Wednesday, May 8, 2013
About 20 residents and members of the Clearwater Beach Association peppered Kevin Dunbar, parks and recreation director, with questions about a renovation plan for Pier 60 Park that includes a nearly $400,000 sandcastle playground on Clearwater Beach Tues
Residents asked about the size, cost and ultimately if a nearly $400,000 playground is needed for Clearwater Beach. About 20 residents and members of the Clearwater Beach Association peppered Kevin Dunbar, parks and recreation director, with questions for nearly an hour about a potential plan to bring a sandcastle playground and other renovations to Pier 60 Park Tuesday. “What our belief is, that when you are coming around the roundabout you see Clearwater Beach is friendly-family,” Dunbar said about plans for the nearly 14-foot tall sandcastle structure. “Really it is continuing to show we are a family-friendly area.” Resident and neighborhood groups expressed opposition to the plan citing concerns about the cost of adding a playground …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Kevin Dunbar, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, will meet with beach residents to talk about plans to bring a nearly $500,000 sandcastle playground to Pier 60 Park Tuesday.
Wendy Hutkin is baffled at how a plan for a nearly $500,000 playground could be built before residents could see and support it. The price tag for the playground is a concern, especially when that money could be used in myriad ways to expand access to facilities where hours were slashed because of budget cuts over the last half decade, said Hutkin, president of the Clearwater Beach Association, a neighborhood group. “Why could that money not go to the pool, library and recreation center?” she said. “We don’t need a playground next to a playground.” Beach residents would rather see that money spent to keep the library open longer than 20 hours a week or make the pool available year-round, Hutkin said. Residents get a chance to find out more…
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tourism officials are trying to capture a market of 90 million Chinese visitors who will travel overseas in 2013.
Clearwater Beach, Fort De Soto, Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands are being introduced by Pinellas County's tourism chief to a brand-new market: Chinese tourists. China is the world's fastest-growing tourism market. D.T. Minich just traveled to the nation to spread the message about Florida attractions, particularly the beaches of Pinellas County, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Minich, executive director of the Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Tampa Bay Times: "When they saw the blue skies and pure water and white sandy beaches, they were just like 'Wow.' They were blown away. A couple of people asked me if this was real." Visit Florida estimates that 90 million Chinese will travel overseas in …
Beach residents should make sure to keep lights off or dimmed during sea turtle nesting season, which is May 1 through Oct. 31.
Pinellas County beaches experienced one of the most successful sea turtle nesting seasons in the last decade in 2012. Volunteers with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium documented 196 nests even though Tropical Storm Debby wreaked havoc along the coastline. There usually can be up to 120 nests made along beaches in the Tampa Bay area, with each nest having up to 110 eggs. This year, the sea turtle nesting season begins Wendesday, May 1. Because hatchlings find their way to the water following natural light reflected onto the water, residents and businesses near the beach should make sure to shut off or dim lights at night through Oct. 31. This can reduce the amount of artificial light and help the newly hatched turtles safely reach the water. …
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Lisa Chandler, who helped organize the Sugar Sand Festival, is no stranger to putting events together. Her latest ends Sunday, April 28.
Lisa Chandler has a passion for events. Sure, she runs the concessions at Pier 60. But for nearly 20 years she has helped work to put together the Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival. For a time she also organized the defunct Beach Fest. Chandler combines and expands on elements from these events, creating what she calls her “bucket list" event, the Sugar Sand Festival, which after 10 days, ends Sunday at Clearwater Beach just south of Pier 60. “It’s been a dream,” Chandler said. “It’s really been a dream.” Just a couple weeks after developing the concept for the nearly $160,000 event, Clearwater’s white, sandy beach was crowned best in the state as voted on by USA Today readers. So, the display’s theme plays off of the USA Today ranking of …
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Vote on several Clearwater Beach bars to earn this year's "Best Florida Beach Bar" title as crowned by readers of floridabeachbar.com.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Five master sculptors are competing for a $5,000 grand prize in the Frenchy's Master Sand Sculpting competition as part of the Sugar Sand Festival this weekend.
Five master sculptors compete for a $5,000 grand prize in the Frenchy's Master Sand Sculpting competition as part of the Sugar Sand Festival this weekend. There also will be numerous demonstrations, chances for visitors to create their own sand sculpture and a meet and greet with Clearwater Marine Aquarium mascot Winter and a sunset showing of the Dolphin Tale movie. The event also includes the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, where 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach sand are carved into an artistic walk-through display in a 12,000-square-foot tent just south of Pier 60. The new event, which this year combines the 60-year-old Fun ‘n Sun Festival and the Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival, runs through April 28. Following is a list the weekend's …
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The nine month long project to add stormwater infrastructure along Mandalay and Poinsettia avenues, East Shore Drive and Papaya Street starts this week on Clearwater Beach.
To decrease flooding to some parts of north Clearwater Beach during and after rainstorms piping will be installed to move the water out to sea faster. The upgrades, as part of the Mandalay Stormwater Outfall project, are also expected to help reduce trash and other debris from reaching open waters. Construction started on the project nine month project this week. There could be some delays for residents and tourists driving near the construction area which includes Mandalay and Poinsettia avenues, East Shore Drive and Papaya Street. There could be some brief lane or road closures during the project. Parking Lot 35 is expected to be closed about 30 days during construction. The plan is to increase the pipe size from about 15 inches at the …
Friday, April 19, 2013
Here's a full rundown of events for the Frenchy's Sugar Sand Festival, which begins Friday, April 19 on Clearwater Beach.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Sand sculptors are hard at work getting every last grain in place for a spectacular 10-day beach fest in Clearwater. Here's a peek, via Twitter, at things to come!
It's countdown time to the 10-day Frenchy's Sugar Sand Festival, which starts Friday, April 19. It's part of Clearwater's Fun 'n Sun Fest. The new event joins the 60-year-old Fun ‘n Sun Festival and the Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival. Well, you get the picture. Get ready for nonstop outdoor fun. The merry making runs April 19-28. Click here for the rundown of events. Get the Clearwater Patch free in your email each morning.