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This weekend in Safety Harbor, you can listen to blues, work up an appetite, eat to your heart's content, and buy cool art ... while savoring memories of morsels. (Did we mention food?)

By EILEEN SCHULTE
Published May 14, 2004

After years of hungrily watching its larger cousins Tampa and Clearwater host successful food tastes, the time had come for Safety Harbor to serve up one of its own.

On Saturday evening, 11 local restaurants will whip up everything from crab cakes to fried green tomatoes at the first Tampa Bay's Taste of Safety Harbor during the 19th annual Heritage Weekend at the marina.

"Our intent is to focus on local restaurants, local Safety Harbor flavor," said Tammie Corbin, co-chairwoman of the event. "It will be just beautiful. Tables and chairs will be set out on the lawn. People can eat when the sun is setting."

Or late into the night, if they wish.

While the blues band Triple Threat and jazz quartet Azz Band Only play, visitors can nosh on pork spare ribs and shrimp with andouille sausage over creamy grits from Lincoln Heights Bistro, or portabello mushroom sandwiches from Alley Cats restaurant until 11 p.m.

Or they can feast on Greek salads from Captains Restaurant; fried or baked fish dinners with vinaigrette cole slaw from Paradise Restaurant; pressed Cuban sandwiches from Chevron (yes, the gas station); fried green tomatoes or wraps from the Whistle Stop Cafe; or gumbo from Green Springs Cafe.

Pizza Hut will have pepperoni pies, and Vencinzoes restaurant will offer other Italian favorites.

The Royal Palm Tea House and the Tech Cafe will supply desserts.

Admission is $1, and food prices will vary from booth to booth. Proceeds from admission and beer, wine and soda sales will benefit the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History.

The Taste is just one of several events connected to the Heritage Weekend.

Festivities begin at 7 p.m. today with a free "Concert Under the Stars." The Jimmy Griswold Band will play blues at the gazebo at John Wilson Park. Craft artists will sell their works. Bring a blanket and enjoy.

On Saturday morning, as many as 600 runners will pour into the streets for the annual Safety Harbor Sprints 5K and 1-mile races, coordinated by the chamber. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Safety Harbor Marina.

The finale is the 19th annual Safety Harbor Heritage Day Arts and Crafts Festival, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along Main Street.

More than 200 artists will show all kinds of paintings, jewelry and other works.

Guests are also invited to enjoy a free antique car show.

"We're trying to mold a package so people will stay in Safety Harbor the whole weekend," said Cynthia O'Donnell of the Safety Harbor Chamber. "It's really pleasant here."

- Eileen Schulte can be reached at 727 445-4153 or schulte@sptimes.com

If you go

WHAT: The 19th annual Heritage Weekend, featuring a free "Concert Under the Stars," 5K and 1-mile races, Tampa Bay's Taste of Safety Harbor, and Safety Harbor Heritage Day Arts and Crafts Festival.

WHEN/WHERE: The concert is from 7 to 10 tonight at the Gazebo at John Wilson Park; the races are at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the marina; the Taste is from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the marina; and the art show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along Main Street downtown.

ADMISSION: Everything is free except the races, which are $13 in advance or $15 day of event for the 5K, and $8 in advance or $10 day of event for the walk; and the Taste, which is $1 for admission and $3 for parking, plus the cost of dinners.

CONTACT: Call the Safety Harbor Chamber at (727) 726-2890.

[Last modified May 14, 2004, 01:01:19]


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