Winter’s Red Carpet Premiere

There were limos, velvet ropes, celebrities sightings and, oh yeah, the premiere of Dolphin Tale too.

Alisha Estevez loves going to celebrity events.

She drove over from Tampa with her Nikon D40 and a hope Morgan Freeman would surprise everyone.

“I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the big stars,” Estevez said while leaning against the railing separating her from the red carpet and velvet ropes a few feet away. “I wish I could be paparazzi.”

Estevez was part of a throng of others who came to soak in the celebrity that Hollywood could be proud of as part of a red carpet premiere of Dolphin Tale at Wednesday.

The $99 dollar ticket event was a benefit for the . Plush Winter dolls could be had inside for $19.99.

The Warner Bros and Alcon Entertainment movie is based on the true story of Winter the dolphin who was rehabilitated at the aquarium.

Winter has been cared for by aquarium staff since her rescue Dec. 10, 2005.  She was discovered caught in a crab trap just off the coast of New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County. Rescuers brought her to Clearwater where she received a prosthetic tail. It has been her home ever since.

The movie stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. and Kris Kristofferson.

Winter plays herself in the movie.

The premiere featured actors from the movie and other major players who helped get Winter's story on the big screens internationally.

Andrew Hall came down the red carpet with Montel Williams at his side.

Hall lost his leg in when a drunk driver hit him across the street from his Safety Harbor apartment. The same company that developed Winter’s fake fluke is also working on a leg so that Hall can walk again Williams said.

Hall has been through 30 surgeries since the 2009 accident.

“I’m just piecing my life back together,” he said.

Mayor Frank Hibbard was at the premiere. He said he already saw the movie and, without any spoiler alert, it really shows of the city.

“You couldn’t meet Flipper. You couldn’t meet Lassie,” Hibbard said. “But you can meet Winter.”


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