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Play depicts two families' attempts to derail slavery

In honor of Black History Month, the St. Petersburg Little Theatre presents Follow the Drinking Gourd at 8 p.m. today through Sunday in the Lobby Theatre at SPLT, 4025 31st St. S, St. Petersburg.

The play follows the parallel lives of a black family and a white family as they combine efforts to make the Underground Railroad work against slavery.

Directed by Rose West and produced in cooperation with the Science Center of Pinellas County, this one-act play with nine cast members uses African and gospel songs and dances to depict various aspects of the African experience in America.

This performance will also be presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 11.

Tickets are $8 adults, $4 children 6-17, children 5 and under free. Seating is limited, so reservations are recommended. Call (727) 866-2059.

Kids meet string quartet

Children can get hands-on experience with orchestra music, musicians and musical instruments at Up Close and Personal with the Caladesi String Quartet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

Four members of the Florida Orchestra invite children to sit on stage, touch the instruments and ask questions during the presentation. Saturday's concert is entitled "Mood and Melody." Children will be asked to show how the musical scores make them feel. Dancing will be involved, so children should wear appropriate shoes.

After the musical presentation, children can visit the musical "petting zoo" where instruments and bows are taken apart for children to touch and inspect.

Children of any age can attend this program; however, music is specially selected for ages 6-10. Parental supervision is recommended at these concerts.

Admission is $7 per person. Call (727) 820-9093.

Palm Harbor accents the arts

Palm Harbor comes alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the Historic Downtown Palm Harbor Festival of the Arts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Florida Avenue, just off Alt. U.S. 19.

More than 150 artists from across the U.S. and Canada will show and sell works in mediums that include acrylic paintings, stained glass, photography, fine ceramics, jewelry, sculptures and more.

Festival goers can also enjoy live music by Indian sitarist Steve Mikes, Paraguayan harpist Shirley Dominquez, Dan McClerran of Earth Angel Records and Indian musical group Enma. Italian, Greek, Chinese and American foods also will be available.

Admission is free. Call (954) 472-3755.

Happy New Year, Chinese style

Celebrate Chinese New Year with art, food and fashion from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Pasco Arts Council, 5744 Moog Road, Holiday.

Saturday features the U.S. debut of Chinese artist Er Min Yang. Yang fuses the creative principles of modern Western art with the discipline, materials and techniques of traditional Chinese art.

Sunday begins with colorfully costumed students of Bruce Cohen's Wah Lum Kung Fu weaving their way through the scenic grounds of the arts council in a traditional Lion Dance. A fashion show demonstrating authentic Chinese costumes from different dynasties follows. There also will be martial arts displays and Chinese foods.

The artworks of Er Min Yang remain on display through Feb. 26.

Admission is free. Call (727) 845-7322.

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