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'Love notes' preface chamber Good 'Burger Awards

Duncan McClellan blows glass in the cool new hot shop at 550 24th St. S that he has opened next to his gallery and a living space.

Duncan McClellan Gallery

Duncan McClellan blows glass in the cool new hot shop at 550 24th St. S that he has opened next to his gallery and a living space.

In what appears to be early Valentines, "love notes" have been landing at the doorsteps of individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the Sunshine City.

If you or your organization are a recipient of said note, congratulations are in order.

The "love note" is really a nomination for the Good 'Burger Awards from the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. A Good 'Burger is a business, organization or individual making a positive impact on the community.

The award honors a former Sunshine City mayor who referred to residents as "burgers," as in St. Petersburgers. The awards replace the more formal, expensive awards of previous years.

The list of 70 nominees will be released Monday, but I've seen several recipients announce their nominations via social media. The list is an impressive one and features many popular venues — including three nonprofits of which I've served as a volunteer. Kudos to all the nominees.

Awards will be given out in seven categories: Arts and Culture, Eats and Treats, Community Service and Nonprofits, Hot Spots and Hangouts, Sports, Cool Companies (large and small) and MVB — "Most Valuable 'Burger."

Residents get to vote for the winners Feb. 1-15. To cast a vote, visit

The "People's Choice" winners will be announced during a festive event March 7 at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. Tickets are $10 for chamber members, $20 for nonmembers.

For information, contact Melia Christensen at

Arts hub heats up

More than 1,000 people turned out for "Burning Passion: A Grand Opening Celebration'' last weekend at Duncan McClellan Glass. The event drew scores of art patrons from throughout the region to a quiet area of St. Petersburg that's about to become one of the city's major arts hubs.

Nestled in the Warehouse Arts District at 550 24th St. S, the hot shop completes McClellan's vision, with a sprawling campus to boot.

McClellan is a local glass artist with an international reputation. Since moving to town two years ago, he has influenced other prominent artists who are looking to make a move to consider St. Petersburg. That speaks volumes and bolsters the city's three-year reign of the Arts Destination for Midsize Cities by AmericanStyle magazine.

In addition to the hot shop, Duncan McClellan Gallery and a living space, there's now a working studio, the St. Petersburg Hot Glass Workshop, the DMG School project and the DMG Mobile Glass Lab.

Now residents and students alike will benefit from this cultural gem.

Rednecks visit!

The Clampets are coming to Gulfport.

Tune in at 9 p.m. Saturday to see a new episode of Country Music Television's popular show My Big Redneck Vacation for a glimpse of iconic landmarks in south Pinellas.

Network officials say the Clampets will drive across the Sunshine Skyway bridge to St. Petersburg as they make their way to the Blueberry Patch, Florida's oldest artist retreat, in Gulfport.

The Blueberry Patch, at 4923 20th Ave. S, is a local favorite, often described as "what the inside of a Christmas tree looks like."

Check your local listings for a specific channel.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at or at (727) 893-8874 or on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

'Love notes' preface chamber Good 'Burger Awards 01/26/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:06pm]
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