Friday, June 22, 2018
Features and More

First Night St. Petersburg ready to celebrate its 20th year

A tribute to the late artist William Woo, a giant game of Twister and a pint-sized DJ are just a few of the highlights this year as St. Petersburg prepares to celebrate its 20th year of First Night.

The family-friendly, alcohol-free activities offer a wide range of performances and visual arts designed to help ring in the new year in a safe environment.

With a $10 button that can be purchased at various venues around downtown St. Petersburg, First Night also features music acts such as hometown favorite Michael Lynche of American Idol fame and up-and-coming 14-year-old pop performer Macy Kate. She'll be joined on the stage by DJ BabyChino, a 10-year-old Las Vegas performer whose skills on the turntables are attracting major attention. (Will DJ Kitty join him?)

Over in the Plaza Courtyard at the Ale & Witch craft beer emporium, the theme will be Cajun, featuring the Gulfport Swamp Opera playing from 8 to 11 p.m.

The event, which got its start in 1993, is known for its visual pop and eclectic activities. Even the admission buttons are designed by an artist, and the supply is limited. Buttons are recommended to attend the music performances, and they also help offset some of the cost of the event, which relies on a large volunteer corps.

Fans also know to get there early for the bubble stomp, which can sometimes start somewhat randomly (around 8:45 p.m., according to the event's site). Also outside are a labyrinth to walk around, a bucket-drumming guy and the drum circle, and a bonfire, where people throw in their resolutions.

Here are some of the highlights of this year's event:

Woo Aquarium: Several artists in the 600 block of Central Avenue have joined to light the way through Williams Park with tropical fish-themed lanterns to celebrate the life of St. Petersburg native and beloved artist Bill Correira Woo, who died recently.

20th Birthday Party: Local artist Jennifer Kucharik is creating a huge "birthday cake," sponsored in part by the DMG School Project. Partygoers will be invited to add a personal flair to the cake with materials provided by First Night. At the end of the party, people can join in as the cake is set ablaze. There will also be huge versions of two party favorites: musical chairs and a giant game of Twister.

Banyan Tree Climbing: Pathfinder, an outdoor adventure and education program, allows people to safely experience the thrill of scaling the towering St. Petersburg landmark. For a bonus, while people wait, they can create their own "tree-aras."

The events, which are mostly within walking distance of each other, begin at 5 p.m. Monday. Fireworks are scheduled at 9 p.m. and midnight.

Comments
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

MARK MAKING: DEFINING BEAUTYBlack, squiggly lines are at the center of multidisciplinary artist Sharon Norwood’s works, an exhibition of which titled "Defining Beauty" opens at Tempus Projects on Saturday. Norwood’s use of the line in a variety of me...
Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Published: 06/19/18