ST. PETERSBURG — It's not too soon to start thinking about clowning around.
It started really small.
The original goal was to get the children of the Suncoasters of St. Petersburg involved with the Festival of States parade.
It blossomed into a much larger community endeavor.
In recent years, the All Children's Hospital's Clown Alley Clown School has averaged "about 100 students a year," said Rick Robertson, a long-time member of the Suncoaster.
The Suncoasters are accepting registration for the Clown Alley Clown School. The popular community program is open to students of all ages, has been a tradition in St. Petersburg since 1972.
Christine Davison, a graduate of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown School, teaches character definition, make-up, costuming and performance techniques during the five week series.
Both children and adults are welcome to participate and all graduates will be invited to show off their new skills in the St. Petersburg Honda Grand Prix Illuminated Night Parade on March 24 and the All Children's Hospital Day Parade on May 21.
The five classes will be held on Thursdays - Feb. 10, 17, 24, March 3 and 10. All classes are held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at All Children's Hospital Education Conference Center, 701 4th St. S, St. Petersburg.
The cost is $20 per person, plus $10 for each additional family member. Fee includes five classes and a Clown Alley T-shirt.
Forms are available at festivalofstates.com, or by calling the Suncoasters of St. Petersburg at (727) 821-9888.