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Treasure Island has big plans for Fourth

Pirate Days begin with bingo and end with an all-day beach extravaganza.

By KATHY SAUNDERS

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 21, 2000


TREASURE ISLAND -- Pirate Days, the city's annual Fourth of July celebration, kicks off next week with games, concerts, movies and other free activities.

The city has been hosting the festivities for more than 30 years.

"Years ago we did pirate invasions," said City Recreation Director Cathy Hayduke. "That's why we still call it Pirate Days. It's a tradition."

The first event of the five-day celebration is Buccaneer Bingo, sponsored by the Treasure Islettes. The games are scheduled for June 29, beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the Community Center, One Park Place near Gulf Boulevard and 106th Avenue. At $5, bingo is the only event with an admission price.

On July 2, the city will host the Swashbuckler's Twilight Concert at 3 to 5 p.m., also at the Community Center. "Tribute to the American Musicals" is being presented by the Florida Lyric Opera Association.

This year's Blackbeard's Movie is Walt Disney's Toy Story 2, at 7 p.m. July 3 at the Community Center. The movie is free.

Fourth of July activities begin early with a sand sculpture contest on the city beach near Gulf Boulevard and 112th Avenue.

"Participants can start building as early as they want, but registration begins at 1 p.m.," Hayduke said. "They can use food coloring, but no paint."

City staff members will judge the sculptures at 2 p.m.

"In the past, we've had sea turtles, race cars, American flags and little bodies," Hayduke said.

Other events on the Fourth:

Scavenger hunt, 2:30 p.m., city beach. Teams are organized by age. City recreation workers will provide a list of items for the search.

Body painting, 3:30 p.m., city beach. "We supply the paint and the paint brushes," Hayduke said. "You need a painter and a paintee."

Roving magician Paul ESPo, guitar player Key West George and Bonnie Blue, a balloon-twisting clown, also are scheduled to perform during the afternoon.

Beach Blanket Bingo, 5 p.m., Pinellas County park (Gulf Boulevard and 104th Avenue). "That's one of the things that participants love to play the most because the prizes are good," Hayduke said. Among the prizes donated by local merchants are free weekends at beachfront hotels.

Musical acts: the Charlie Morris Band, 6 p.m., the county beach park; Clam Bayou Jazz Band, 8 p.m., municipal beach near the concession area.

The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. from the municipal beach. The city is paying $13,000 to Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc. of Marietta, Ga., to present the fireworks.

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