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Festival lets you savor fruits' juicy appeal

By KELLY STEFANI

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 28, 2000


orangeLearn all you need to know about tropical fruits and citrus common to our area at the Tropical Fruit Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Sunken Gardens, 1825 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg.

Start by roaming through hundreds of tropical fruit and citrus trees for sale in the parking lot. If you want to know more before making a purchase, the day is packed with citrus samplings and classes on container gardening, grafting and other subjects.

Sample a mixture of rare tropical fruits from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while you listen to the steel drum sounds of Calypso Sound on Saturday and reggae by Democracy on Sunday. Sampler plates are $1.

LemonChildren can pet chickens, calves, pot-bellied pigs and bunnies in Grandma's Huggin' Farm or make fruit prints and butterfly rings in the children's craft pavilion. At noon both days, Wildlife Wonders will focus on pythons, giant frogs and tarantulas. Macaws, toucans, kookaburras and other colorful tropical birds are featured in the Beautiful Birds of Sunken Gardens show Saturday at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. both days, Wildlife Rehabilitators is a program a bit more on the creepy crawly side.

Stop by the Island Food Court in the Wedding Lawn for barbecue sandwiches, Caesarsalads, frozen bananas, chicken teriyaki and mixed fruit slushies.

Admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children, ages 2 and under free. Parking is free.

Call (727) 551-3100.

Aquarium's dinner dishes up more than fish

Friends and members of the Florida Aquarium will host an open invitation dinner party 8-11 p.m. Saturday throughout the aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa.

Entertainment includes live jazz by Monique and Company, saxophonist Alan Darcy, magic and fire eating by Kim Magic, reggae by the Harmonics and disco from MonaQ.

There will also be casino tables, silent auctions, dive shows in the Pan Window, animal encounters in the Wetlands, lobby touch tanks and the No BoneZone show.

Menu includes food by Cafe Creole, Tree House Catering, Three Palms Grille, Hyatt Regency Tampa, the University Club, Skipper's Smokehouse and Publix Super Market.

Donations are appreciated for admission.

Call (813) 273-4049.

Santa might like miniature Christmas town

The Lakeland Miniature Guild presents the 15th annual Mid-Summer Dollhouse and Miniature Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lakeland Center, 700 W Lemon St., Lakeland.

This year's show features "Our Town," a 30-building Victorian town decorated for Christmas.

A special sales table will be set up just for children to buy and sell from, and there also will be workshops for children to learn how to make various gifts.

More than 65 area dealers also will display room boxes, club projects and dollhouses. All displays to be judged Saturday.

Admission $5 adults, children free. Parking is free. Call (863) 644-2819.

Citrus Park Town Center will boogie to a mix of beats

The Citrus Park Town Center offers a Dixie theme in its Street Performers Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the mall, 8021 Citrus Park Town Center, just west of Veterans Expressway on Gunn Highway.

Entertainment includes Cajun music by the Porchdogs, barbershop harmonies by the Humdingers and Dixieland jazz by 23 Skadoo.

Stick around and you may get a quick dance around the floor when Rhett and Scarlett make their surprise appearances, to say nothing of the balloon-twisting banjo player.

Admission is free. Call (813) 226-2772.

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