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The Caribbean comes to you

By KELLY STEFANI

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 2000


Downtown St. Petersburg goes Caribbean this weekend with song, dance, food, parades and traditional costumes in the "Socallenium 2000" Caribbean Carnival from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Vinoy Park, along the downtown waterfront.

Both days open with vendors selling Caribbean and American foods, arts and crafts. Bite into a roti (soft taco filled with curried meat and vegetables), a pelau (spicy combination of beans and meat), patties (crusty pastry shells filled with spicy meat) or a bowl of callallo (Caribbean-style seafood gumbo).

The fun takes to the streets at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with cultural dancers from Trinidad and Tobago warming up for the big parade of color and tradition.

At noon, Greer Briggs, USF Caribbean Queen 2000, leads off the street parade of costume bands and steel bands from all over North America and the Caribbean.

As the activities in the park unwind with entertainment by Loris Canes, Pepper Pot Steel Orchestra and DJ Dorenzo, the party gets moving.

Build up an appetite for some true Southern barbecue and non-stop live Caribbean music. The Big Jam at Big Tim's is from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday at Big Tim's Barbecue, 1555 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg. Entertainment includes Deja, direct from Trinidad; David Rudder; Charlie's Roots; Drupatee; Explainer; DJ Dorenzo; DJ Loveman; and DJ Trotman Soundship.

Sunday's park activities are packed with fun and royalty.

The day begins at 10 a.m. in Vinoy Park with Caribbean and American foods, arts and crafts served up to the sounds of DJ Dorenzo, DJ Trotman Soundship, the Metrolanta Steel Orchestra, the 16th Street Middle School Steel Band and pan solos by Loris Canes.

The Moko Jumbi (stilt dancers) lead off the beautiful pageantry of the Parade of Kings and Queens beginning at 12:45 p.m.

After the parade, try the limbo and folk dancing contests, and then enjoy live music by artists from Trinidad and Tobago until 8 p.m.

Admission to the Saturday and Sunday park events is $5 per person. Tickets to Saturday night's Big Jam are $25 at the door. Call (727) 906-4039.

Sand and soccer

Soccer players from as far away as Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania will take off their shoes and jump into the sand for the 10th annual Sun, Surf and Beach Soccer Tournament today through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Clearwater Beach, just south of Pier 60.

Watch 100 teams narrow the field to see who's the champion of each age bracket. Team categories are mixed ages 8-10, mixed ages 11-13, mixed ages 13-14, female only ages 12-14, mixed ages 15-18 and female only ages 15 and over. Youth teams begin play on Friday; all others will be held Sunday, with semifinals, consolation games and finals also held Sunday.

Registration is closed for participation, but spectators are encouraged to come out and cheer. Admission is free. Bring water; sodas will be available to purchase.

Call (727) 376-3149.

Manatee birthday party

Mo the manatee invites everyone to his pool mate Snooty's 52nd Birthday Bash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the South Florida Museum at Bishop Planetarium, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton.

Activities include booths, special programs and exhibits for Wildlife Awareness, children's games and activities and live music by Jake Murphy at 12:15 p.m. Take a moment to tour the gallery of birthday cards children have made for Snooty and see if you can pick the winner of Snooty's Birthday Card Contest.

All children attending Snooty's Bash will receive free treats and punch. Admission to the Birthday Bash is free. Admission to the museum, planetarium and aquarium is reduced Saturday only.

Call (941) 746-4131.

Comet watch

Join the Science Center of Pinellas County and the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club for a comet viewing from dusk to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Science Center, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

Get a close look at Comet 1999 S4 LINEAR from the powerful Meade 16-inch telescope at the Carol Samuels Observatory. Discovered Sept. 27, 1999, in New Mexico, this comet was once categorized as an "unknown moving object."

The comet viewing is free and open to the public. Astronomy club members will answer questions. Planetarium presentations will be offered at 8 and 9 p.m. for $1 per person, and a laser show will run at 8:30 p.m. for $2 per person.

Call (727) 384-0027.

See boats, buy boats

More than 400 new and used power boats, along with a few sailboats, will be on hand at the Nautical Extravaganza Boat Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Manatee Civic Center, just south of the Sunshine Skyway at Exit 43 on Interstate 75.

Dealers from Southwest Florida as well as private owners will be represented.

The Nautical Flea Market will offer used items and fishing tackle. There will also be fishing seminars and performances by Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel throughout the weekend, as well as live reggae music by Scholars Word.

Parking is free. Admission is $3 for ages 16 and older. Call (941) 748-0411, ext. 5323.

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