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Will Packer, one of St. Pete's most eligible bachelors, gets engaged

One of the Sunshine City's most eligible bachelors is off the market.

Will Packer, film producer and St. Petersburg native, proposed to his girlfriend, Heather Hayslett, in front of 40,000 fans a week ago during the Essence Festival at the New Orleans Superdome.

Packer, who still has family in St. Petersburg, is a frequent visitor.

Packer and Hayslett, a native of Memphis, met at the festival four years ago, so it was only fitting that he popped the question there.

The video of the proposal can be seen at

Packer's career started in the '90s with a few small low-budget films that set the stage for bigger movies.

Takers (2010), Stomp the Yard (2007) and This Christmas (2007) were produced by Rainforest Films, the Atlanta production house that Packer runs with his former Florida A&M classmate Rob Hardy.

Think Like a Man Too is scheduled to debut in 2014.

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Another budding filmmaker will make his debut next week with a red carpet screening of his feature-length film, If You Only Knew, at 6:30 p.m. July 25 at Muvico at BayWalk.

Cranstan Cumberbatch, the son of Caribbean immigrants, has been a local mainstay as he has dedicated his time and effort in the arts community, performing with American Stage, [email protected], and at the Largo Cultural Center.

Cumberbatch's band REXP will be on hand for the evening, which will include an hors d'oeuvres reception, door prizes and question and answer session with the cast and crew.

A trailer of If You Only Knew offers up a few familiar faces and some scenes of the Sunshine City. (See it at

General admission is $10, VIP is $20 and includes reserved seating and complimentary concessions.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office the day of the event, RSVP to [email protected], or call (727) 470-1990.

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There are few events that can get shoppers up early on a balmy summer day like the annual Sunrise Sale in St. Petersburg.

Marking its 40th anniversary, the Downtown Business Association's event has been dubbed "St. Petersburg's Largest Pajama Party."

The festivities kick off at 6:43 a.m. Thursday with special discounts for patrons wearing tie-dye and '70s duds as well as traditional pajamas.

More than 30 businesses will offer specials and the Downtown Looper Trolley will provide free rides from 7 to 10 a.m. along Beach Drive NE, expanding outward from there. Many merchants will offer coffee and other treats. Sales continue through 5 p.m. at participating businesses.

A new feature: the DBA will be collecting pantry items and paper products for Ronald McDonald House.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8874. Follow @StPeteSandi on Twitter.

Will Packer, one of St. Pete's most eligible bachelors, gets engaged 07/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 12, 2013 7:49pm]
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