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Have gun, will twirl

David Russell, 51, of Sarasota, practices with the St. Petersburg Twirling Project Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Seminole Park in St. Petersburg during a rehearsal for the St. Pete Pride Parade. The ensemble of 14 will have a prime spot in the night parade Saturday, June 28, as they march behind the grand marshall and in front of the mayor. Chuck Henson, the group's coach and founder, started the St. Petersburg Twirling Project seven years ago. He started his first adult community color guard in Chicago in 1992 after the "don't ask don't tell" policy. "You didn't have to ask," said Henson. "We looked like military, but we acted silly." Henson said they all have one thing in common: "We're all just old marching band nerds that didn't ever want to give it up."

LARA CERRI | Times

David Russell, 51, of Sarasota, practices with the St. Petersburg Twirling Project Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Seminole Park in St. Petersburg during a rehearsal for the St. Pete Pride Parade. The ensemble of 14 will have a prime spot in the night parade Saturday, June 28, as they march behind the grand marshall and in front of the mayor. Chuck Henson, the group's coach and founder, started the St. Petersburg Twirling Project seven years ago. He started his first adult community color guard in Chicago in 1992 after the "don't ask don't tell" policy. "You didn't have to ask," said Henson. "We looked like military, but we acted silly." Henson said they all have one thing in common: "We're all just old marching band nerds that didn't ever want to give it up."

LARA CERRI | Times

David Russell, 51, of Sarasota practices with the St. Petersburg Twirling Project on Saturday in St. Petersburg's Seminole Park during a rehearsal for the St. Pete Pride parade. The 14 members of the ensemble will have a prime spot in the parade Saturday afternoon as they march behind the grand marshal and in front of Mayor Rick Kriseman. Chuck Henson founded the group seven years ago. He started his first adult community color guard in Chicago in 1992, right around the time the "don't ask don't tell" policy became a hot-button issue. "You didn't have to ask," said Henson. "We looked like military, but we acted silly." Henson, who is the team's coach, said they all have one thing in common: "We're all just old marching band nerds that didn't ever want to give it up."

Have gun, will twirl 06/21/14 [Last modified: Saturday, June 21, 2014 10:50pm]

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