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SHUFFLE OFF TO INDIA AT SHUFFLEBOARD CLUB EVENT

Perhaps Ghandi never played shuffleboard. But some say the British invented the sport, and that's good enough for most people looking for an excuse for a night of fun on the courts.

On Friday, the two worlds will collide at India Night at St. Pete Shuffle, when St. Petersburg's shuffleboard revival phenomenon at the Historic Mirror Lake Shuffleboard Complex goes Bollywood.

The event is just the latest theme party to be thrown at the youth-friendly venue.

Over the past two years, St. Pete Shuffle has hosted a Harry Potter night, an ice cream social, a fashion show, and a Hurricane Katrina relief fundraiser.

"What we have tried to do is make it a laboratory for creative people in town," said Chris Kelly, an event organizer and a local historical activist. "If it was just shuffleboard, we would have been done a long time ago."

Coralette Damme, a St. Petersburg-based stained glass artist who goes by the name the Crafty Hag, said crowds are attracted to the St. Pete Shuffle specifically because its organizers embrace local artists.

"They are very much into supporting local arts, and collaborating with different types of artists, whether it be musical or whatever," said Damme, who is helping to plan India Night.

The event will feature yoga demonstrations, belly dancers, a street bazaar, Indian cuisine, Bhangra music and, of course, nonstop shuffleboard.

St. Pete Shuffle strives to preserve the shuffleboard complex, as well as foster a sense of community, Kelly said.

"We want to make people aware that something goes on there, and that it is not just for the silver-haired crowd," Damme said.

IF YOU GO

India Night

When: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday.

Where: St. Pete Shuffleboard Club, 559 Mirror Lake Drive.

Admission: Free.

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