Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater approves Scientology event that could draw 8,000

CLEARWATER — On Thursday, the city approved another major Church of Scientology event that is estimated to attract 8,000 church members downtown.

The International Association of Scientologists Anniversary Weekend is slated to begin the day after Thanksgiving and run through that weekend.

The church didn't ask for any major roads to be closed and most of the activities surrounding the annual gathering of the church's powerful fundraising arm are scheduled to be held inside a large tent next to the Flag Building, which the church considers its cathedral.

The tent has been a source of tension with the city. On Wednesday, a city code board found that the church had violated the city's sign laws with a tent wrap. Church officials wouldn't comment at that hearing if they planned to put up a new wrap for the IAS celebration. The other wrap was removed Tuesday.

Christopher Hubbard, chairman of the city's special events committee, said this approval process went smoothly in part because the church didn't ask the city to close Fort Harrison Avenue, a major north-south thoroughfare.

Before the dedication of the Flag Building last week, City Manager Bill Horne said city approval of the IAS event was contingent upon the church following the conditions for its Flag Building celebration.

There were no significant incidents or rule violations last weekend.

Clearwater approves Scientology event that could draw 8,000 11/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013 11:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. With home demolition, Pasco begins effort to alleviate Holiday Hills flooding

    Local Government

    PORT RICHEY — Year after year, from his front porch, Jeff Ward has watched yards flood and rivers form in the streets, carrying canoes instead of cars after heavy rain.

    An excavator clears rubble from a razed home in Holiday Hills.
  2. College World Series puts Florida Gators in elite company


    With Tuesday night's College World Series win, the Florida Gators put themselves in rare company.

    Florida celebrates after defeating LSU in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, Tuesday, in Omaha, Neb.
  3. Pinellas sees spike in infant deaths from unsafe sleeping, and advocates are concerned


    The reports from the Department of Children and Families are tragic: A Pinellas County mother falls asleep on a recliner during an early morning feeding and wakes to find one of her 3-month-old twins unresponsive. Another finds her 6-month-old daughter lying still, a blanket over her head. Another infant is found wedged …

    Advocates are looking to step up their public information efforts this year after reports show a spike in sleep-related infant deaths in Pinellas County. []
  4. Kellyanne Conway warns of health care spin, but then delivers her own in Miami


    On the same day that Senate Republicans were forced to delay a vote on their healthcare legislation because not enough of them wanted to vote for it, White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway defended the bill in Miami.

    White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway is welcomed by state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-District 105, at the Miami-Dade GOP’s Lincoln Day fundraiser on Tuesday night.