.” For more information, call 727-828-0002 or email

Maximo Marina

Situated at 4801 37th St. South in St. Petersburg, the marina opened in 1959 with 550 slips as the largest covered marina anywhere. It was acquired by Chicago-based Bixby Bridge Capital in 2015, with IGY hired to rebuild and manage the marina.

Lee Hicks, IGY General Manager, told Paradise News, “The $24 million project will reopen in 2018 with 212 covered slips. Schedule has this July completion of new Sailfish and Southeast Bulkhead Docks, and March 2018 completion of new Northeast Bulkhead and Tarpon Docks, and North Bulkhead Marlin Docks for customer berthing.

A new $2.5 million The Getaway Restaurant opens this fall.” As the largest marina in the area it offers a protected harbor with calm waters and safe berthing. The marina provides easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and, the 200-foot-wide direct channel to open waters sets boaters free to cruise around the Gulf Coast. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the ICW, its fresh spring-fed water basin reduces barnacle accumulation and saltwater damage to paint and wood.

Marina visitors can relax in a shaded slip or hang out on the docks to receive the stellar treatment expected from an IGY Marina. Features include full 24-hour security and perimeter security fence as well as night watchmen; professional management and seasoned Harbor Master; Full electrical power is available and is individually metered; Use of a large dock box as well as a black-water pump-out station is free for marina customers; and easy fueling, with pricing and scheduling at the Dockmaster’s office. More information, call 727-867-1102 or access website

O’Neill’s Marina

The marina at 6701 34th Street South in St. Pete was opened in 1954 and after more than 60 years is still family owned and operated. Lisa Shook is the fourth generation and runs the business with her father, Alan Phillips.  She told Paradise News, “We have 106 wet slips, most of which have powered lifts both covered and uncovered, and also have about 110 storage spots for boats on trailers. The marina was dredged in January of 2016 to make it more accessible at low tide.  We have a bait and tackle shop, sell Ethanol-free fuel at the best price on the water, have a full-service repair shop, and excellent financing for new and used boats.”

The service center has qualified technicians who can service all makes, with a haul-out service for customers without trailers. Offerings include 20-Hour, 100-Hour or Annual Service contracts; New Motor Riggings; Electronic Install; Canvas & Upholstery Work; Fiberglass Repair; and Boat Detailing. The marina specializes in boat financing, with Sales Manager Robert McCurdy handling all details. He notes that financing a new or used boat is a service offered to make the process easier, offering the best rates in the industry working with banks that specialize in Recreational Lending. “We’re committed to customer satisfaction,” he adds. We are a small team that works together to make sure you buy the boat that fits your family’s desires and budget. We also make sure before you leave that you are properly trained.” For more information, go online at or call 727-867-2585.

This sampling of local marinas is a good cross-section of the many options available to local boaters and fishermen. They reinforce the image of our well-earned reputation as the area’s watersports capital.

STORY by STEVE TRAIMAN   |   Photos from Marinas

[Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Al Bobellis, Jeremy Heckler, Sarah Harvey, Star Garcia, Lee Hicks and Lisa Shook for their excellent information and photos.]

[Steve Traiman is President of Creative Copy by Steve Traiman in St. Pete Beach, offering freelance business writing services. He can be reached via email at ]

Staycation Spotlight: Just Let Go @ Guy Harvey Outpost

Enjoy RumFish Grill, water adventures, s’mores, pet-friendly & family fun for all!

Why fight traffic and airport security lines? TradeWinds Island Resorts (Island Grand, Guy Harvey Outpost) may be the best staycation in Florida. Here, you can enjoy the amazing amenities of two resorts for the price of one. ”We are committed to ensuring that every guest can ‘Just let go’ while visiting one of our resorts,” says President Keith Overton.

This is where the Little Mermaid would vacation if she could. In addition to getting more bang for your buck, when you vacation at St. Pete Beach’s world-renown sister hotels, you’ll revel on the same award-winning sugary sand beaches with awesome Gulf views and a seaworthy commitment to clean oceans and marine education. Amenities such as BodyWorks spa and fitness, a coffee bar, ice cream shoppe and a strolling pirate make for a jolly good time.

It’s the ultimate no-fuss vacation that NEVER ceases to amaze. You can swim with the fishes, take a behind the scenes tour of RumFish Grill’s massive aquarium, explore marine touch tanks, engage in sea-tastic activities and ogle fishy lore posted around the property. Where else can you get a learning vacation, paddleboard, relax in a hammock, get out of the sun in a covered swimming pool, enjoy delectable dining and outdoor adventures?

Whether you want adventure whooshing down the giant High Tide Water Slide, no-phone-zone family time paddleboating the lazy river or a spectacular romantic sunset stroll with champagne for two, TradeWinds Resorts is where both tourists and locals come to “Just Let Go.”

Book your staycation NOW: 866-JustLetGo or

Guy Harvey Outpost

Guy Harvey Outpost is where adventure begins. Relax at The SandBox beach lounge with live entertainment, VIP Cabanas, open fire tables and the popular SandBar. Dine on cutting-edge seafood at RumFish Grill showcasing a 33,500 gallon aquarium featured on Animal Planet’s hit show Tanked, indoor/outdoor bars, live entertainment and a retail store carrying the area’s largest selection of Guy Harvey merchandise. Explore the shore, master a stand-up paddleboard, take flight with JetLev, go on a fishing or diving adventure … or unwind around the whirlpool and two swimming pools, one for adults only, while the kids dive into an ocean of fun, try their skill on the Surf WipeOut, go on a seashell scavenger hunt, or spot dolphins on the marine bio camp. There’re even free s’mores around the campfire and biggie/little matching Adirondack beach chairs.

The Guy Harvey Outpost suites are more than rooms, they’re retreats beautifully decorated like something out of Coastal Living magazine. The standard room comes with two double beds, wireless internet access, HDTV, wet bar area with mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster and dishware. Suites have a separate bedroom, and the resort fee covers daily deluxe beach cabana, overnight parking, unlimited rides on the High Tide Slide and Surf WipeOut, campfire s’mores, paddleboat rides and more.

Dining Galore

TradeWinds Island Resorts serves up a variety of palate-pleasing casual restaurants and bars, many with live music. Enjoy sports-driven entertainment bistros, relaxed poolside dining and tantalizing salads, steaks and seafood plus frozen boat drinks like the banana Island Escape or chocolate Mudslide.

RumFish Grill’s outstanding cuisine draws local and visiting food fanatics and fish lovers. Enjoy the finest Florida seafood (shrimp, grouper, cobia), delectable salads (wedge, chopped) and eclectic flavors (mango salsa, smoked tomato aioli). Don’t miss the grilled jerk swordfish burrito, sour orange mojo braised pork sandwich, paella, blue crab cakes or Gulf shrimp with stone ground grits.

Enhancing the dining experience is the mesmerizing aquarium, lionfish and juvenile tanks, live entertainment nightly plus indoor/outdoor bars that are worth visiting whether you’re staying at the Resort or just want a fun night out.

Pups & Pals Welcome

What’s a family vacation without the family pet? At TradeWinds, pets play and stay, and can even admire a quirky dog sculpture in their honor that benefits Southeast Guide Dogs. In addition to pet friendly suites, there’s a leash free Pet Play Zone and Doggie Accessory Center at Island Grand and walking area at Guy Harvey Outpost that will put an extra wag in every tail. There’s even a doggie drinking fountain and room service from the hotel’s “Paw Court Bistro.”

Sit. Stay. Play. This 3-night package includes discounted room rates in a pet-friendly suite and a resort amenity fee built right in! Fido can don this season’s hottest resort trend – a TradeWinds signature bandana and enjoy plenty of fetching amenities. Visit

Who Is Guy Harvey?

The man behind Guy Harvey Outpost is Guy Harvey, a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer. He is also a fiercely devoted father and lover of the sea. Growing up in Jamaica, Guy spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along the island’s south coast. Obsessed with the creatures of the sea, he began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed. After his drawings of Ernest Hemingway’s famous fishing story The Old Man and the Sea received positive reviews, Guy began painting full-time, and provided custom artwork for use on a variety of products. Guy Harvey’s natural gift to recreate marine life has propelled him from Professor of Marine Biology to an internationally acclaimed wildlife artist and photographer and is widely known as the John Audubon of marine art.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Take A Hike!

We live in Paradise!

From paddleboarding the Gulf to birdwatching at local preserves, Tampa Bay serves up natural wonders for children of all ages at its parks and preserves. You can get a dose of fun and Vitamin D right at home this summer. There’s more going on than you think.

Parks For Every Passion

At Florida Botanical Garden, a children’s walking trail blooms with outdoor musical instrutments. With the aid of a map available online or at the Garden Welcome Center, families can 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 our Fruit Garden, while FBG’s mascot, Flora, teaches fun facts about Florida fruits.

At McGough Park in Largo, you can participate in a drum circle, hike to the Intracoastal, feed alligator and snapping turtles and ogle the owls, hawks and American Eagle in their rescued bird habitats.

You can bike, rollerblade or walk the Pinellas Trail from Dunedin to downtown St. Pete. Want to cool off and explore? Grab your kayak or canoe and navigate the Blueways Paddling Trail to explore the coastline and rich array of marine and estuarine ecosystems.

Dog Parks: Fort De Soto has the only dog park where dogs are allowed on the beach in a designated area. There are also 2 fenced in areas near the beach for large and small dogs with water stations (beach entrance is at the far southwest corner of dog park). You can also take your dog to play at Anderson Park, Boca Ciega Park, Chesnut Park, Eagle Lake Park, Sand Key Park and Walsingham Park.

Sawgrass Lake Park: Here alligators sun themselves close up and personal and you can climb the tower for a bird’s eye view of the park. Hike the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast of Florida as you walk the mile-long boardwalk and half-mile dirt trail where you’ll see birds, butterflies, plants and animals in their natural settings. Herons, egrets, ibis, wood storks, alligators and turtles can be seen along the canals and lakes. Thousands of birds migrate through the park during the fall and spring, attracting birders and eco-tourists from all over the country. Sawgrass Lake Park is mentioned by the Great Florida Birding Trail and the National Audubon Society as one of the premier birding sites in Florida. 7400 25th St. N., St. Petersburg

Boca Ciega Millenium Park: In this park, a 35-foot wooden observation tower offers a panoramic view of Boca Ciega Bay. As part of the the “Great Florida Birding Trail,” you can view shore birds, wading birds, birds of prey, upland birds & water fowl. Visitors launch a canoe or kayak, or enjoy a picnic under a shelter. The park also has a covered, barrier-free playground for kids and a dog park for both small and large dogs. The small dog park includes an obstacle course for training. The park supports seven natural communities: pine flatwoods, coastal oak hammock, mangrove swamp, salt marsh, bay head and wetlands. 12410 74th Ave. N. (Old Oakhurst Rd.) Seminole

Fort De Soto Park offers free one-hour nature walk great for the entire family. Wander through one of the park’s six different natural communities including the

Arrowhead Trail, Mangrove Tour, Campground Tour, Beach Tour, Soldier’s Hole or Bird Watch. Registration is required. Call for tour information Mon.- Fri. 9 am – 3 pm.; 727-582-3775. You can kayak, canoe, bike the trails, swim, collect shells, camp and fish in one of the most historical locations in Pinellas County.

Brooker Creek Preserve protects more than 8,700 acres of natural ecosystems and fauna. Here you will find walking trails to explore and an Environmental Education Center with interactive exhibits that are fun for the entire family.

Residents can bring  their horses to the horseriding trails in a separate area of the  preserve. 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. Take a walk through time Saturday morning on a 0.75-mile walk with an expert from the Preserve to guide you. See how the land changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. All ages welcome, but children younger than 6 may find it challenging.

Weedon Island Preserve protects more than 3,700 acres of natural ecosystems and its rich historical past is showcased at the Cultural and Natural History Center with the permanent exhibit Connecting People & Place offers hands-on educational offering approachs to the area’s history, ecology & people.
The preserve’s many outdoor activities include walking trails and an observation tower, a fishing pier and canoe/kayak launch. Center hours: Thurs-Sat 9 am – 4 pm; Sun. 11 am – 4 pm. Reservations required for free guided hikes. 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

  • Guided hikes through coastal mangrove and upland ecosystems of the preserve are held each Saturday 9 – 11 am. Experienced Center volunteers lead guided hikes for the general public that examine the best of our cultural and environmental attributes. Weekly guided hikes are free.
  • Go birding once a month with outings led by experienced birders 8 am – 10 am. Learn the identifying marks and behaviors of our feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while helping us compile an annual checklist of the Preserve’s birds. These hikes are designed to take advantage of all levels of birding experience. Binoculars and bird guides are available. Recommended for adults.
  • Are you a camera buff? Once a month, 8 am – 10 am, you can take a quick class and hike the Preserve in search of that perfect shot. This program provides great opportunities for photographers of all levels to hone their skills. Center volunteers highlight seasonal features of the Preserve, as well as specific wildlife behaviors that help participants capture the Weedon’s natural beauty. Recommended for adults.

For more on what each park has offers, visit

Article by Nanette Wiser

Staycation Ideas!

It’s Official.

According to national trends, Tampa Bay is among the top TEN spots to staycation in the U.S. But you knew that. Who would leave these sugary sand beaches, warm inviting Gulf waters and delicious spots to drink and eat this time of year? After all, when the snowbirds go home (and yes, we miss you), we have Paradise all to ourselves.

In this issue, travel with us as share the best places to go boating, hiking or kayaking parks and preserves and more, from cool coffeehousesto sweet frozen licks. We’ll even help you plan a stay at the Tradewinds’ Island Grand or Guy Harvey Outpost, where the family-friendly beaches, waterslide, aquarium, delectable dining, awesome entertainment and seaworthy activities beckon—really two resorts for the price of one stay!


Nothing cools you off on a hot summer day than a frozen delight. From gelato to sorbet, homemade ice cream to traditional custard favorite Rita’s, there’s a flavor for everyone, even the vanilla lovers. At the beaches, check out Larry’s Ice Cream, Super Scoops, Mikki’s Mr. Ice Cream, Beach SnoBalls and The Candy Kitchen.

If you’re downtown, The Hippo gourmet Popsicles come in every flavor while Paciugo Gelato Café’s coconut, espresso and caramel gelatos make you swoon with delight. Urban Creamery’s +peanut butter crunch is for Reese’s Pieces lovers.


You can swim or skim board at the beach, kayak or paddleboard with rentals from the local surf ships, take a surf lesson or snorkel. St. Pete Beach Community Center’s pool and Walter Fuller are always inviting, with lots of activities for

tykes of all ages, even water aerobics for adults. Treasure Island Yacht Club, Pasadena Yacht Club and Isla del Sol also offer limited summer memberships for families to use.

But nothing says summer fun more than a water park with Busch Gardens’ Adventure Island, being the most rip-roaring spot in Tampa Bay. High speed slides, corkscrews, a giant wave pool, waterfalls and a rambling river with sandy beaches makes it a tropical paradise.

Closer to home, Splash Harbour Water Park adjacent to the Holiday Inn Indian Rocks Beach is all the rage. Attractions include Smuggler’s Run tube ride down a 42 foot tall slide with twists, turns and an exciting bowl feature.

Pirate’s Plunge is a single rider body slide that ends in riders plunging in to the cool blue water. Great White Lazy River is a 600 foot long relaxing lazy river featureing waterfalls, sprays, and mists to keep you cool while you’re soaking up the Florida sun. There’s a Treasure Cove Splash Zone featuring three slides, interactive water activities, and a dumping bucket that will keep kids coming back for more. Kids can mine for treasure, play in the pool and adults can enjoy a nice rum boat drink at the Cruzan Shack while kids nibble some lunch.

If you love sea critters and aquariums, Guy Harvey’s Rumfish Grill offers a cinema-tastic view of fish while you dine.

Want interactive? Check out Clearwater Marine Aquarium and a behind-the-scenes tour of Dolphin Tale.

At the Sarasota’s Mote Aquarium, you can get up close and personal with sharks, manatees, sea turtles, sting rays and sea horses.

In addition to Ft. DeSoto and Weedon Island, kayaking Caladesi Island State Park’s paddling trail is an Old Florida voyage through mangroves and wild birds. Ditto Honeymoon Island for great bird-watching along the 2.5 mile Osprey Trail where you can also bike or hike. Lots of snorkel and scuba activity in Tampa Bay, but some of the best is just a kiss away. Tampa Bay Aviation offers scuba charters for quick access to Key West & the Bahamas.


Without even leaving St. Pete Beach, there’s the Beach Escape Game. Small groups of friends, family members, and coworkers find themselves locked in a room with

60 minutes on the clock. In that time, they must work together to crack codes and solve themed puzzles to find the way out. In the Honky Tonk, for example, you’re trapped inside a roadside bar, while Lost Treasure puts the group on an ill-fated ship sailing toward riches. The rooms are designed to immerse players in these scenarios, but there’s always a panic button if you need to call it quits before time runs out.

In Tyrone Mall, PlayLive Nation is a social gaming lounge featuring the newest games for play and is a hot new place for parties and tournaments.

Why not cool off with a movie or crafts? Cobb Theatres at Tyrone Mall, Regal Theaters in Pinellas Park, Carlyse at Sundial, have video arcades for siblings to battle before this summer’s minions.

Creative Clay’s Summer Camp promises hands-on fun for budding artists.

Legoland is a quirky Scandinavian toy come alive in a million themed adventures. Just 45 minutes from downtown Tampa, this kooky theme park serves up an Imagination Zone, Lego Technic, Pirates Cove, Mini-Land, Driving and Boating School, Cypress Gardens and Leto Kingdom, and yes, Batman!

Perhaps the craziest fun zone of all is Tree Hoppers Aerial Adventure Park with eight courses over 100 elements and Florida’s largestzipline adventure park located in Dade City.

Finally, for those of us raising booklovers, perhaps the ultimate imagination zone is the local libraries and Barnes & Noble bookstores where kids can enjoy having a book come alive as its read to them and dozens of other activities.


Lowery Park Zoo, in Tampa was Named the #1 Zoo in the U.S. for kids by Parents Magazine. You can spend the day visiting 1,300 animals on 56 lush acres. You can feed a giraffe, hold a lorikeet, pet a stingray, touch a giant tortoise and walk with the wallabies.

Closer to home, the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Redington and the McGough Nature Park’s rescued animals (hawks, eagles, owls) and plethora of snapping, alligator and softshell turtles showcase the importance of rescue havens.

Some animals don’t have a voice, but they still mesmerize. Dinosaur World may be silly but my grandkids love the 150 life-sized dinosaurs and know a Rex from a brontosaurus. The Plant City classic offers a boneyard, fossil dig, museum and dinosaur walk back in time.

Safari Wilderness Ranch in Lakeland is a safari through large herds of exotic game over 260 acres. If you can’t plan a trip to Africa, stop in here. In Orlando, the Wild Florida Airport and Wildlife Park Kenansville gives you a chance to ride an airport and see the gator wildlife park. At Gatorland Orlando, you can take a screaming death-defying zipline over a gator pit.

Of course, Walt Disney World and Sea World offer more animal adventures, both animated and real. There is nothing like walking through the shark tank in Sea World or enjoying an encounter with penguins.


Your car, some Jimmy Buffet tunes and off you go to explore Tampa Bay.

No airport security lines, just you and your honey (& a kid or three).

  • At Tarpon Springs, you can watch sponge diving demonstrations, go deep sea fishing and explore the lively Greek traditions, from cuisine to historic exhibits.
  • Safety Harbor Resort & Spa offers day packages for men and women, and the picturesque community serves up French, Mexican, Seafood and other ethnic delights.
  • Anna Maria Island may be my favorite place on earth, from The Sandbar Restaurant and beach to the kitschy boutiques and Anna Maria Cottages.   PN

Article by Nanette Wiser

Editor’s Note: Please check Yelp for location & hours. Menu items subject to change.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Here is some things that you need to know for the stormy season.

In Pinellas County, we enjoy year-round sunshine and warm weather with abundant water surrounding us on three sides. But, living in paradise comes with its share of hazards. Each year, from June 1 to Nov. 30, catastrophic hurricanes can develop within a matter of days with enough destructive wind and waves to put much of our peninsula underwater. During any season, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods and other perils can strike any corner of our community.

For more information, visit

Barrier island communities have “Re-entry Permits” and you must have one to return. Check with your local government to obtain one.

5 Steps To Prepare For All Hazards

  • CONNECT to vital emergency information about dangerous weather and other hazards.
  • BUILD a survival kit with the things you’ll need to survive without everyday necessities.
  • ASSESS your risk from storms and other perils or emergencies.
  • PLAN where you’ll go and what you’ll do in an emergency.
  • RECOVER after a disaster by taking safety precautions and requesting help.

Your county government works with municipal, state and federal partners to ensure residents and visitors are warned of life-threatening hazards; preparing for these dangers is everyone’s responsibility. In daily life, we all rely on basic services such as electricity, running water and safe roadways to access food, medical care and other necessities. Imagine living for days or even weeks without these essentials as emergency crews work to clean up after a hurricane or other disaster.

Surviving The Storm Is YOUR Responsibilty

  • Know your evacuation zone.
  • Contact your city (and check the website) and make sure that If you live at the beach, you have the right papers to get back on the beach if you are evacuated.
  • If you live in a mobile home, know that you will be among the first to evacuate.
  • Know where you will go and have a plan. Be sure to let your family and friends know where you will go.
  • Take photos and make an inventory now of your valuables.
  • Have a checklist of your important papers, copies and a month’s supply of med as well as cash in case of a storm
  • Have a storm checklist and stock up.
  • Set up emergency alerts on your mobile phone.
  • Know where the local shelters are, and if you have a pet, know which shelters accept animals.
  • Assemble a emergency survival kit that provides for your family’s needs for a minimum of one week and include your Personal Disaster Plan pdf file.
  • If you have to evacuate, find out now where you will be going should an order be issued.If you don’t have to evacuate, prepare shutters to protect your windows and brace your entry doors and garage door.

Plan What You’ll Do

During the chaos of an approaching storm, you may not have time to think through what you and your family members must do to get to a safe place together. While you can’t plan for every possibility, it’s important to answer three questions before a disaster.

  1. WHO WILL I CONTACT? How would I reach my loved ones if my phone did not work in an emergency? Do I have important numbers written down and stored in a safe place? Has my family talked about how we would reconnect if an evacuation was called while we were separated?
  2. WHERE WILL I GO? If there’s a tornado warning in your area, have you identified a “safe room” in your home where you can hunker down? If you had to evacuate for a hurricane, would you try to drive out of town or to a friend’s house in a safer area? In what situations would it be safe to stay home instead of trying to leave?
  3. HOW WILL I GET THERE? If you have to leave your home in a hurry, is your car ready for a long trip? • Do you have emergency supplies in your vehicle? Can you take public transportation to a shelter? Remember to take important documents with you (insurance, deeds, documentation…)

DRIVERS: Be aware that during a large-scale disaster, such as a hurricane, you may encounter heavy traffic on the limited routes out of Pinellas County. Fill up your gas tank and keep emergency supplies in your car.

BUS RIDERS: In an emergency, PSTA will run nearly all routes until it is no longer safe. All rides are free during a hurricane evacuation. Buses will also run from transfer stations to local shelters during an evacuation. Call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900. Route information during a storm will also be posted at

NO TRANSPORTATION: The county offers transportation for special needs residents. If you don’t qualify and can’t ride the bus, contact your local fi re department or Emergency Management in advance for help. Don’t stay in a dangerous situat

Survival Kit Checklist

Imagine life without power, water or safe roads to take you to the grocery store. Think through what you and your family members would need in a disaster to get by for an extended period of time. A large plastic storage bin in your garage can hold most of the things you’ll need.\

Basic Necessities

  • One-week supply of fluids to drink and nonperishable food that doesn’t require cooking, e.g. dried fruit, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, etc.
  • Water – at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking/hygiene
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils
  • Cooler with ice
  • Utility knife
  • Clothing/Bedding
  • One change of clothes and shoes per person
  • Rain gear
  • Sturdy work shoes
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Flashlight or lantern
  • Battery-operated or hand-cranked radio
  • Cell phone with charger, extra battery and solar charger
  • Contacts in mobile device and in print for backup
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches or lighter in waterproof container
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Rope or elastic cord
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Tools, including wrench to shut off water
  • Map with shelter locations
  • Paper and pencil
  • Tarps
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to help fi lter contaminated air Health and Sanitation
  • First aid supplies – antibacterial hand gel, soap, over-the-counter pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medicine/laxative, anti-itch cream, antiseptic
  • Sanitation – toilet paper, hygiene supplies, e.g. towelettes, feminine supplies
  • Portable toilet – 5-gallon bucket with lid, trash bags, chlorine bleach
  • Household chlorine bleach with medicine dropper to disinfect or treat water
  • Do not use scented, color safe or bleach with added cleaners
  • Cash or travelers checks
  • Books, cards, board games for entertainment
  • Full tank of gas in vehicle


If you’re staying in a public shelter, picture yourself sleeping every night in a room full of people in a space that only measures about 2.5 feet by 7 feet and pack accordingly. If you are evacuating to stay with friends or relatives in a host home, take a “go bag” and ask in advance what supplies you can bring and what kind of space you’ll have for possessions and vehicles.

“Go Bag” Suggestions

  • Vital papers & ID
  • Cash
  • Phone number list
  • Medications and copies of prescription paperwork
  • Eyeglasses
  • Non-perishable food/snacks
  • Bedding
  • Hygiene items
  • Change of clothes, rain gear
  • Kids’ supplies and entertainment


If you had to leave your home in a hurry, do you have backup copies of your personal documents? Are they stored in a safe place?

  • Driver license or ID card
  • Important numbers and emergency contacts
  • Medical records – pharmacy prescription record, doctors, medications, dosages, blood type
  • Insurance policy numbers – home, health, flood, auto, renters • Household inventory for insurance claims – photo documentation stored on backup drive
  • Other irreplaceable papers – e.g. birth, marriage, divorce, death and adoption certificates, passports, military records, wills, trust documents, titles to house or cars
  • Account numbers for bank, credit cards, savings and investments


Restrictions on refilling medications early are suspended by state law during hurricane warnings, when the Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center is activated or when the governor has declared a state of emergency. Make sure you get a refill immediately if you may need it.

FYI: Thanks to Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center – Department of Emergency Management for the tips in this article. For more information contact 727-464-3800 During an emergency activation call the Citizen Information Center at (727) 464-4333.

Suggestion: Make a checklist of everything that is necessary for survival. Before there is a storm, do a REHEARSAL to see how long it takes to collect necessary items, secure your home, get cash, fill tank with fuel and leave the area. This will give you an idea of time needed to prepare yourself, family and pets to evacuate. Remember, pets are not allowed in public shelters.

Article By Nanette Wiser

“Trash the Bag”

Maintaining its commitment to practicing superior environmental stewardship, Pinellas County has joined a regional effort to promote recycling of plastic and encourage residents to “trash the bag.”

The multimedia public education campaign features a new bay-spanning video and co-branded webpage,, which will provide recycling information and encourage residents to keep recycling bag-free, no matter where they are in the Tampa Bay area. Partners in this effort include City of St. Petersburg, City of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

Plastic bags and bagged recyclables aren’t recycled because they can’t be efficiently sorted by recycling equipment. Plastic bags also get tangled in the sorting equipment, which causes equipment damage, creates health and safety hazards for workers, reduces the amount of recyclables that can be recovered, and increases the cost of the recycling process. All recyclables should be placed in recycling carts and municipal drop-off containers loosely, not bagged.

Using reusable bags is more eco-friendly than using disposable plastic bags when shopping. Plastic bags can be reused for other purposes around the house, recycled at participating retailers, or disposed of in garbage carts.

All four jurisdictions participating in the regional recycling effort use Waste-to-Energy facilities for trash disposal, turning garbage into renewable electricity.

Curbside and residential recycling systems are only designed to process certain items, including:

  • Clean and empty plastic bottles and containers
  • Clean and empty aluminum cans
  • Clean and empty glass bottles and jars
  • Dry paper, newspaper, and junk mail
  • Clean and empty metal containers
  • Clean and empty milk and juice cartons
  • Dry flattened cardboard
  • Dry paperboard boxes (such as cereal boxes)

This partnership marks the first time Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, and the City of St. Petersburg have worked together on a single regional recycling campaign. For additional information on recycling in Pinellas County, visit

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Turtle Nesting Season: Help Sea Turtle Trackers Protect the Sea Turtles

The beaches of Pinellas County are an important nesting place for endangered Loggerhead sea turtles and the gulf coast is the exclusive breeding area for the endangered Kemps ridley sea turtles. Summer is their season.

For more than 35 years, Bruno Falkenstein and the team at Sea Turtle Trackers, Inc. have devoted their time and energy to protecting sea turtles on St. Pete Beach and at Shell Key Nature Preserve. Their 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has over 100 volunteers who donate their time. April through October is the “busy season” as they do turtle patrol and nest monitoring. Early morning beach patrol consists of walkers and the ‘Turtle Truck’ on the 4.5 mile-long St. Pete Beach. Shell Key Nature Preserve patrol requires a daily boat ride and 3-mile hike.

Starting around the end of June, they also have night-time volunteers who “baby-sit” nests that are due to hatch. They monitor changes in the nest, and when it begins to hatch, they help to ensure every hatchling safely reaches the Gulf waters. The team also responds to stranding calls due to cold-stun, injury, and illness throughout the year, transporting any live turtles to authorized rehabilitation facilities.

The volunteers are committed to the education and outreach portion of their mission. They participate in local fairs and festivals, host educational events on the beach, and visit schools and community groups. They tailor their talks to the age range of the group with which they are visiting and use Florida FWC (Fish and Wildlife Commission) authorized specimens for visual displays.

Through the efforts of groups like the Sea Turtle Trackers, Florida FWC, local residents and businesses, and many others, the sea turtle population is making a recovery. The last two nesting seasons on St. Pete Beach and Shell Key were both record years with over 90 nests laid by female loggerhead sea turtles. Natural weather events wreaked havoc on the hatching success of many of those, but the Sea Turtle Trackers feel encouraged by the numbers in recent years.

One of the most important roles that the Sea Turtle Tracker volunteers play is as educators to the public about the best ways they can protect sea turtles. They spread the word about keeping the beach Clean, Dark, and Flat.

“Clean” means free of litter and any other obstacle that could impede a nesting female. The Sea Turtle Trackers would encourage visitors not to bring plastics to the beach because too much of it unfortunately ends up in the waters.

All beach chairs and cabanas should be removed every night. STT volunteers can often be seen gathering trash during beach clean-ups or on regular morning patrols. “Dark” refers to the importance of only using red light when walking the beach after dark. White light from windows, flashlights, and cell phones can disorient both nesting females and hatchlings.

“Flat” is relating to the need to fill in all holes and to flatten sand castles after a day in the sun. Restoring the beach to a flat state keeps it safer for sea turtles and humans, alike. To learn more, visit Facebook ,, or go to


ARTS & CULTURE June/July 2017


Curl up with a good book on the beach, or take advantage of the amazing arts and culture events happening all over town.

Hideaway Cafe: This is one of the best live music showcases downtown. Catch Shawn Brown 7/9 and 7/17 don’t miss Songwriters in the Round – Caudill, Mehl, Weiss

Yes, we have them in St. Pete Beach but there’s a quirky adult vibe & cocktails at the Hollander Hotel Dive-In Movie Party (7/29, 7-10 pm)

The Getaway’s food, tiki décor and boat drinks are always fun, but more so when Smokey & The Angels (7/11, 7-11 pm) are in the house. 13090 Gandy Blvd N, St. Pete.

Lunch Truck It takes place every thid Wednesday of the month from 11 am -2 pm in Williams Park (300 Second Ave. N) this summer.

The Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center tribute shows include homages to Frankie Valli (6/10), Patsy Cline (7/8), Motown (8/12). 4951 78th Ave. N;

PAVA’s 29th Annual COOL Artshow convenes at The Coliseum July 15-16, 10 am – 5 pm.

A free LEGO exhibition courtesy of The Viniks will boost public art. The Art of the Brick with 100 Nathan Sawaya Lego sculptures will be on display Wed. thru Sun. June 23-Sept. (802 E Whiting St., Tampa)

FYI: For venue address, phone. website, check our Events Listings in the back of the magazine. – Nanette Wiser

Palladium/Side Door/Hough Hall 253 Fifth Ave. N, downtown St. Petersburg 727- 822-3590

  • June 18: The Comedy of Ward Smith & Friends – The Palladium’s Side Door Cabaret is Tampa Bay’s critically-acclaimed listening room offering the best in blues, jazz, acoustic, Celtic and more! This award-winning space of only 175-seats gives audiences the rare opportunity to see established and emerging artists up close in the intimate atmosphere of a nightclub, complete with linen-draped, candlelit tables where the performers are the focal point. Adding to the Side Door experience, audiences can enjoy beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks, and if the spirit moves, get up and dance!
  • June 11: Expressions Academy of Dance: Stage & Screen – 20th Showcase
  • June 16: Nate Najar’s Swing Guitars with Chip Henderson
  • June 18: Lillette’s Rhythm Club with Jade Simmons
  • June 18: Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz

Musical Chairs:

The summer sizzles with concerts for every musical taste. Kendrick Lamar (9/1) and Katy Perry (12/!5) at The Amalie Arena are sure to sell out fast, so get tix now.

  • The Mahaffey Theater will host the Isley Brothers Aug. 6 @ 7 pm.

Get your tickets now for Lovers of jazz, soul, R&B and the sounds of gospel will enjoy Preservation Hall presents: Irma Thomas, The Blind Boys of Alabama & The Preservation Legacy Quintet heading to St. Petersburg Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 pm while comedian Tracy Morgan returns Nov. 5.

The Capital Theater showcases rock legend Dave Mason 6/13, Firefall and

Al Stewart 7/1 and An Evening with Ace Frehley 7/20.

Ruth Eckerd Hall features songbird Ann Wilson of Heart 6/10, the magnetic Gypsy Kings 6/16 and the incomparable Diana Ross 6/21. Stars of the hit CMT series Nashville perform at REH 7/25 featuring cast members Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten and Jonathan Jackson. Esten was just announced as the host of the upcoming 2017 CMT Music Awards.

  • Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall student performance of Bye, Bye Birdie July 27-29 gets in the spirit of things when the classic movie, starring Janet Leigh and Dick Van Dyke, airs on 6/9 at 7 pm.
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall announces the 2017-18 Broadway season, which includes, making its Clearwater debut, the Tony Award®-winner for Best Musical Jersey Boys, along with multiple Tony Award® Best Musical winners A Chorus Line, Cabaret & Chicago, family favorites A Charlie Brown Christmas Live Onstage and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles.

6th Annual TBEC Etsy Craft Party (7/8 11 am – 4 pm):

The Tampa Bay Etsy Crew brings the area’s most vibrant makers, artisans, and vintage sellers. This free community event will have Live Skill Demonstrations and Make & Take projects for all! The first 100 through the door get a Dark Cycle Clothing swag bag full of goodies from vendors, sponsors, and community makers. And don’t miss our raffle- 100% of the proceeds go to the Heart Gallery Tampa Bay!

St Petersburg Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N DTSP

Downtown St. Petersburg Highlights:

  • June 9 to 11 – The Coliseum;  – Ink Mania Tattoo & Art Expo
  • June 16 – Port St. Pete;  – St. Pete Grouper Grunge Festival
  • June 24 – Location TBA;  – LGBT Pride Parade
  • June 25 – St. Pete Pride Festival – – Location TBA;
  • July 1  Vinoy Park; – Vans Warped Tour –
  • August 5 – South Straub Park- The Great Brain Wash


  • Simmer & Sift This ongoing Museum of Fine Art edible extravaganza this summer presentsculinary legends and chefs. Sponsored by AARP Tampa Bay, it kicks off June 28. Space is limited; reserve your spot now $
  • Gary Mormino: Simmer & Sift will feature presentations on Florida cuisine by award -winning historian Gary Mormino. Dr. Mormino has served as a professor of history at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and was named the 2003Humanist of the Year by the Florida Humanities Council. In August, he will discuss the “Foodways of Ybor City” and explore the “Ten Foods that Define Modern Florida” in September.
  • June 28: Enjoy the sumptuous seafood fare of Kenny Tufo, the executive chef of Sea Salt. Tufo, whose culinary career spans over two decades, has worked alongside the talents of Gordon Hammersly, Scott Bryan, and Daniel Boulud and has cooked at New York’s legendary James Beard House.
  • July 26: Lauren Macellaro, the executive chef of The Reading Room, will bring her garden-grown demonstration. A New York native, Macellaro attended the Institute of Culinary Education and served as sous chef for both Cucina 24 and the Locale Market before taking her talents to The Reading Room.
  • Aug. 23: Dual restaurant-owner Greg Baker will present his old Florida- inspired Demonstration. Baker, the chef-owner of Tampa’s The Refinery and Fodder & Shine, trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute and is passionate about Florida cuisine and maintaining partnerships with farmers. He was included in acookbook by Chef Mario Batali and has been recognized in USA Today, TheWashington Post, Bon Appetit and Edible Tampa Bay.
  • Sept. 27: Chef Norman Van Aken’s is the executive chef-owner of 1921 by Norman Van Aken and a James Beard semifinalist. He has been called “the culinary Titan of Florida” and is one of the founders of New American Cuisine. Van Aken has been featured everywhere from Jimmy Kimmel Live to The New York Times and has published five cookbooks. Abook-signing will follow his demonstration


Summer Dive In Movies: Splash into our theater under the stars at the Summer

Dive-In Movies at the St. Pete Beach Community Aquatic Center. Grab a float, chair, or floating chair to view a kid friendly movie from the pool on the big inflatable screen! No outside coolers or food allowed; snacks, drinks and glow jewelry will be sold.

  • June 16 – Jungle Book,
  • June 30 – Lego Bathman,
  • July 14 – Finding Dory,
  • July 28 – Dr. Strange.

FYI: Tickets 7 pm; doors open 8 pm. 727-363-9264.


At the Mahaffey Theater, run, don’t wait to get your tickets to a La La Land  Live-To-Film Celebration where you can enjoy the jazz soundtrack played by a 100-piece orchestra conducted by composer Justin Hurwitz, larger than life dance numbers and strong storytelling continue to endear it to audiences & critics alike. Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Mahaffey Theater 400 First St. South 727-893-7832;

Studio@620 -620 1st Avenue South, downtown St. Pete June 8-11, 15-18 “Tunnelvision: The Musical” in celebration of LGBT Pride Month. The musical was written by Tim Cain, the award winning musician, activist and founder of the iconoclastic gay rock band, Boys’ Entrance. Founded in 1991 in Chicago, Boys’ Entrance is recognized internationally for creating some of queer rock’s most challenging and critically acclaimed music. Their 2016 album, “Tunnelvision” (Q Ear music) has been hailed as “the next Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

American Stage Theater Raymond James Theatre,  163 3rd Street North downtown St. Pete 727-823-PLAY (7529)

  • Thru-June 25 – The Invisible Hand: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar lays bare the raw, unfettered power of global finance in this intense,fast-moving, and contemporary political thriller.
  • June 19 & 26: Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project presents The Golden Gurlz LIVE starring Matthew McGee (Dorothy), Joey Panek (Rose), Scott Daniel (Blanche) & Emanuel Carrero (Sophia) as television’s favorite geriatric funny ladies. This all-new parody/tribute show will be a fundraiser for Metro Wellness.
  • American Stage After Hours
  • June 18, 7 pm – House Teams Live Improv/Comedy: A night of outrageous improvised comedy. Laugh out loud with As Per Usual and Separate Checks the 3rd Sunday of each month.
  • June 4, Other Dates TBD – Hawk & Wayne Anywhere, USA Improv Comedy: Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne are now in their 8th season at American Stage, take a comedic road trip with Hawk & Wayne through “Small Town America.” Totally funny and 100% improvised, these 2015 Best of the Bay winners will bring to life an uproarious and ridiculous cast of characters.

FreeFall Theater:

Youth and adults can sign up now summer classes and explore the art of theatre in a supportive and enriching environment. FYI: 727.498.5205;


The St. Petersburg Opera Company

  • Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann will be performed June 2, 4 & 6 at the Palladium Theater. Hoffmann, the poet hero of The Tales of Hoffmann, has four love affairs that haunt him in Offenbach’s grand and final opera.
  • June 30-July 9, Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting Into The Woods will be performed.


Young Adult Writing Workshop with Amy Christine Parker: Register for this writing workshop series, held Saturday afternoons on June 10 and June 24 hosted by the WordSmitten Writing Workshops. Parker is the author of three critically acclaimed Young Adult books under the Random House Children’s imprint. She will be teaching a series of master classes as WordSmitten’s guest author and instructor for June. You can also register for summer writing workshops to discover the craft of the short story, novel, memoir, and nonfiction. Saturday afternoons.

Creative Writing Summer Camp: Keep St. Pete Lit and the Morean Center for Clay are teaming up to offer a free Creative Writing Summer Camp for low-income students ages 9 to 12. Come learn about creativity in a fun week-long camp with Keep St. Pete Lit teachers! All students will explore storytelling through play, art and writing in a welcoming environment. Students will also be invited to participate in a final camp reading. Camps July 17-21 and July 24-28, 9:30 am-12:30 pm at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg. Space is limited, so reserve a spot for your child today! FYI: 727-798-4530;register by July 5.

Studio@ 620: Wordier Than Thou, an open mic for storytelling, share prose or just catch tales from area wordsmiths. A featured reader kicks off the night, followed by 10 minute open mic slots. In partnership with Keep St. Pete Lit, enjoy Poetry Open Mike with a featured poet and opportunity to read 7-9 pm June 21, July 26, Aug. 23, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25

Happy Hour with the Historian: Sharing the stories of the sunshine City for 95 years, the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s popular lecture series features an evening of wine, words and wisdom.

  • July 13: Peter Meinke: An Evening with Florida’s Poet Laureate;
  • Sept 14: Bill Leavengood: Doc Webb and his World Famous Webb’s City;
  • Nov 9: Lynn Waddell: Fringe Florida 335 2nd Avenue NE on the Pier Approach; 727-894-1052;

Comedy: Tickle your funny bone at Coconuts Comedy Club (5501 Gulf Blvd., SPB; 727-360-5653) and Hawk & Wayne’s Anywhere USA quirky improv at American Stage 6 pm Sunday.


June 10, July 8 – St. Petersburg Second Saturday Artwalk:  Waterfront Arts District, Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central  District, & the Warehouse Arts District become one arts destination for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk 5 to 9 pm. Download the new Studio/Gallery guide here. /2016/04/Arts-Alliance-Directory-2.17.17-reduced-size.pdf

Night Market St. Pete

(7/13 7-11 pm): The 3rd Night Market under the Stars. Awesome local vendors, delicious food and drinks! Kids Fun Zone, pet friendly and high energy DJ! Note the summer times from 7-11 pm! This will be our largest yet, as we are spilling over into the 3Daughters parking lot creating even more vendor spots! St Pete Side Lot 2133 2nd Ave S. DTSP

Gulfport Adventures: Get your funky fun on at Gulfport’s Tuesday’s Fresh Market, Swing Dancing Wednesday at the Casino and Gulfport Artwalk 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday. 3101 Beach Blvd.,

St. Pete Preservation‘s (SPP) Walking Tours:  Enjoy these “Twilight on the Town” historic strolls that allow participants to learn a bit of history and architecture, all followed by a chance at the end of the tour to cool down and continue the conversation while enjoying one of the area’s local fun spots. Tours are free for SPP members and just $10 for nonmembers. Starting locations and times vary and are listed below. Tours last about an hour and end at a local business where tour goers are welcome to get something to eat or drink.

  • June 6 The Waterfront;
  • June 15 Historic Gulfport;
  • June 28 Downtown


Check out the eclectic exhibits at the Leslie Curran Gallery (1431 Central Ave.) and Beach Drive’s Shapiro Gallery, Ocean Blue and Wyland Galleries.

Duncan McClellan Gallery 2342 Emerson Ave South; 855-436-4527.

  • June 10: “Sea Discernibly” featuring the newest works by Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty. 5-9:30 pm; free Glassblowing demonstrations 6-7:30 pm. Cash bar and food truck on the premises. Coming soon, The Duncan McClellan Gallery and DMG School Project headquarters in the Warehouse District will launch the first-ever ArtZipline®.

ArtPool Gallery

  • July 15 Trashin’ Fashion Looking for Designers /Artists/Models

Design your own collection, or team up with some friends, and work on a line of recycled & upcycled couture! Trashion Fashion is our most creative fashion show of the year, we welcome designers of any age, no experience needed, and it is free to participate. 2030 Central Ave DTSP 727-324-3878

Creative Clay 1114 Central Ave., St Pete – 727-825-0515

  • Thru June 30 – Community Café: Flower Power showcases paintings of flowers by Linda M., Emily M., Gina K., Conchita, Mike E., Dolores M.,Yalanda S. & Patsy Lieberman, Teff A. Hazard, Sheryl L.
  • Thru June 30 – Time After Time featuring the artwork of Ray M who paints clocks and watches.

Morean Arts Center   727.822.7872 Check out these classes and workshops.

  • Thru June 25 100 Years 100 Artists: For 100 years, the Morean and the Art Club have been a place for art lovers to gather and exhibit, create, and learn about contemporary art. This exhibition tells the Morean’s story through its mission, and specifically, through the individual artists who shaped our organization and made it what it is today.

The Chihuly Collection:

Launching this summer, the Chihuly will be part of the Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially after a military move. 720 Central Ave., downtown St. Pete 727-822-7872

Florida CraftArt:

Contemporary Fiber in Florida (thru 6/17) This juried exhibition showcases original artwork with contemporary approaches to fiber art, pushing the boundaries and/or traditions in media and execution. The exhibition features fresh interpretations of traditional types of fiber art including surface design, weaving, basketry, felting and wearable art and includes work created with nontraditional materials and innovative technologies and is curated by Cindy Bartosek a well-known artist, photographer and curator from West Palm Beach. 501 Central Avenue downtown St. Pete 727-821-7391


Construction has started on the $70 million Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement downtown at 4th Ave. North between Third and Fourth Streets. The Tom and Mary James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is also under construction – 100 Central Ave. St Pete

Thru June 10 – St. Petersburg Museum of History: Two exhibits offering a unique look at Florida history run through June 10: Seminole People of Florida: Survival and Success and Florida Folk Art – Just Above the Water.

Museum of Fine Arts  Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Dr. NE 727-896-2667

  • The Marly Music Program kicks off at the MFA in June and runs through August. • June 18 showcases Roger Dowling whose charismatic and elegant style of pianism specializes in the works of Chopin, Gershwin, American ragtime and French Impressionism.  He has been hailed by The New York Times as an “especially impressive fine young pianist” who appears in orchestral and solo performances throughout the world.
  • Thru July 23 Dorothy Height’s Hats: Civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Irene Height (1912-2010) was known for her courage, intelligence, leadership, standing straight and hats made by African-American milliners.
  • June 9, 7 pm -10 pm: Art & Beer Lounge Fundraiser: Preserve a masterpiece by tapping into a one-of-a-kind evening! Sip and savor the liquid interpretations of works in the Museum’s collection while lounging in artistically designed spaces. Brewing companies create limited batch brews for a one night exhibition at the Museum. Featured works include: William Shayer, The Elder, Harbor Scene on the South Coast; Anonymous, Effigy Beaker (Kero); Thomas Hovenden, Breton Soldier…and others! The evening will also include a special “Florida” themed beer in celebration of the upcoming Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration crafted by 2016’s Best of Show winner & St. Pete Homebrew Club.
  • Thru July 2 Dominique Labauvie – Dig: The formal explorations of interdisciplinary artist Dominique Labauvie are rooted in both material and a highly developed relationship to philosophies of the drawn line. Dig brings together recent works by Mr. Labauvie in his signature media of steel and pastels. The theme of the ruin runs throughout, as he seems to take on the role of archaeologist, digging into the earth’s histories to try to understand their effect on current events.
  • June 24 thru Oct. 1: Skyway A Contemporary Collaboration: Skyway spotlights the compelling work of 57 artists in the Tampa Bay area, spanning sculpture, photography, video, painting, and prints. The work is being shared by the MFA, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. This is the first time all three museums have joined forces to present the work of gifted contemporary artists in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee & Sarasota Counties.

The Dali Museum

Join locals and friends for

  • Lucky Cat yoga on Sunday’s at the museum.
  • Cult Classics 2017: Starting June 1 with Young Frankenstein, The Dali’s can’t-miss summer celebration is back and better than ever. Grab your lawn chair, don some movie-inspired duds and enjoy free flicks, local food truck fare, and cold craft brews. The fun goes down the first Thursday of the month all summer long. Come early to enjoy The Dali’s extended hours on Thursday nights at reduced $10 admission, then stay for the film & festivities. Movies begin at 8:30 pm.
  • Thru Sept. 24 – Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillada:

An exhibit of world-renowned Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida’s works in paper, alabaster, steel and stone is the Dali’s first show dedicated to sculpture since the opening of its new building in 2011. Exhibit presents more than 60 Chillida works including 16 sculptures, a large-scale wall mural, numerous drawings and ‘gravitations,’ the artist’s unique approach to paper collage.



Van Wezel Hall:  John Deming & The Jewel Tones 7/16 and the free Friday Fest concert series 6/16, 7/21, 8/25 & 9/15.

John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Ringling College of Art & Design Worth the drive for both the permanent collection and special exhibits and the Museum of Art where admission free on Monday. 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota


Contest: AARP and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance are collaborating on the

“St. Pete Timeless Art, Limitless Ages for Art Contest.” The promotion consists of a contest where entrants will have the opportunity to design a “Next Stop: Real Possibilities” trolley wrap ad. The winner will receive $5,000! Contest runs through 5 pm on Friday, June 30.

Morean Arts Classes: This summer, take a drawing, photo or craft class or workshop. Call 727-822-7872 for times/listings. .

  • Chihuly Collection: 720 Central Ave.
  • Morean Arts Center / Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop: 719 Central Ave.
  • Morean Center for Clay: 420 22nd Street S.

By Nanette Wiser