It's home to one of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the world. Just a seashell's throw from strip malls, condos and cheesy T-shirt shops, it has stood sentinel along southern Pinellas County, a 1,136-acre spit of land practically untouched. Unbelievable. And on Saturday, Fort De Soto Park turns 50. When it opened on May 11, 1963, some 20,000 people came out to catch a glimpse of Henry Fonda and watch a beauty pageant. No such star power for Saturday's celebration, instead a fitting nod to nature with a sea oat planting starting at 9 a.m. and exhibits from Tampa Bay Watch, Birds of Prey and other groups. There will also be music, a barbecue and a classic water ski show. The party is free — even the $5 park fee has been waived. (727) 582-2267.
Nifty at 50: Fort De Soto Park
© 2013 Tampa Bay Times