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Adventure in marine biology

By KELLY STEFANI, Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 23, 2000

Do you know how healthy our waterways are?

To find out, join Tampa Bay Walks the Talk from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Spa Beach Education Station at the foot of The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.

Marine biologists will lead participants through water quality tests of Tampa Bay, compare that water with water from the Gulf of Mexico and show how pollution enters the bay and affects our health and wildlife, and tell us what we can do about it.

Admission is $2. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call (727) 895-7437. Reservations required.

Protect your collectibles

Hurricane season is here. Now is the time to consider covering the value of your antiques and collectibles.

Insurance appraisers will give free to low-cost written appraisals from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

Collectors from across the country and Europe will also show and sell such items as shoes, socks, wigs, lace and European products for teddy bears.

Also available will be books, magazines and cheaper Hot Wheels items.

If you have a doll or a bear at home that's missing an eye or a head, bring it in to the Doll Doctor for a quick fix.

Admission: $4 adults, free for children 12 and under. Call (407) 258-8055.

Fast-pitch softball fun

If you like watching women's fast-pitch softball, you won't want to miss this game.

The FireStix, champions of the 1999 World Professional Softball League, take on the USA Women's National Softball Team in a free game at 6 p.m. Sunday in Plant City Stadium, the former spring training grounds for the Cincinnati Reds, 1900 S Park Road, Plant City.

Kids can attend a free clinic from 10 a.m. to noon, then watch the local champs play the team that will represent the United States at the 2000 Olympics.

There also will be games, music, prizes and a giant carousel.

Gates open at 4 p.m. for the game, which has open seating. Reservations are required for children to participate in the clinic. Call (813) 764-9775.

If the stadium fills up quickly, the game will be televised on ESPN2.

Hot tips on peppers

It's time again for the annual Pepper Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Beckett Lake Nursery, 2251 Montclair Road, Clearwater.

This free event includes seminars on the history and use of pepper plants as well as local growing advice and tips from chefs on special dishes. Sample roasted chili peppers, more than 25 varieties of peppers and 15 hot sauces and salsas, and learn how to use fresh peppers in the kitchen.

Try your luck in the salsa contest Saturday or the hot sauce contest Sunday. Participants must register by 1:30 p.m. the day of the event.

Harvest will provide live music both days. Call (727) 796-7950 for information.

A Blizzard Beach special

Disney's Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando has a special for Florida residents: $19.95 admission with Florida identification through Oct. 1. Regular admission is $26.95.

Blizzard Beach features a ski resort theme and the "snow-covered" slopes of Mount Gushmore. According to Disney, Summit Plummet has been acknowledged as America's tallest water slide.

At Typhoon Lagoon, guests can use the water slides, raft, snorkel, ride the waves and experience a typhoon.

Call (407) 824-4321.

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