Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reggae Sunfest returns to Linda Pedersen Park on Saturday

WEEKI WACHEE

During a time of slashed budgets and scaled-back services, the Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department has seen its share of dark clouds. But the department's staging of its Reggae Sunfest this weekend at Linda Pedersen Park offers something of a silver lining: feel-good music in a feel-bad economy.

The third annual festival, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday, is proof that Hernando residents like the idea of big outdoor music events in their own back yard, and are willing to come out and support them.

"The idea all along was to give residents something enjoyable that they didn't have to drive far to get to," said county parks director Harry Johnson. "It's a fun event that always brings in a good crowd."

Event coordinator Christie Williams said that Reggae Sunfest and its sister event, Bluesapalooza, have been a financial boon to the county's financially strapped parks department. Proceeds from both festivals have helped pay for several youth programs that might have otherwise been lost because of budget cuts.

"These are hard times for everyone, and it's nice to be able to keep those activities going for kids who really enjoy them," Williams said.

Last year's Reggae Sunfest drew about 1,800 visitors. The event took in $15,120, including ticket sales and vendor space rentals, and netted $6,865. More than two-thirds of that profit came from the sale of beer and wine.

The sale of alcohol was always key to the money-making opportunity, which Johnson pitched to his bosses three years ago. Though heavily scrutinized by those who didn't like the idea of skirting the county's ban of alcohol in parks, Johnson said it has been a nonissue.

"It's pretty routine now," he said. "Besides, we've never promoted it as an alcohol event. We offer it as a way to make money."

Saturday's lineup will once again feature the popular Tampa-based reggae duo Dickie and Melvin Dickenson, performing reggae, calypso and steel drum music. In addition, the festival will feature craft and food vendors, exhibits and children's activities.

Like always, patrons wishing to purchase alcohol will have to show proper photo ID to obtain a wristband signifying that they're of legal drinking age. While patrons cannot bring alcohol into the park, they are encouraged to bring pop-up chairs, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

Reggae Sunfest

The festival will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., near Weeki Wachee. Admission is $5; children under 12 get in free. For information, call (352) 754-4031.

Reggae Sunfest returns to Linda Pedersen Park on Saturday 04/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2011 5:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  2. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  3. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.
  5. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.