Can it really be the 11th year for Charlie Daniels' annual concert to benefit the Angelus home in Hudson?
It seems like only days ago that concert backer Michael Vandiver began rounding up sponsors and hounding media types for coverage of what sounded like a fantasy back then _ bringing in country music stars to raise money for a little-known place where about 30 developmentally disabled children and adults live.
Since then, Charlie and his cohorts have battled cold weather, mud bogs and all kinds of adversity to raise about $1-million for the Angelus. Last year, Charlie came to town to open Charlie's Lodge, a gorgeous building that is headquarters for disabled campers and a place for Angelus meetings.
The concert grew over the years to include a celebrity golf tournament, black-tie parties and an awards dinner and concert.
Now the concert itself has expanded to cover two days on Jan. 20 and 21 at Coachman Park in Clearwater.
Jan. 20 will spotlight classic rock with Charlie, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Alan White of YES, Molly Hatchet Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Daryl Pillow, Bonnie Bramlett and Stormbringer.
On Jan. 21, it's a boot-tapping jam with Charlie, Montgomery Gentry, Chad Brock, the Warren Brothers, Confederate Railroad, Jeff Carson, Exile, Clay Davidson, John Berry, Chalee Tennison, Victoria Shaw, Copperline and more.
General admission is $15 each day, in advance, available at Circle K, Winn-Dixie and TicketMaster or by calling (800) 443-7957. Or you can pay $17.50 at the gate. Kids under age 5 can go for free.
The celebrity golf tourney will include Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Alstott, Jerry Wunsch, Patrick Hape and Dave Moore _ assuming their season isn't still alive at that point _ plus Tim Marcum, the head coach for Tampa Bay Storm, and Guy Gilchrist, the creator of the comic strips Nancy & Night Lights and Pillow Fights. Log on at http://www.theangelus.com for info on the golf tourney.
Let's all hope for bright skies and sunshine for Charlie and his gang. They really deserve it.
The coming New Year also means another Will McLean Foundation contest for the Best New Florida Song. The contest, started in 1992, has resulted in hundreds of marvelous songs about our beautiful state of Florida.
The top three winners are invited to sing at the annual Will McLean Music Festival that will be held on March 10 and 11 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch northwest of Dade City.
Each person may submit up to three songs about the people, history, heritage and natural beauties of Florida. In past years, the musicians have also called attention to the degradation of our state by uncaring businesses and people.
Entry fee is $10 a song, and the songwriters retain rights to their work.
The instructions and rules are in the Internet at http://www.willmclean.com. Click on "Florida Songwriting Contest."
Or call Margaret Longhill at (352) 465-7208.
Seven of this area's artists were invited to exhibit their works in the Nagoya, Japan, show "Art Waves" in mid-November. Nagoya is a city with a long tradition of support for the cultural arts.
It was the second part of an international exchange between the Pasco Arts Council and the art world of Japan. Last year, the Pasco Art Center exhibited the works of Ermin Yang, a native of China who now lives and works in Japan. It was a popular exhibit all around.
Those invited to be part of the nine-day Nagoya show were Antonio Caparello of Aripeka, Harry Farmlett of Hudson, Lucy Wu Mainer of New Port Richey (who was instrumental in bringing Ermin Yang's work to the Pasco Art Center), Trish Demasky of Port Richey, Peggy Gallaher of Largo, Susan Duda Shultz of Tarpon Springs and Nathan Golub, a 1999 graduate of River Ridge High School who now attends the Ringling School of Design in Sarasota.
Golub's mom, Marj, is executive director of the Pasco Art Center.
The Ermin Yang exhibit was a coup for the local art scene.
It's likely that the residents of Nagoya think that our artists were a coup for them.