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    City will celebrate turning 30 with bash

    City officials hope a menu of music and food will make the Nov. 19 event a historic one.

    By MONIQUE FIELDS

    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 29, 2000


    Seminole plans to enter its 30s with a roar.

    City administrators will invite residents to celebrate the city's 30th anniversary Nov. 19 at City Hall Park. Tents will dot the grounds, allowing residents to take in the city's history. Food vendors and bluegrass musicians also will be on hand.

    Plans haven't been settled, but one tent may chronicle the city's mayors. Others could showcase the city's successes in areas such as recreation and annexation, complete with pictures and memorabilia. The estimated total cost: $6,000.

    "It's an opportunity to walk away with a better understanding of the community," said Jim Sheets, Seminole's recreation director.

    Bluegrass music will be featured because the Seminole Junior Women's Club sponsors an annual bluegrass festival, which was postponed last spring for expected park renovations.

    Seminole residents are likely to get a written invitation, and those who make time in their Sunday afternoon may receive a chocolate medallion pressed with the city's seal.

    In its 30 years, the city has grown from a town of 2,000 in 1970 to a city of 14,000.

    "We really thought we might be bigger quicker, but it didn't turn out that way," said Holland Mangum, chairman of the city's Seminole Improvement Committee in 1970 and the city's mayor from 1984 to 1995.

    Instead, the city has evolved.

    "It was at the time and, to me, today a unique area," Mangum said. "The people stick together pretty well. They call themselves Seminole and look to Seminole. I think that image has been carried on all through the years."

    The city's official anniversary is Nov. 15, but that date isn't feasible. First, it falls in the middle of the week. The next Saturday also was not an option. It's the day of the much-anticipated face-off between the University of Florida and Florida State University.

    Yes, Seminole's 30th birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime event, but a lot of folks will be interested in the outcome of the football game, which pits two of the state's football powerhouses against each other, Sheets said.

    So Seminole officials did the next best thing. They scheduled their shindig for Sunday afternoon.

    "Through good promotion and a nice slate of activities, I think we can garner community support," Sheets said.

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