Pooches get their parade on at Botanical Gardens
The annual Holiday Lights Dog Parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Florida Botanical Gardens, with registration for doggie competitors from 1 to 1:45 p.m. in the gardens parking lot.
Competitors will don costumes and strut their stuff for fun and prizes. They will be judged in these categories: best costume, best adult, best puppy, best senior, most glamorous, and best vocal performance.
Judges include Dr. David Tollen of Oakhurst Veterinary & Kennels, Dr. Jennifer Saez of the Animal Care Clinic of Largo, and David Parhill, Hills Science Food Diet.
Registration is $10 and is open to the first 100 dogs. Proceeds support the Florida Botanical Gardens. A gift bag and certificate will be awarded to each dog that is registered.
The registration form can be found online at www.flbg.org or forms will be available onsite today. For more information about registration or the event, please call (727) 582-2247.
The Florida Botanical Gardens are located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo.
Signs and poles on City Commission agenda
The Safety Harbor City Commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 750 Main St.
Items on the agenda include the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city sign code to increase the permitted size of a drive-through menu board from 24 square feet to 40 square feet.
The amendment also would allow properties that have no freestanding pole sign or monument sign to have a larger wall sign on their buildings.
The commission also will conduct a public hearing on a request for a new drive-through and outdoor eating area for a fast-food restaurant in Oakbrook Plaza on McMullen-Booth Road.
Both of these agenda items were previously approved by the city Planning and Zoning Board.
Visitors from sister city of Nagano, Japan, need hosts
The city's Parks and Recreation Department is looking for hosts for visitors from Clearwater's sister city in Japan, who will be coming for a week in February.
The visiting group, including two teachers and 12 middle-school students, hail from Nagano, a city of about 388,000 in central Japan and host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. They are part of an annual cultural exchange. This year, they'll be in Clearwater during the week of Feb. 23.
Individuals, couples and families are encouraged to apply to be hosts.
In addition to providing accommodations, hosts are expected to provide transportation to school and events.
Applications are available by contacting Felicia Leonard, Parks and Recreation administrative support manager, at (727) 562-4852 or Felicia.Leonard@myclearwater.com.
Needed: Tax helpers
Do you know how to use a computer and have four hours a week in February, March and early April to spare?
Tax season is here again, and the AARP Foundation TaxAide program is seeking volunteers to help taxpayers prepare their IRS returns. IRS-certified training on the latest tax preparation forms and software will be provided.
Call 1-888-687-2277, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit aarp.org/taxaide.
Folk singer to perform at Cultural Center
Folk singer Lil' Rev performs Jewish and Yiddish folk songs using banjo, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica and recorder at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and 9 at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S Pinellas Ave.
Tickets are $16, $14 for center members and students. For information or to buy tickets, visit tarponarts.org.
Seniors, pencil in your day trips
The Hale Activity Center is registering seniors for day trips across the Tampa Bay area. Call (727) 298-3299 for more information:
• A trip to the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is planned for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21. The cost is $45 per person, and lunch may also be purchased onsite at the Banyan Cafe. Sign up by Jan. 31.
• There will be a trip to Fletcher's Dinner Theater's performance of Lend Me a Tenor, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6. The cost is $34 per person and includes a lunch buffet. Preregister by Feb. 3.
• A tour of the Port of Tampa aboard a catamaran is planned for April 2. The bus departs the Hale Center at 7:30 a.m. and returns by 1 p.m. The cost is $19 per person, and lunch may be purchased after the boat tour during a stop at Cracker Barrel. Sign up by March 12.