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Family fest promises food, fun, screenings

Folks who attend the event on Saturday can register to vote, get medical checks, be entertained and fed.


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- A day of fun with a serious side is the plan for Weed and Seed's Family Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the James B. Sanderlin Center, 2335 22nd Ave. S.

Now in its fourth year, the Family Fun Day Festival brings together more than 70 organizations that will offer food, giveaways and entertainment along with medical services that include bone marrow, diabetes and HIV screenings, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and immunizations. Everything is free.

Weed and Seed Program coordinator Janis Ford said, "This came about after the disturbances in 1996. It's a way to bridge the gap between residents and the police and continue to promote unity."

Ford said that about 2,000 people turned out for last year's event.

"I hope for that many or more," she said.

Throughout the day, musical and dance performances will rotate with story-tellers and a puppet show. People can get their faces painted, register to vote or complete their census forms. Booths will provide a variety of information and services that include business development; financing your first home; codes compliance and programs on aging, youth and families. Kids can sign up for a Scout troop, watch a Youth on the Move basketball game or a baseball game that pairs the St. Pete Pelicans with the Academy Prep team. Bikes, helmets and Devil Rays tickets will be given away. An old-fashioned picnic of barbecue, potato salad and ice cream will be served.

"A lot of people don't know what's around," said Ford. "There are so many services they can access."

Weed and Seed is a crime prevention and community-building program financed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Family Fun Day is co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Police Department, the City of St. Petersburg and the James B. Sanderlin Center. For information, call 893-9841.

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