Tidbits Photos June/July 2016

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Tony Satterfield, last year’s honoree, Dannette Lynch of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Robin Sollie of TBBCoC (not pictured) surprised County Commissioner John Morroni with the Frank T. Hurley Tourism Person of the Year Award. Photo by Tropical Focus.

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Pat Shontz, City of Madeira Beach commissioner presented the Key to the City to John Meagher, Sam Fallenbaum and all Gulf Beaches Rotarians for their commitment to the community of Madeira Beach and  its children.

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Gulf Beaches Rotary Club presented a check for $20,578.58 to the  City of Madeira Beach for its share of proceeds from the 2016 Spring Break Festival at ROC Park

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100 Women Who Care (WWC) donates $8,000 to Directions For Living – DFL provides & coordinates resources for families in need, helps prevent unnecessarilly removal of children from their homes. Go to www.directionsforliving.org  For WWC, call Brenda George at 727-515-1868 or Facebook 100+ Women Who Care, Pinellas County. L-R: Brittany Peters, Director of Project HOPE; Karen B. Yatchum, DFL COO; April Lott, DFL Pres.& CEO; Julie Webster & Brenda George,  Co-Leaders of WWC; Lyndsey Slatter, Family Care Manager; and Michelle Pedigo, Director of Family Preservation

Gulfport Toastmasters is the top chapter in the region, gleaning top honor from Toastmaster’s International for the 4th year straight.

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L-R: Westley Whittaker, Ronalda Hobson, Bob Schlesinger, club President Kelly Wright and Robin Riddell. Photo courtesy of Tropical Focus

Your Local Government Updates from the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce

red-white-blue-beach-chairsLOCAL: Tierra Verde, St. Pete Beach, South Pasadena Area Councils 

Tierra Verde
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Tampa Bay Watch will host cleanup after the Fourth of July weekend, July 9th from 9:00am to noonClick to Learn More 

St. Pete Beach
JETTY PROJECT UPDATE:  Pinellas County will give an update on the jetty project at the 6:00pm June 28th Regular Commission Meeting. Click to Learn More
MAYOR LOWE RESIGNATION:  Mayor Lowe announced she will resign as mayor effective June 30, 2016. Click to Learn More 

South Pasadena
NEW & EXPANDING BUSINESS: Bayside Villas Apartments recently opened for business and on Friday MarineMax held a Ground Breaking Ceremony for their expansion.
PLANING & ZONING VOLUNTEER: Sealed proposals for solid waste services will be received by the city until 2:00pm July 28thClick to Learn More

Treasured Tales by Julian Fant

Having been born in the ancient settlement of St. Augustine in mid-1931, at the tail end of the Depression) my outlook for a normal and enjoyable youth were, at best, quite slim.

My parents were already raising three daughters and one son when I arrived. Dad was a typesetter for the local newspaper, and wages were not the best.

That fact, however, presented the opportunity, as I grew, to appreciate essential hunting and fishing trips in northeast Florida, as well as family outings to the pristine springs and rivers of the area in our old Dodge touring car. My most enjoyable two-week vacation from school, however, took place when my parents allowed me to visit with my three aunts and their families in an emerging playground on the southeast coast, known in the late 1930s as Miami-Miami Beach.

Each of my three aunts were accomplished property managers. After being placed safely on board one of Florida’s east coast trains, I was met in Miami by one or more relatives, to spend a wonderful summer at an apartment-hotel on Miami Beach….at the Pershing on Biscayne Boulevard, or at the original McFadden-Deauville on N. Miami Beach, which had the largest saltwater pool in the state.

Other unique events included visits to the Seminole Indian Village, glass-bottom boats on Biscayne Bay, watch seaplanes taking off for the Bahamas, the Serpentarium, walking to the movie theaters and playing carpet golf on the balmy night when the surrender of Japan was announced.

Those great memories still abound, many years later!

Travel + Leisure Puts Area on “Ultimate Summer Vacation” Shortlist

Affirming the area’s growing reputation as a top international destination, Travel + Leisure listed St. Pete/Clearwater as one of its top Five U.S. Summer Trip Ideas—in the company of New York City, the Pacific Coast Highway, Alaska and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

To kickoff the busy Memorial Day weekend, T+L highlighted five destinations for the “ultimate American summer vacation.” St. Pete/Clearwater filled the “Beach Getaway” category with T+L describing Clearwater Beach as “one of the most desirable summer getaways” and “…with an abundance of arts, food and culture, St. Pete has got it all.”

Specifically highlighted to stay busy were the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club because of its popular St. Pete Shuffle on Friday nights and the Dali Museum’s Disney and Dali exhibit. For the foodies, T + L suggested Locale Market, Brick & Mortar and Clearwater Beach classic Frenchy’s. And to grab a drink it recommended The Canopy at downtown St. Pete’s Birchwood and Green Bench Brewery, as a part of the 27 breweries on the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail. The iconic Vinoy Renaissance was the hotel of choice.

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“Travel + Leisure is a massive voice in the travel space, so for them to recognize the entire St. Pete/Clearwater as a top summer getaway speaks volumes about the destination,” said VSPC Executive Director David Downing. “In addition to touting our award-winning beaches, they recognized our world-class culture, local culinary offerings and unparalleled craft beer scene, so we could not be more pleased.”

Not to be outdone, Caladesi Island State Park also received national headlines when Dr. Stephen Leatherman, “Dr. Beach,” named it to his Top 10 Beaches of 2016. At No. 9, Dunedin’s Caladesi was heralded for its “crystalline quartz sand which is soft and cushy at the water’s edge, inviting one to take a dip in the sparkling clear waters.” Back in 2008 Dr. Beach named Caladesi Island his No. 1 beach in America.

And just two months ago TripAdvisor named Clearwater Beach the No. 1 beach in America with St. Pete Beach at No. 4.

Information and photo courtesy of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.

TradeWinds Plans 12th Annual Patriotic “Terry Cloth Tribute”

In a show of symbolic support of our troops and the Fourth of July holiday, TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach will use 975 colored towels to create a giant 13 star flag mosaic – the original Betsy Ross flag – along the beachfront behind the resort.  This creative and inspiring tribute was the brainchild of retired TradeWinds employee, Bob McManaway, the former director of plant operations and veteran of the Armed Forces, who envisioned dyeing TradeWinds beach towels red and blue, which combined with white towels, create this memorable display. Guests will lay down the towels to form a mosaic of the original flag, while 13 of TradeWinds younger guests will pose as the stars on the flag, representing the original 13 colonies.

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TradeWinds is also offering guests the opportunity to write a message to World War II Veterans by signing a giant banner, which will be set up on the beach adjacent to the flag.  Once again, TradeWinds is working with Honor Flight of West Central Florida, an organization that provides all expense paid flights for World War II Veterans to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. The TradeWinds banner will be displayed at the airport when the next Honor Flight group departs. A representative from Honor Flight will be on-hand July 4th to provide additional information on this outstanding organization to guests. www.honorflightwcf.org

The flag’s construction will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 4th. A photo opportunity with the TradeWinds’ younger guests is at 10 a.m. Once created, the flag will stay on the beach until 1 p.m., weather permitting. Guests can sign the banner during this timeframe. TradeWinds Island Grand on St. Pete Beach is located at 5500 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach. For more information contact (727) 367-6461.

Tidbits June/July 2016

vspc-logoTravel + Leisure (T+L) listed St. Pete/Clearwater as one of its top Five U.S. Summer Trip Ideas— in the company of New York City, the Pacific Coast Highway, Alaska and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. T+L highlighted five destinations for the “ultimate American summer vacation.”  St. Pete/Clearwater filled the “Beach Getaway” category with T+L describing Clearwater Beach as “one of the most desirable summer getaways” and “…with an abundance of arts, food and culture, St. Pete has got it all.”  Specifically highlighted to stay busy were the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club because of its popular St. Pete Shuffle on Friday nights and the Dali Museum’s Disney & Dali exhibit. To grab a drink it recommended  The Canopy at downtown St. Pete’s Birchwood and Green Bench Brewery, as a part of the 27 breweries on the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail. The iconic Vinoy Renaissance was the hotel of choice.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gives as it takes away. Recreational harvest of gag grouper, one of the best eating fish around, is open as of June 1 with 24” or more in total length. Meanwhile amberjack and gray triggerfish are closed until August 1st.

Lu Alatorre’s new mission in life is The Academy of Performance Arts, which just cut a ribbon and is welcoming students and teachers to the prior site of the St. Pete Beach Fun Center, 7525 Blind Pass Rd., next to Lenny’s Surf and Bike Shop. The are signing up students and teachers for music dance, art and acting classes. Call Lu, his wife Michelle-Garcia at 727 360-4644 or academyofperformance arts.com

Ribbon Cutting at Splash Harbour Water Park with Park cuisine and refreshments was an unexpected surprise. Co-located with the water park is a new condo complex.

Coastal Fine Furniture recently opened off Bay Pines Boulevard north west of the VA hospital behind Dunkin Donut as you turn to enter the new ‘Madeira Beach Super  Walmart’. Sam and Donna Little have packed their store with high quality Amish made furniture designed for coastal use. Sam says he has been beautifying homes since 1980 in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. If you go, be sure to tell them Paradise NEWS sent you, 4691 100th Way N., St. Petersburg, FL 33706  (727) 289-9790 or visit online on Facebook or at  CoastalFineFurniture.com

Gorilla Joe to the Rescue! You can have your new furniture or appliances delivered, often the same day at little extra cost by Gorilla Joe, a premium home delivery service available to Paradise NEWS readers. They have opened a location next to Sears Outlet on Park St., a central location to serve Paradise NEWS readers no matter who you get your appliance from. Gorilla Joe’s online comments are amazing, way better than any store’s delivery service. Call (631) 804-7774, or visit www.Gorillajoeinc.com

RockHouseLIVE is the newest name for the venue that was known for years as St. Petersburg Nights. It was Greenbacks for about 6 months, a venture of Jack Bodziak and Jimmy Jordan. That ended with a sheriff’s raid after they learned that Jimmy Jordan was holding concerts and selling alcohol with no business or liquor license. For a few weeks, it was briefly named TAMIAMI.             RockHouseLIVE co-owner Zach Bair is expanding his  “Venue and Grille” concept from Memphis, where the brand is established and serves, according to Bair “the best burgers and fresh chicken quesadillas in that city”. He obviously has not dined around much, as he also claimed the food here was top notch. While the food here is ok, you can get a better burger at Willy’s. In addition to its life as a new event venue, (they already hosted Gallagher on April 16th) Zach and his manager/ partner Rob are promising lunch and dinner 7 days a week and performances  live every night.

Salon stylist Gloria Huffman has relocated from Chicago to Treasure Island and recently opened Hair Gloria at Rapunzel’s at Treasure Island, 254 107th Ave. She has won numerous awards and her work has been published in Coiffure Q, Passion, American Hairdresser & Sophisticates Hairstyle Guide. Services include women’s & men’s haircuts and styling, special event and bridal hair and make-up, hair coloring, balayage, sprinkle, Hi-lighting, bleach and tone, Keratin complex, Keratin express, perm, facial and arm waxing, and Make-up. Hair Gloria is open Tues., 10 am – 7 pm; Wed., 10 am – 6 pm; Thur., 11 am – 7 pm; Fri., 10 am – 5 pm; Sat., 9 am – 4 pm, or Sunday and Monday by appointment only. To book, call 847-212-3013; visit www.hairgloria.com or gloria@hairgloria.com

This year the Gulf Beaches Rotary held its 6th annual Spring Carnival at the new Madeira Beach recreation center ball field and Roc Park. Comm. Pat Shontz, representing the City of Madeira Beach, presented the Key to the City to John Meagher, Sam Fallenbaum and all Gulf Beaches Rotarians for their commitment to the community of Madeira Beach and its children.

Giant Human Sun for Solar EnergyHundreds of people came together May 21 on Treasure Island Beach to create a human image of a massive sun in support of solar energy at this year’s “Hands Across the Sand” event.  Internationally renowned aerial artist John Quigley designed and created the human sun with up to 300 people on the beach behind the Bilmar Beach Resort. The sun, with “100%” inside, symbolizes the need for transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels such as coal and gas to 100 percent clean energy such as solar power. The annual global event was organized by Sierra Club and other environmental groups. Based in Eagle Rock, CA, Quigley has created and directed over 150 human aerial art images around the world on every continent, including the human peace sign in front of the Eiffel Tower at the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris.  For more information on John Quigley, go to http://www.spectralq.com/Home.html. For more information about Hands Across the Sand, go to  www.handsacrossthesand.org

Paradise NEWS is delivered on Solar Power! Loyal readers often ask how our solar energy system is performing for us. We say “Great!”  We were told that the 10kw solar system we installed on our roof in St. Pete Beach over 3 years ago was more than we needed to run our home and office. They were right, however, we are very happy about the extra energy. In addition to providing all the power we needed in our home, we have been able to drive on the excess power. Our Chevy Volt has gone over 27,000 miles on 150 gallons of gas, averaging 175 mpg. Our power bill is the minimum $10.53 ($8.50 + fees) most months and averages under $20. We are saving $200-$250/month in power & another $100+ in gas savings. Even at $300/ month, $3,600 per year, payback on investment is way more than any other legal investment we know. In addition, the readout on our inverters says that in under 4 years our little system has prevented 50,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. We have virtually eliminated our carbon footprint. The postal service still burns fossil fuel, but they are headed out, with or without Paradise NEWS.

Fifty animals, from dogs to ducks walked across the Fox Hall stage at the 4th Annual Eckerd College Pet Graduation on Thursday, May 12. “As the first school in the nation to accept on-campus pets, Eckerd College’s commitment to honoring the animals that support our students has extended to an annual ceremony where each pet gets to wear a cap, hear their name called and walk across the stage to the cheers of their friends and family”, said Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students James Annarelli, who read the pet names as Eckerd College President Donald Eastman presented the certificates and took photos with pets and owners at the ceremony.

Six years ago Crea Egan and some friends began a movement called “Gulfport Growing Greener.” While she says hers was the first in the nation, Seattle is taking the glory due to the city’s financial support. “A core group of Urban Food Foresters have been hauling buckets of water across three park blocks for almost three years now. The food forest is beautiful and is beginning to bear food for all,” says Crea. “Please help us spread the word about our crowd fund campaign for irrigation, a utility cart and our invitation to come out and get down and dirty with the butterflies, hawks, ospreys, coco plums and Miracle Trees. We meet up in the forest every Sunday from 4 – 6 pm  to love up the forest and share what we know about living as if life mattered most. The Gulfport Food Forest has a booth at the Tuesday Fresh Market in Downtown Gulfport thru July where we share the harvest by donation. The donations go towards filling our red basket.” www.redbasket.org/843  (a crowd-sourcing effort to raise $8,000 irrigation & transportation) Crea Egan 727.560.0608

Gulfport Toastmasters have been winning awards. Immediate Past President Robyn Featherston, Robin Riddell, Ronalda Hobson, Kelly Wright, Bob Schlesinger, Wesley Whittaker, Page Harris, Dr. George Monlux, Christina Rose and Donna Kolody all received recognition. The club won the President’s Distinguished Club award again, the highest honor Toastmasters International gives clubs for achievements in leadership, public speaking training and overall excellence in performance, for the fourth straight year. Gulfport Toastmasters meet Wednesdays 6:15 – 7:30 pm in the Community Room of the Gulfport Public Library, 5501 28th Ave S  in Gulfport.  Visitors welcome. Visit gulfporttoastmasters.com or call (727) 537-9098. Email them at contact@ gulfporttoastmasters.com.

Gulf Beaches Rotary Club presented $20,578.58 to the  City of Madeira Beach for its share of the proceeds from the 2016 Spring Break Waterfront Festival.  All are looking forward to a 2017 event. Last year Gulf Beaches Rotary donated $50,000+ to All Childrens Hospital, The Guardian at Litem Foundation, Eckerd Kids, Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Polio Plus, Suncoast Voices for Children & others. 

Purses & Love, Inc, has provided domestic violence victims and their children with basic items upon arrival to The Haven of RCS. In April, Purses & Love donated 15 purses filled with toiletries, outfits for the women and toys/ books for the children. Purses & Love also gave gifts for children at The Haven of RCS’s Safe House & Permanent Living program to give to their moms on Mother’s Day. The Haven of RCS, visit www.RCSpinellas.org or call Suzanne Ruley, Director of Development at 727-584-3528 x409.

The Treasure Islettes, the women’s club of Treasure Island, presented the city with a check for $5,000 for planting of colorful annuals. President Mary Cox; Beautification Chairman Millie Fant and Treasurer Toni Hawkins made the presentation to Mayor Bob Minning.  At the same time, Millie Fant announced another major beautification project by the Islettes namely the installation of tiny white lights along the Causeway, from Gulf Boulevard to the west bridge. The money was raised through several projects, which included a yearly spring fashion show, in cooperation with Macy’s, and a fall luncheon and bazaar. The club is open to women who have an interest in the betterment of Treasure Island Call Vice President Shesta Kirkland about membership at 727-350-5682. Islettes host Thursday night Bingos at 6:45 pm & 7:45 pm at the Treasure IslandCommunity Center Park/Gulf Boulevard at 106th Avenue (behind Walgreens). Great snack bar, free coffee and cash prizes.  Contact: Linda Hepp 727-270-3178.

Signs of Progress? Lou’s Florist, a fixture on the beaches for over 60 years has relocated between Looks & Company and the Comfort Cafe’ at 2525 Pasadena Blvd. S. This should work out well. They are around the corner from Palms of Pasadena Hospital which closed it’s gift shop, near a number of busy wedding facilities, in front of 2 upscale condo communities, and in the only commercial strip on the Causeway to St. Pete Beach from South Pasadena. Their phone  number stays the same. For the nicest flowers and the best service, Call Lou’s  727-367-1921.

Summer Reminders

• Do the Sting Ray Shuffle

• Be mindfull of the sea turtle nest. Don’t tamper

• Be mindfull of sudden changes in the weather.

• Do a hurricane rehearsal, see how long it takes to get ready & then leave!

• Hurricane prepairdness kit ready… flash light, water, batteries,  non cook food…

• Plan cash & gas stops

Enjoy what we have locally all year around, beach, art, atmosphere…paradise!

The Mahaffey Adds 20 New Shows to the 2016-2017 Season

With the addition of 20 new shows, The Mahaffey Theater’s 2016-2017 season just went from great to awesome. It’s a diverse lineup that includes the very best in music, dance, family performances and more.

Among the musical highlights: The debut of a newly-commissioned work from rock legend Mike Mills of R.E.M., violinist Robert McDuffie and the chamber music group Fifth House Ensemble; jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny fronting an all-new quartet; and the Five Irish Tenors on their first American tour.

Our “Mahaffey on the Move” series, at The Palladium Theater, features a concert by 15-year-old PBS favorite Ethan Bortnick, the one-man theatrical show Say Goodnight Gracie, and a performance from the top zydeco band in America, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.

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With In the Wild Live, “Jungle” Jack Hanna will bring a menagerie of exotic animals to the Mahaffey stage; science and entertainment combine via the lifelike, oversized puppets of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live; PBS Kids presents the musical Odd Squad Live!; and the magicians of TV’s Masters of Illusion return.

Other Mahaffey favorites making return appearances include music legend Smokey Robinson, puppeteer Terry Fator and comedian Billy Gardell.

The new additions to the 2016-2017 season are:

Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra, Composed by R.E.M.’s Mike Mills for Robert McDuffie, Featuring Fifth House Ensemble
Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Inspired by the blurred lines between contemporary classical audiences, pop and contemporary music, violinist Robert McDuffie has commissioned a new composition from R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, one of the most prolific song-writer/composer/collaborators from the world of rock and pop. The concerto features McDuffie on violin, with a four-member rock band fronted by Mills.

Jeffrey Osborne & Gerald Albright
Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Legendary R&B vocalist Jeffrey Osborne (“You Should Be Mine,” “On the Wings of Love”) is joined by the incomparable saxophone player and multi-instrumentalist Gerald Albright for an expansive program of duets, solos and surprises. From the breathtaking ballads Jeffrey made his name with, to Gerald’s scintillating smooth jazz, pop and funk, this will be an unforgettable concert performance.

Odd Squad Live!
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 3 p.m.
From the Emmy-winning PBS kids’ series. Attention Odd Squad fans, something very odd has happened in your hometown. Ms. O needs you to team up with Odd Squad agents in this live, interactive adventure to solve an exciting case. There will be gadgets! There will be villains! There will be music! Well, what are you waiting for? Go! 

Windham Hill Winter Solstice Featuring Liz Story, Barbara Higbie & Sean Harkness
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at The Palladium Theater
Master musicians who made their names on the Windham Hill label, pianist Liz Story, singer and multi-instrumentalist Barbara Higbie and guitarist Sean Harkness  have created a special show in celebration of Winter Solstice. This ensemble in various forms has toured nationally for the past 10 years in support of the recording series that sold more than eight million copies. Warmth, humor and stunningly pristine performances abound.

Billy Gardell
Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Known to millions as the co-star of the hit series Mike & Molly, Billy Gardell played Officer Mike Biggs on the popular sitcom for its entire 2010-2016 run. Most recently, he stars as Col. Tom Parker in the CMT series Million Dollar Quartet. Gardell’s standup show is a powerhouse. Stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence and new family life are executed with the skill of a master craftsman.

Ethan Bortnick: The Power of Music
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 at 7 p.m. at The Palladium Theater
This Mahaffey on the Move performance features 15-year-old Ethan Bortnick – from singing and playing the piano to songwriting and starring in television specials and feature films, he does it all – with talent, a captivating personality and a passion for bringing people joy. This family-friendly concert is packed with energy and features Elton John to Motown and Michael Jackson, Chopin classical renditions, recent top hits, show tunes and more.

Elvis Lives
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
An unforgettable multi-media and live musical journey across Elvis’ life, featuring winners from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, each representing Elvis during different stages in his career. The Elvis tribute artists will be joined by a live band, backup singers and dancers and more; audiences “Can’t Help Falling In Love” with this phenomenal theatrical concert experience!

The Five Irish Tenors
Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Direct from Dublin! On their first American tour, the Five Irish Tenors fuse Irish wit and boisterous charm, with lyricism, dramatic flair and operatic style to bring you a unique concert experience. This distinctive program includes everything from W.B Yeats’s “Down by the Sally Gardens” to  Verdi’s “O Mio Rimorso” from La Traviata.

Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 at 3 p.m.
America’s most beloved animal expert brings his four-time Emmy Award-winning television series to the Mahaffey stage! In this live show, prepare to be fascinated as Jungle Jack takes you into the wild with a spectacular array of incredible animals. Jack will also share humorous stories and amazing footage from his adventures all around the world from Africa, to the Amazon, to Antarctica and beyond.

Terry Fator: It Starts Tonight
Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 at 7 p.m.
At the Mirage in Las Vegas, where he’s in his 7th headlining season, Terry Fator is known as “The Voice of Entertainment.” That’s because his voice is an incredibly versatile instrument – he’s a comedian, ventriloquist, singer and unparalleled celebrity impersonator, all at the same time. Terry’s unforgettable cast of puppet “characters” includes Winston the Impersonating Turtle, World’s Greatest Elvis Impersonator Maynard Thompkins, Walter T. Airdale, Duggie Scott Walker, tween Emma Taylor and so many others.

An Evening With Pat Metheny
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Twenty-time Grammy winning guitarist Pat Metheny presents a range of music from throughout his storied career, joined by drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh & keyboardist Gwilym Simcock. The show, Metheny says, “could really be anything and everything … with Antonio, Linda and Gwilym, I think we could and will do a wide range of things from throughout all of it – and maybe uncover what the next period has in store as well.”

Smokey Robinson
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Kennedy Center Honoree, the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Soul Train Music Award for Career Achievement and too many others to count, Smokey – with his eternally smooth and instantly recognizable falsetto – is the epitome of Motown soul and classic R&B. Think “Tears of a Clown,” “Being With You,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and dozens more! There’s only one Smokey Robinson.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at The Palladium Theater
A Mahaffey on the Move exclusive! Since forming in 1975, Grammy winners BeauSoleil have claimed their undisputed role as the most esteemed Cajun group in music. Featuring legendary singer and fiddle player Michael Doucet, the band takes the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blends elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe.

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 at 3 p.m.
It may have been 65 million years in the making, but it was worth the wait. The puppets of Dinosaur Zoo Live are so extraordinarily realistic you may feel the urge to run and hide – but don’t!  You won’t want to miss a minute of this fun, unique, entertaining and educational live show. It’s an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures presented in a theatrical performance that will thrill kids while stimulating their imaginations.

Masters of Illusion
Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Direct from the hit TV show, Masters of Illusion is a fast-moving, family-friendly spectacular. You’ll see grand illusions, levitating women, eye-popping appearances and vanishes, escapes, comedy magic, sleight of hand and beautiful dancers – everything you could possibly imagine – all rolled up into a live show! The entire audience participates, and some lucky individuals even get picked to assist with illusions on stage.

Benise: Strings of Passion
Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at 8 p.m.
The acclaimed guitarist Benise – a PBS favorite for over a decade – takes us on a musical journey of salsa, flamenco, tango, waltz, samba … and more! A full-scale, multi-cultural production combining Spanish guitar and Spanish dance with rock, with all the mystique, romance and passion Benise is known for. 

Rhythm of the Dance
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.
This incredible live show celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the art of Irish dance, from the disciplined Celtic Step to the sensual, ancient Sean Nos dance style. Rhythm of the Dance creates a new era in Irish entertainment, presenting world champion dancers, a traditional Irish band, and the handsome Young Irish Tenors. 

“1964” … The Tribute
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 7 p.m.
A musical journey to an era in rock history that will live in all of our hearts forever. They are hailed by critics and fans alike as the most authentic and endearing Beatles tribute in the world. Choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era, 1964 astonishingly recreates an early ‘60s live Beatles concert, with period instruments, clothing, hairstyles, and still more.

One Night of Queen
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Great Britain’s Gary Mullen & the Works re-create a complete Queen concert, with all the pomp, power and unforgettable songs of one of rock’s greatest bands. Freddie Mercury was a magnetic and unpredictable performer; he comes alive in the form of Gary Mullen from Glasgow. The Works have enthralled audiences the world over -between “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Are the Champions,” they will most certainly rock you!

Say Goodnight Gracie
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 8 p.m. at The Palladium Theater
From Tony-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, the Broadway hit that invites you to spend a hilarious, heart-warming evening in the company of the world’s favorite and funniest centenarian, George Burns, in a tour de force solo performance from Alan Safier. It’s a tender, funny, life-affirming love story … a personal guided tour through an American century in the company of a man who laughingly lived and loved each day for all it had to offer.

Tickets for all newly-announced events go on sale Friday, Aug. 5 at noon, along with our THREE FOR ME packages: Purchase three or more shows and receive free parking for each (a $10 value per show), excluding performances at The Palladium Theater. Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts members can purchase tickets and THREE FOR ME packages beginning today at noon. Tickets may be purchased online at TheMahaffey.com, on the MyMahaffey mobile app, charge by phone at727.893.7832 or in person at The Mahaffey Theater Box Office. The Mahaffey Box Office is open11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday or at least 90 minutes prior to any ticketed event. There are no added charges ever on tickets purchased directly from The Mahaffey Theater. 

The Mahaffey Theater

The Mahaffey Theater, under the management of Big3 Entertainment, is one of Tampa Bay’s top-rated performing arts venues. Home to the Florida Orchestra, The Mahaffey Theater hosts top-quality national and international artists and performances – Broadway, pop, rock, comedy, dance, classical and interactive engagements and exhibitions.

Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, the 2,031-seat cultural jewel boasts spectacular waterfront views and is located only minutes away from white sandy beaches and world-renowned museums. Additionally, the theater supports the highly successful Class Acts program, which enables school children to experience the performing arts through in-theater performances as well as in-school outreach and extension programs.

St. Petersburg City Theatre Needs Your Financial Support!

st-pete-city-theaterSt. Petersburg City Theatre is facing a significant cash flow challenge. We need the immediate financial support of our membership and the community to continue operations and plan for a new season. We do not have the funds to pay an Executive Director and Megan Byrne has resigned. We are moving toward a larger volunteer force in the office to weather this storm. 

From the talent and production side, the theatre is in a very strong position. This past year marked one of its strongest spring seasons ever with the tremendous hit Memphis playing to sold out crowds, even demanding command performances for an additional sold out weekend.

Additionally, its Youth Theatre Program is recognized as one of the best in Pinellas County.  The Teen Productions this past year of Legally Blonde and Into the Woods were outstanding.   Its Summer Camp Programs, beginning in two weeks, sold out earlier than ever before.  All summer camps currently have waiting lists because the demand has been so great.   All summer camps will run this summer as planned. The Board is dedicated to not only returning the theatre to financial health but to strategically plan for the future.

What can you do to help?  Donations can be made online at www.spcitytheatre.org by clicking “Donate Now!” in the top right hand corner of the website.  Any and all donations are greatly needed and will be much appreciated.  

Individual and Corporate Sponsorships are being offered for our summer camp productions.  Email: ExecDir@spcitytheatre.org to obtain more information about how you can become a sponsor.

St. Petersburg City Theatre has been providing quality entertainment and outstanding educational opportunities to this community for over 90 years!  LET’S KEEP IT GOING!

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If we band together and each contribute what we can to support our treasured community theatre, together we can SUCCEED!  It is going to take each and every one of us,  but TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT!  Now is the time we must act! Help pave the path to a brighter future.

Message from Bruce Cook, President of the St. Pete City Theatre.

St. Petersburg Bright Spot Series: The Skyway Marina District

Since 2014, the Skyway Marina District has advocated for businesses within the 34th Street South corridor. It was established by the community and business leaders in South St. Petersburg who wanted to create a destination. Councilman Steve Kornell advocated for his constituents in the area and the Skyway Marina District Plan was put in place in May 2014.

Executive director, Keri Melshenker and her board of directors work to advocate for the businesses, and depends largely on volunteers (business leaders and neighborhood association leaders) who are working toward the goal of creating economic success in the Skyway Marina District.  

skyway-marina-district

The association’s goal is to create a sense of place that is attracting business to open in the Skyway Marina District. Businesses from all sizes are moving into the district like Ceridian HCMJabil CircuitKobie MarketingGrand Villa St. Petersburg, and more. Proud to have their 3 gateway signs installed, the District has plans to revitalize the medians down the corridor with bismarck palms, Florida friendly fauna and pedestrian lighting.  

Always looking for input from the community, the Skyway Marina District encourages people to come out to their events. BlockbyBlock Skyway Treasures & Trails Ride is the next community event, and will be held on July 16th. exploratory family-friendly bike ride through some less well-known parts of South St. Pete. The bike trip will be highlight some of our city’s trail network, neighborhoods, and the business district. 

St. Petersburg Audubon NEEDS for Bird Stewards

bird-stewardsFort De Soto Park & Indian Shores: We are passing along this urgent appeal from Audubon Bird Steward Dylan Kahn.

This is Dylan Kahn, and I am the anchor steward for both the sanctuary area atFort De Soto and for theIndian Shores black skimmer colony. I am writing you all today because I really need your help out there on the beaches. We are getting into our very busy summer season now, and we have chicks and eggs that need protecting at both locations. I’ve been out at both Fort De Soto and Indian Shores working very hard, and I have a great group of committed volunteers also working hard to protect the birds. But the beaches are getting more and more crowded with each passing weekend (and therefore a higher rate of intrusions/disturbances), and we are starting to see more eggs and more chicks. 

Please, I need your help in protecting these birds. We really need more coverage at both spots, and we need determined and diligent volunteers to get the job done. Volunteer stewardship makes all the difference in terms of ensuring that these birds have a successful nesting season. Without our help, almost all of these colonial and solitary nesting sites will fail.

If you have any interest at all in stewarding for either of these locations. Please reach out to me at dkahn@audubon.org or (815) 355-8451. We really need you out there for the birds!