Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

First Night St. Petersburg kicks off 2012

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Crowds flocked to First Night St. Petersburg on Saturday to greet 2012. The first stop for many was the tree of New Year's resolutions.

The resolutions, written on index cards and taped to an artificial tree, were weighty (lose 30 pounds), ambitious (I will rule the world), traditional (health and happiness), equestrian (own my own horse) and toy-inspired (I want to build the biggest Lego thing in the world.)

Lexi Chiger, 8, of Palm Harbor had no thoughts of world domination. Her resolution was down-to-earth. "I wish to do better in school!" she said.

It was a First Night of resolutions for a new year and reflections of the old. First Night officials expected a crowd of about 20,000 under clear, starry skies.

First Night St. Petersburg has welcomed in the new year since 1993. Organizers say it's the state's biggest such celebration.

Revelers enjoyed music, dance, fireworks, art displays and other activities in an alcohol-free environment around Vinoy Park and Straub Park.

The alcohol-free part was important to Luis Gottardi of Tampa. "You don't have drunks stumbling around," he said as he took a picture of a spiral maze made up of small paper lanterns winding around a tree.

"It's not a spectacle," Gottardi said, explaining why he never misses First Night. "It's very laidback. It's grass roots, a small-town atmosphere."

"It's idyllic," said his wife, Lydia Gottardi.

Tessa stood nearby and watched the crowd. Family members listed Tessa's New Year's resolutions.

"Stop eating," said Knute Steel of Apollo Beach.

"Stop eating our shoes," said Steel's daughter, Morgan, 7. "Stop eating everything."

Tessa, a yellow Lab puppy, looked up with an expression that seemed to promise her best efforts in 2012. Otherwise, she offered no formal guarantees.

As to Knute's New Year's resolution, he simply tapped his stout stomach. "Mine is always the same," he said.

Knute didn't explain. Perhaps he planned to lose weight. Or maybe he just wants to stop tapping his stomach in 2012.

Artist Coralette Damme of St. Petersburg directed passers-by into an art exhibit in a large storage container. It was called "First Night in the Black Forest."

Outside, Damme's friend, Eric Starkweather, also of St. Petersburg, was dressed head-to-toe in a furry outfit. Onlookers tried to guess what he was. A rat, perhaps. Or maybe a bigfoot.

"He's a bear," said Damme. Starkweather appeared to growl at a passing stranger.

Joy and Richard Crandall of St. Petersburg sat on a park bench showing off their new hats to a stranger. Each cost $12. And that was with the blinking lights.

"What a deal," said Richard Crandall, his voice betraying little sarcasm.

He said he had procrastinated too long and hadn't come up with a resolution yet.

"I guess my wish for the new year is not to procrastinate," Crandall said.

And so it went deep into the evening as one year passed into the next and Tampa Bay revelers marked their new beginnings.

 
Comments
Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities that feed the poor around Tampa Bay say they’ve seen a bump in demand since Hurricane Irma that is continuing into the holidays.But they also are reporting a spike in donations they are attributing to a neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

TAMPA — Before the killings began, Bob and Vivian Fiallo envisioned having Thanksgiving at their North Carolina mountain getaway.Most years, the couple spends the holiday at their tidy, brick-faced home on North Olney Avenue, in the heart of Southeas...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

A foggy, then partly cloudy day precedes what potentially could be a wet and dreary Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay.Deep moisture in the region has produced thick fog early Wednesday morning, with visibility reduced to a quarter-mile in some areas — in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

Anthony Roy and his wife retired to Clearwater to escape the violence in Washington, D.C. They moved into a house owned by his mother, and they loved it there. Then uninvited guests started loitering in their back yard and dealing drugs. They couldn&...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• Increased moisture will produce thick morning fog, then give way to warm temperatures, partly cloudy skies and a small chance of rain. Com...
Updated: 2 hours ago
How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

Charles Dickens’ best-known and most beloved book almost didn’t happen. In 1843, Dickens, then 31, was already dealing with the downside of international success. He had followed bestsellers like Oliver Twist with several flops and was s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

We want your news! Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well do...
Published: 11/22/17
Bowen: A legislative wish list for which to be thankful

Bowen: A legislative wish list for which to be thankful

This column took some time to compose. The initial scribbling came late on the night of Sept. 10 inside Pasco’s Emergency Operations Center as Hurricane Irma tracked across the county. Away from family. Stuck in a too-small work space with a bunch of...
Published: 11/22/17
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history. It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It̵...
Updated: 1 hour ago