Saturday, February 24, 2018
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Dunedin to host 'Men on Fire for the Arts' event

DUNEDIN — Don't worry if you see smoke rising from Weaver Park on Sunday. Firefighters already will be there. But this time they're helping create the smoke by participating in "Men on Fire for the Arts," Dunedin Fine Arts Center's latest event.

"We will have fabulous music, superb food,'' DFAC Executive Director George Ann Bissett said. "Having the event in Weaver Park highlights the park and attests to the high quality of living in Dunedin."

Smells from eight grills sizzling and the aroma of meat, fish and vegetables blended with herbs and spices will drift through the air. Several celebrity chefs will slip on aprons and cook up Florida Fusion Grilling, the event theme.

There also will be the eclectic sounds of the Mud Flappers, voted Orlando's best folk act for 2011 and 2012 by Orlando Weekly readers. The band's sound is described in its bio as a genre spawned from the art and culture of the swampland.

Aaron Fodiman, Tampa Bay Magazine's publisher, will serve as chef grill master while chef Michael Webb of DFAC's Stephen Michaels Palm Café will serve as the supervisory chef. Other celebrity chefs will be Dunedin Vice Mayor Ron Barnette; Sean Daly, Tampa Bay Times pop music critic; Ed Halleran, president of Nurses Choice; John Hubbard, retired city of Dunedin attorney; Jeremy Kurella, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; state Sen. Jack Latvala; and artist and designer Michael Vollbracht.

Members of the Dunedin Firefighters Association will serve as celebrity bartenders.

Weaver Park is on St. Joseph's Sound overlooking Caladesi Island State Park.

"We chose Weaver Park because we're so proud of Dunedin and how the city looks," Bissett said. "Having this event in a city park took a lot more planning and time, using extra police and having to consider lots of safety issues, but knowing we will highlight Dunedin and the arts, has been worth every minute."

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