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By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 10, 2003

On this day, everyone's Italian

[Times photo: Ken Helle 1999]

Ybor City celebrates its Italian heritage Sunday with the annual Festa Italiana. From 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Centennial Park will be filled with the food and culture of Italy. Above, Compagnia Folklorica Trinacria, a folk dance group from Agrigento, Sicily, performs at a previous festival.

More than 30 area restaurants will be offering tastes. The cultural area includes grape stamping, a genealogy expo and more. The entertainment includes music from Michael Amante, Bill Acosta, Denise Clemente, Gene Ferrari and an "Italian Idol" talent contest.

Centennial Park is at Eighth Avenue and 18th Street. Admission is $3 for adults; ages 12 and younger are free. (813) 342-3630 or

Should old acquaintance be forgot . . .

[Times photo: Scott Keeler]

After 23 years, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival bids farewell to Largo this weekend with "The Last Huzzah."

The festival, which lost its lease with the city, has not announced a location for 2004. The final weekend in Largo will feature maypole dancing, egg hunts and a daily pub sing. Above, Josh Given, 14, of Seminole, who portrays a candlemaker, reacts to a maypole dance during a media preview last month.

Of course, the festival will conclude with its usual array of entertainment, including wandering street theater, jousting, human chess matches, fire acts, juggling, a children's area, food and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the park near East Bay Drive and Seminole Boulevard. Admission is $14.95 adult, $11.95 seniors, $6.95 ages 5 to 12 at gate. (727) 586-5423, toll-free 1-800-779-4910; or

A banner windup for the festival

[Times photo: Jamie Francis 2000]

Another parade, a marching band show, a kids festival and a concert by Kansas highlight the final weekend of the annual Festival of States in downtown St. Petersburg.

The Marching Band Field Show exhibition, followed by fireworks, begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Progress Energy Park, 180 Second Ave. SE. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 seniors and students 18 and younger.

This year's parade steps off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Central Avenue and Eighth Street and moves east to Bayshore Drive, then turns north along the waterfront to Vinoy Park.

The parade will pass the Verizon Fun Fest and Franklin Templeton KidsArt Festival and SpringSation in Vinoy and North Straub parks. Those events include arts and crafts; a car, motorcycle and truck show; St. Petersburg's 100th birthday party (3 p.m.), TASCO Ultimate Interactive Area with games for kids and teens and more. The festivals are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Live music begins in Vinoy Park at 4 p.m., ending with a concert by Kansas at 8 p.m. Admission to Vinoy Park is free before 5 p.m., $3 after 5 p.m.

For more information, call (727) 898-3654 or check

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