tampabay.com

A feast for the senses

By NICOLE BARDO-COLON
Published May 30, 2007


Music, food and fun on the water, the 21st annual A Taste of Pinellas begins Friday.

This year musical performers include Ziggy Marley, the Neville Brothers, .38 Special and Peter Frampton, plus other local talent.

The event will be held through Sunday at Vinoy Park and is presented by Sweetbay Supermarkets and Angus Pride, and by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in partnership with Ruth Eckerd Hall. It will feature more than 40 local restaurants, music and a kid's area.

There is no cost for admission, but patrons can purchase sheets of tickets for food and attractions. Each sheet is $5 and has eight tickets.

Bobby Rossi, with Ruth Eckerd Hall, said .38 Special recently made a large donation to All Children's Hospital to buy toys.

"They get why they are here ... the artists do, " Rossi said.

The event is put on to benefit All Children's Hospital. It is the biggest fundraising weekend of the year for the hospital.

A VIP Auction and Telethon Kickoff party will be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg at Carillon Park on Saturday night. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. and the telethon, broadcast live on WFLA-TV News Channel 8, goes from 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

"It can help us maintain and sustain our mission, which is treatment, research, education and advocacy for all children, " said Cindy Rose, the hospital's administrative director of marketing and community relations.

Steve Westphal, restaurant captain for A Taste of Pinellas and owner of Parkshore Grill, said there will be more restaurants and a bigger variety of cuisine than in years past.

"It was dominated by the chains before, " he said. "This year we made a drive to involve the more local restaurants."

This year there will be a covered area where patrons can sit and enjoy their food. There will also be a beer garden featuring elite beer, and restaurants will conduct a booth decorating contest.

There are activities for the kids in the Lifestyle Family Fitness Kids Zone. It will feature slides, obstacle courses, a rock climb, petting zoo and more. There will also be a DJ for the kids.

The reunion for graduates of the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be held in the kid's area Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be a fireworks show after Saturday night's performance by Ziggy Marley.

"It will be reminiscent of a New Orleans vibe, " Rossi said. "It's going to be beautiful out there."

It is one of the few free festivals in the area of this scale Rossi said. "It's a tremendous tribute to the community."

Nicole Bardo-Colon can be reached at nbardo-colon@sptimes.com or 893-8779.

If you go

A Taste of Pinellas

HEADLINERS:

Friday: Peter Frampton

Saturday: Neville Brothers and Ziggy Marley

Sunday: .38 Special

For more information, visit www.tasteofpinellas.com or call (727) 767-4193.