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    Rink trying to lure more families

    By TERRI D. REEVES

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001


    Although Tampa Bay Skating Academy is home to some world-class coaches and figure skaters, the management wants to shed the academy's image as a place where only the serious train.

    "We want people to know we're a family entertainment center," said Chris Patterson, corporate marketing director for the Fun League Group.

    To draw more families to the ice rink at 251 Lakeview Drive, a disc jockey will crank up tunes during public skating sessions Saturday afternoons from noon until 2 p.m. and Saturday evenings from 8:15 until 10:15.

    Also, the Saturday afternoon sessions now will have themes; skaters can save $1 on admission when they wear themed attire. March 3 will be Hawaiian Day, March 10 will be Wacky Tie Day, and March 17 is St. Patrick's Day. On March 24, skaters can come in their pajamas and March 31 will honor the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.

    Rental skates cost $3. Admission during these public sessions is $7; $5 for children under 12. For information, call (813) 854-4010.

    City holding a candidates forum

    The Greater Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a municipal candidates forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers, 100 State St. W. Residents also can watch a taped replay of the forum at 6 p.m. Friday, and at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on government-access cable television. City elections are March 13.

    School events to promote reading

    Forest Lakes Elementary School, 301 Pine St., is celebrating "Read Across America," Monday through Thursday. The following activities are booked:

    On Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot, Thunder Bug, will wing his way into the multipurpose room to tell children that reading is important.

    On Wednesday, the entire school will have a special event called Drop Everything and Read at 2:20 p.m.

    On Thursday, kindergarten and first grade will have various activities to honor Dr. Seuss.

    "March 2 is the birthday of Dr. Seuss and we tailored some special events in his honor," said first-grade teacher Holly Villwock. Projects will include making green eggs and ham and creating a Seuss hat.

    Sculpture, photos on display

    Wire dragons and photos that look like watercolors will highlight the Wired and Framed exhibit at the Oldsmar Arts Centre, 402 St. Petersburg Drive. The photography and sculpture exhibit is going on now through March 29, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Brandy Stark, a St. Petersburg resident and teaching artist at the Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center in Safety Harbor, uses found objects such as metal, wire, and mesh to create her unique statues. Her inspirations come from ancient world mythologies and include mermaids, fairies, gods and goddesses.

    "She created a genie coming out of a bottle that was really unique," said Lesley Yager, arts coordinator for the Oldsmar Cultural Arts Foundation. "Her work is really different. I've never seen anything like it."

    The photography exhibit will feature the works of St. Petersburg resident Cheryl Anne Day, who was named photographer of the year by the Tampa Association of Professional Photographers of America. Her renowned Selby Collection will be on display, as well as many of her other works.

    "She manipulates photos to make them look like watercolor photography," Mrs. Yager said. "Her themes are from nature -- animals and flowers."

    An artists' reception will be held Friday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the center. It will include beverages and hors d'oeuvres.

    Show to present local performers

    The Oldsmar Performing Artists League, in cooperation with the Greater Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce, will present a talent show as part of the Oldsmar Days and Nights Celebration.

    The show will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 9 at the Oldsmar Arts Centre, 402 St. Petersburg Drive. Admission is free.

    Many performers from Oldsmar and the surrounding communities will entertain with songs, skits, dances, poetry, music and more.

    "Among the acts, we have a Blues Brothers skit by two women, an 18-year-old ventriloquist who also sings and dances, and an 11-year-old poet," said Jean Rogers, one of the show directors.

    Art Centre holding Big Band show

    The Musical Coffeehouse series at the Oldsmar Art Centre will feature musicians who have played with some of the Swing Era's greats. The Endangered Species Swing Band, a traditional nine-piece Big Band ensemble, will perform March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the center, 402 St. Petersburg Drive.

    "The band will perform old hits like In the Mood and Sweet Georgia Brown," said Lesley Yager, the Oldsmar Cultural Arts Foundation's arts coordinator. There will be audience seating as well as a dance floor area for those inclined to do more than tap their feet.

    The performance is sponsored by the Oldsmar Cultural Arts Foundation and the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Funds.

    The Musical Coffeehouse series features musical groups in a comfortable, creative coffeehouse atmosphere with flavored coffees, teas and food.

    Admission is free and donations are welcome.

    Recreation cards now are on sale

    The Oldsmar Parks and Recreation Department now has recreation cards, required for participation in all recreation programs.

    The card costs $3 a year for a resident, $10 for a resident family, and $50 for a non-resident. A non-resident also may purchase a seasonal sport league card for $20. To purchase a recreation card, proof of residency, such as a city utility bill and picture identification, are required.

    Cards may be purchased at the Parks and Recreation Department, 300 Commerce Blvd., from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (813) 855-4211 for information.

    Class teaches dance, fitness

    Want to get fit while learning fun dance routines? Join Kathy DeNote at the Recreation Center, 423 Lafayette Blvd., on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. or on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $30 a month with a recreation card, $45 a month without one. Call the Recreation Department at (813) 855-4211 for information.

    Martial arts class available at center

    Tae kwon do is a martial art for all ages. This class is offered on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:45 to 7 at the Recreation Center, 423 Lafayette Blvd. The class is taught by Randall Babbitt.

    The monthly cost of the class for people with a recreation card is $15 for one class a week or $25 for two classes per week. For people without a recreation card, the monthly cost is $22.50 for one class a week or $37.50 for semiweekly classes.

    Call (813) 855-4211 for information.

    - Starting Monday, if you have news or photos about Oldsmar schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people, contact Julie Church at the North Pinellas Times. You can call her at (727) 445-4229, e-mail material to her at church@sptimes.com or mail material to her at the North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

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