By MAUREEN BYRNE
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 29, 2000
PALM HARBOR -- Some local women hope you don't make any plans for lunch or dinner on Sunday.
They'd like you to come to downtown Palm Harbor, where 25 area restaurants will be more than happy to satisfy your hunger.
The Palm Harbor Junior Women's Club will present its fourth annual Taste of Palm Harbor on Florida Avenue just east of Alt. U.S. 19. The downtown street will be lined with booths operated by local eateries, including Carrabba's Italian Grill, Sutherland Cafe, Magnolia Grill, Crabby Bill's and Leo's Pizza. Most of the food samples will cost from $1 to $3.50.
"We tailor it for the family, and we try to make it appealing to all age groups," said event chairwoman Nancy McKibben, immediate past president of the club. "Come out and have a good time."
Organizers expect a crowd of 15,000 to turn out for the event. "But we're hoping for more," McKibben said.
Visitors can stroll through an arts and crafts area, where glasswork, plants, herbs, stained glass, paintings, candles, clothing and more will be for sale.
Club member Ann Silver said she beefed up the arts and crafts section, which will line 11th Street. "It will give people more to do instead of just standing in line to eat," she said.
Not that the club doesn't want people eating a lot. The more tickets sold, the more money for charity.
The restaurants will give half of what they raise to the club. The group will pay off the event's expenses and give 90 percent of the rest to the community, McKibben said. The club will keep 10 percent to support itself.
Proceeds from the Taste will go to the club's Making a Difference community grant program. From the proceeds of last year's Taste, the club gave $10,000 to nine non-profit organizations, including Palm Harbor Senior Activity Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Florida Blood Services Foundation and Suncoast Children's Dream Fund.
Rain dampened last year's attendance, McKibben said. In 1998, the club raised $23,000 for local charitable groups.
The Palm Harbor Junior Women's Club is a member of the oldest non-partisan, non-denominational women's volunteer service organization in the world, the General Federation of Women's Club, McKibben said.
"Our club is comprised of socially conscience, active women with roots in the local community," McKibben said, adding that the group was actively seeking new members.
Festivalgoers also can enjoy live music on Sunday. The Rhodeside Band and the Authorities will perform throughout the afternoon. There also will be live radio broadcasts by WSSR-FM 95.7.
And don't let football keep you home. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Washington Redskins game will be broadcast on a large-screen television, courtesy of Verizon americast.
Baseball fans won't feel ignored. The Devil Ray's Express bus will be on site with giveaways and information on the team.
Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs will provide free health screenings, and Florida Blood Services will give information on blood donations and testing.
Children will have plenty to do, too. Rides, hands-on activities and face painting will be available for a nominal charge.
And if you're in need of a haircut, Act 5 Hair Design will be happy to oblige. The Palm Harbor salon will give all of its proceeds from haircuts done at the Taste to Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
The club also will sell event posters for $5 and T-shirts for $10. The design, a sea vista with pelicans, was created by local artist Bill Renc.
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