Last year Bill Edwards and company hit the refresh button on the annual Taste of Pinellas festival with a hip music lineup — Colbie Caillat, Third Eye Blind and Chris Isaak — so maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise that this year's diverse group is headlined by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow. Here's a look at three days of music and food in Vinoy Park along St. Petersburg's waterfront.
The entertainment at this year's A Taste of Pinellas is as neatly packaged as the seafood empanadas on the menu.
FRIDAY: This is country night, with Big and Rich (8:30 p.m.), the costumed duo muddying up country boundaries with splashes of rock, "hick-hop" and comedy. No doubt you've heard Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), or at the very least seen the phrase slapped across the bumper of a Ford F-250. Also featuring Connor Christian & Southern Gothic (5:30 p.m.) and Joe Nichols (6:45 p.m.).
SATURDAY: Saturday night, take in airy, summery ditties from Sheryl Crow (8:30 p.m.) and Ziggy Marley (6:30 p.m.). For a woman who has battled breast cancer and Karl Rove, Crow delivers reliably light and likable sets, even an effervescent blue-eyed soul tune on occasion (Summer Day). Also with RPM (3:30 p.m.) and Cleveland Jones (5 p.m.). Fireworks go off after Crow's show.
SUNDAY: Go emo with Dashboard Confessional (a.k.a. Chris Carrabba, left, solo and acoustic, 3:45 p.m.) and the All-American Rejects (5:30 p.m.). Also the Kinected (1 p.m.), A Rocket to the Moon (2:15 p.m.).
Carole Liparoto, Times correspondent
CHEW ON THIS
The festival has 40 food vendors, a beer garden, chef demonstrations and an interactive family zone with kid-friendly recipes. Benefits All Children's Hospital.
RESTAURANTS: Include AnnaStella Cajun Bistro, BellaBrava, Brady's Backyard BBQ, Central Avenue Oyster Bar, 400 Beach Drive Seafood, Madfish, Murray's Chicago Deli, Old Farmers Creamery, Parkshore Grill, Tampa Bay Cupcake Company and the Hangar Restaurant.
HOW TO BUY FOOD: $10 gets you 10 food tickets, which you exchange for menu items. For example, Lobster & White Truffle Mac N Cheese from BelleBrava is 6 tickets; rice and beans from Pipo's Cafe are 3 tickets; and Texas fries from Texas Cattle Company are 2 tickets. Go to tasteofpinellas.com for more restaurants and menu options.
IF YOU GO
ADMISSION: $20 Friday-Saturday; $15 Sunday; $45 for all three days. VIP seating is $150 per person per day; or $300 for the weekend.
HOURS: Opens at 5 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday (kids zone open noon to 3 p.m.) and noon Sunday at Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.