tampabay.com

Seminole to host dogs, ghouls

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published October 26, 2005


SEMINOLE - Swimming dogs and spooky ghouls signal the end of summer for Seminole's recreation center this weekend - and a little national media attention.

On Saturday afternoon, the city's aquatic center will hold its final swim before the pool closes for the season. As has happened the past two years, the pool will be open for dogs and people to swim together.

Jerry Span, who is in charge of the aquatic center, said he has received calls from Newsweek magazine and the CBS Evening News about the event.

CBS wants to film the swim, Span said in an e-mail to the Neighborhood Times.

Newsweek wanted a comment for a story about dog swims that appeared in the magazine's Sept. 19 issue. The magazine was particularly interested in the issue of people and dogs swimming together.

In the article, Span was quoted as saying, "If dogs pee (in pools), so do a bunch of kids every day."

Span was on vacation Monday and Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

The event also will be a doggie derby with activities for dogs, dog-related vendors and games and prizes for Seminole canines.

"The closing of the aquatic center is our real turn into the holiday season," said Jim Sheets, recreation director.

The center's end-of-season festivities actually kick off Friday with the city's annual Halloween celebration.

In past years it was known as the Haunted Rec Center, but as the event has grown to attract about 2,000 children and parents, it has been moved outside to become the Field of Screams, said Steve Malla, Seminole's recreation coordinator.

Thirty community organizations will pass out candy and the city will create a haunted trail and a spook zone with a bounce house and carnival games.

IF YOU GO

Seminole's Field of Screams, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, on the field by the Holland Mangum Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N. The event is free, but admission to the haunted trail and spook zone is $5.

Doggie derby and swim, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, the aquatic center, on the rec center campus. Admission is $5 per pooch; their humans get in free. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. For information, call the recreation center, 391-8345.