Cheap thrills in Oldsmar

Food for $1. Rides. Free tunes and fireworks. They're all part of a leisurely Saturday.

By TERRI BRYCE REEVES, Times Staff Writer
Published August 31, 2007

OLDSMAR - Old Tampa Bay will provide the perfect backdrop for flashy pyrotechnics, hot air balloon rides, carnival rides and an oldies band Saturday.

It's all part of Celebrate Oldsmar, the city's annual Labor Day weekend event at R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W.

"It's our end of summer festival to celebrate what a great place Oldsmar is and what great people and businesses we have," said Lynn Rives, the city's leisure services director.

Bring your own chairs or blankets, sunscreen and insect repellent and lay claim to a grassy spot for the day. The 15-acre park has picnic shelters, grills, playground areas and restrooms.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and drinks will be available. Everything costs $1.

"We're talkin' big quarter-pounder hamburgers and hot dogs," Rives said. "We're not trying to make a profit; we actually lose money on the food. The whole purpose of this event is to give back to the community."

The old-fashioned fun begins at 1 p.m. There will be an inflatable bounce house and slide, carnival games and rides. The little ones can enjoy the carousel-style live pony rides from 5 to 9 p.m.

From 5 to 8 p.m., Realtor Lori Polin of ReMax Mutual plans to give free tethered hot air balloon rides.

"That's weather permitting," Rives said. "In the past we've been hit with some hurricanes and inclement weather, but it looks good so far for the weekend."

Flashback, a six-member band from the bay area, will play favorite hits of the '60s, '70s and '80s beginning at 5 p.m.

After sunset, about 9:15 p.m., a20-minute fireworks show is sure to elicit plenty of oohs and ahhs.

The display costs about $12,500 and will be paid for by the city and sponsors.

Great Show, an Oldsmar fireworks company, will launch the fireworks from the pier.

"They do a really great job and always have a fantastic finale," Rives said. "Because they have ties to Oldsmar, I think we get a little extra."

Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at treeves@tampabay.rr.com