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    'Come, relax and listen'

    New this year at Dunedin's Wines the Blues festival is an arts and crafts section for children.

    By MAUREEN BYRNE

    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 22, 2000


    DUNEDIN -- While blues and beers may go hand in hand, it is the large selection of wines that draws many to the Dunedin Wines the Blues festival. There will be more than 60 varieties to sample Saturday at the downtown event.

    The ninth annual Wines the Blues will take place on Main Street, where it was founded eight years ago by downtown merchants Gregory Brady, owner of Gregory's Salon, and Kathy Carlson, one of the owners of Kelly's Restaurant.

    In its inaugural year, the event attracted about 6,000 people. This year, organizers -- the Downtown Merchants Association and the city of Dunedin Community Redevelopment Agency -- are expecting about 20,000.

    "It's a street party," said Sheila Cole, administrator for the Community Redevelopment Agency. "Just come and relax and listen to the good music."

    New this year is a children's arts and crafts section, where kids can design their own masks, refrigerator magnets and jewelry. Clowns, face painters and balloon artists also will entertain the younger crowd.

    The music begins at 3:30 p.m. with Blind Willie James with Allen Moffat followed by Dan Electro and the Cat Tones and Dukes of Juke. The Jimmy Griswold Band and Fat Daddy also will perform throughout the evening on Main Street.

    The Mark Hodgson Band, a staple on the Central Florida blues circuit, including the House of Blues in Orlando, will headline the show. The group from Deland will take the stage at 9 p.m.

    "They have a huge following in Daytona," said Wendy McCarthy, president of the Downtown Merchants Association, who first heard the band at a gig at Club More in Clearwater. "They are real blues."

    Many of the downtown shops and restaurants will be open throughout the event. A food court will offer treats from Iris's Family Restaurant, Hin Lee, Pinehurst Pub, La Spada's Original Steaks and Hoagies, Domino's Pizza and Peace of Pizza.

    Wine will be sold for $3 and more per glass. Budweiser and Dunedin Brewery will sell $3 glasses of beer.

    Thirty arts and crafts vendors will line the food court area selling jewelry, hand-painted furniture, woodwork and clothing.

    Posters and T-shirts also will be sold at the event. Each costs $15.

    "We do this event to promote the downtown," said McCarthy, who designed the event's logo. "We're really proud of it."

    Lineup

    3:30 -- 4:30 p.m. Blind Willie James with Allen Moffatt

    5 -- 6:30 p.m. Dan Electro and the Cat Tones

    7 -- 8:30 p.m. Dukes of Juke

    9 -- 10:30 p.m. Mark Hodgson Band

    Wines the Blues

    The Ninth Annual Dunedin Wines the Blues kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday on Main Street in downtown Dunedin. Food, beer and wine and arts and crafts will be sold. Admission is free. Bring chairs and blankets, but leave coolers at home. Rain date is Sunday. Call (727) 738-1855.

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