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Taste of Pinellas: Nosh, make happy noises, walk, repeat

ST. PETERSBURG

Hungry for something to do this weekend? Get your grub on at the Taste of Pinellas.

Held at Vinoy Park, the annual springtime event, now in its 22nd year, will feature three days of music, fun and food from nearly 40 local vendors.

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday evening.

Admission is free, but food and drink tickets will cost you.

Festival organizers and restaurateurs promise it's worth it.

Included in this year's fare are longtime Taste of Pinellas gourmet offerings from the Wine Cellar in North Redington Beach and Snapper's in St. Pete Beach.

But the 2008 fest will see the addition of St. Petersburg newcomers Zapata's, Pacific Wave and the Old Northeast Tavern, whose owners will be dishing out crab cake sliders and a miniwrap version of the tavern's sandwiches.

"We're going to get spanked, I'm sure, but we'll run as long as we can," said Old Northeast co-owner Bob Wareham. "We'll give it a shot."

Each day of the three-day outdoor smorgasbord will be filled with live music, bookended by '80s rocker Rick Springfield on Friday and festival-circuit staple Eddie Money on Sunday.

In between, check out several local acts. And don't miss blues virtuoso Jonny Lang's headlining set on Saturday.

The event coincides with the 25th annual All Children's Hospital Telethon on Saturday and Sunday.

Proceeds from the telethon, ticket sales at the Taste and a VIP auction on Saturday will help with the construction of the new All Children's Hospital, slated to open in fall 2009.

Last year's ticket sales from the Taste raised about $150,000, despite an interruption from the threat of Tropical Storm Barry. The telethon earned about $4-million.

"It's not about the money; it's about the kids," said All Children's Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Rose.

"And it's all about the food."

Casey Cora can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or at ccora@sptimes.com.

>>IF YOU GO

Taste of Pinellas

The festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday in Vinoy Park on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. Admission is free. Tickets for food are $5 for eight; most tastes require six to 12 tickets ($3.75 to $7.50). For information, visit online at tasteofpinellas.com or allkids.org or call (727) 767-2001.

Parking

Parking is available at downtown lots and garages. Tickets will be issued to vehicles parked on city streets longer than posted limits. Free shuttle service is available to the park from the Mahaffey Theater parking lot (First Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues S); the Progress Energy Park/Al Lang Field parking lot (First Street just south of First Avenue S); and the BayWalk parking garage (Second Street just north of First Avenue N).

Taste of Pinellas: Nosh, make happy noises, walk, repeat 05/27/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 4:34pm]

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