Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

For the first time, visitors to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday pay a price

CLEARWATER — For the first time in 13 years, Joe Sacco waited in line to enter the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

"What's the holdup?" he asked others in the line, which stretched a block down Drew Street on Thursday evening. "Why aren't we moving?"

After decades of free jazz on the waterfront, the 33rd annual four-day festival in Coachman Park began charging $10 for advance and $15 for gate tickets — which means patrons toting fold-out chairs, water bottles and, in one case, toilet paper, waited while volunteers, one-by-one, scanned each ticket bar code.

Sacco, a St. Petersburg resident who has attended since 1999, came to enjoy the smooth tunes, smoke the cigar tucked in his front pocket and sing along as headliner Bonnie Raitt belted out Longing in Their Hearts. The new admission fee was nothing compared to seeing her on tour in Live Oak on Saturday, a trek that would've cost him closer to $700.

"It's still a great entertainment value for a music festival," Sacco said. "Great talents, nice people — $10 isn't going to stop me from coming."

Kay Brulo, a fifth-year Jazz Holiday volunteer, said the opening night crowds Thursday looked "pretty normal," arriving in bursts, humming upbeat melodies.

"I don't think ticket prices are keeping people away," Brulo said. "Things are going similarly to last year. Soon, before Bonnie starts playing, it'll be packed."

However, the fee did have an impact on some. Inside the park, near a rainbow bounce house, Charlie and Penny Costello of Clearwater spread a woven blanket on the grass. The couple, who returned throughout the long weekend during past Jazz Holidays, opted to come for just one evening this year.

"We love the water over here, the sunset over the bridge, the good music — but it's just so expensive now," Penny said. "Between the parking, the food, the (bottled) water — and now we have to buy tickets — it gets to be a lot."

Martyna Krege, a Clearwater resident who brought her 2-year-old daughter, Leilani, for the sunset, understands that ticket revenue will help bring major performers to the festival.

But "we'd rather not pay," she said. "Nothing's free anymore, I guess. It's not a free world."

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday will continue through Sunday in Coachman Park on the downtown waterfront. To see a schedule of acts and purchase tickets, visit clearwaterjazz.com.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Kay Brulo was a volunteer at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Thursday evening. Her name was misspelled in a story published Friday.

 
Comments
The Lightning are fun, but does their playoff run translate into dollars for Tampa?

The Lightning are fun, but does their playoff run translate into dollars for Tampa?

TAMPA — As the Tampa Bay Lightning wait for its next playoff opponent to come to town, the city’s business community — large and small — say they’ve already won this NHL postseason.At WestShore Plaza this week, with blue and white banners surrounding...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
SOCom leader wanted to toss Google exec from car. Because he was right.

SOCom leader wanted to toss Google exec from car. Because he was right.

TAMPA — Standing in front of an audience of several thousand scientists, data wonks, geospatial intelligence analysts and other big thinkers, Army Gen. Tony Thomas drew some laughs when he talked about the time he felt the urge to toss Google CEO Eri...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
The last cigar factory in Tampa keeps rolling

The last cigar factory in Tampa keeps rolling

YBOR CITY -- History lives here, inside the J.C. Newman Cigar Co.Machines manufactured in the 1930s are still used to pack and roll the cigars, and the sights and smells are throwbacks. Tobacco bits litter the weathered wooden floor, and a pungent od...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Romano: Is it still environmentally conscious if it’s based on a sham?

Romano: Is it still environmentally conscious if it’s based on a sham?

Let’s discuss biosolids waste. I promise, it won’t be gross or boring.No, this is more of a how-did-we-lose-money-again bedtime story.Our tale begins around 2006 when St. Pete officials began exploring a biosolids project. The city was eventually goi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Federal court blocks challenge to Florida’s system of restoring felon voting rights; what goes on in that pink house?; Lightning playoff run drives business

The Daystarter: Federal court blocks challenge to Florida’s system of restoring felon voting rights; what goes on in that pink house?; Lightning playoff run drives business

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Another sunny day today with high temperatures in the low 80s, according to 10Weather WTSP. Friday brings the possibility of rain, and the weekend brings the heat: Sunday’s high is in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Iron Nun still going strong at age 88

The Iron Nun still going strong at age 88

TAMPA —These smart phones and computers and internet are big annoyances to Sister Madonna Buder.Every time she turns around, there's a message or a request or a question coming into one of her devices from somewhere in the world."What's all the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Long wait at Wingstop ends in brawl, hot oil and 2nd degree burns

Long wait at Wingstop ends in brawl, hot oil and 2nd degree burns

TAMPA — A customer visited Wingstop on Sunday night to pick-up his order. What happened next was off-menu:Robert Williams said he suffered second-degree burns on his back and legs after a Wingstop employee threw hot oil on him during a scuffle.Willia...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FHP identifies driver in crash that killed

FHP identifies driver in crash that killed "smiling" teen

TRINITY — Friends said what they’ll remember the most about Lillia Morris is that she was always smiling.The 17-year-old Mitchell High School junior was killed Tuesday when a sport-utility vehicle ran a red light on State Road 54 and slammed into the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Berlin stands against anti-Semitism; Toronto attack highlights misogynistic vitriol; inventor convicted of killing Kim Wall; more in world news

Berlin stands against anti-Semitism; Toronto attack highlights misogynistic vitriol; inventor convicted of killing Kim Wall; more in world news

Germany‘Today, we all wear kippa’ Germans of various faiths donned Jewish skullcaps and took to the streets Wednesday in several cities to protest an anti-Semitic attack in Berlin and express fears about growing hatred of Jews in Germany and across E...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

ST. PETERSBURG — If the crowds that showed up for two open houses last week are any indication, the Pinellas County school district may have hit on a recipe that could finally turn around one of its most struggling schools.The two events drew more th...
Published: 04/26/18