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CLEARWATER - For four weeks, 26 talented young students, ages 13 to 21, participated in the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project through the Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

After a month of writing songs, collaborating with their peers and recording demos, the 26 campers will perform their top hits on the main stage on Friday, Aug.14.

“It is very intense. It’s four weeks, 9 to 3, heavy-duty musical boot camp,” said Sharon Reid-Kane, vice president of education at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
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TARPON SPRINGS - Break out your tie-dye: Hippie Fest is back. The free event will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, in downtown Tarpon Springs.

The festival area includes Tarpon Avenue from Alt. 19 to Ring Avenue, Hibiscus Street from Tarpon Avenue to Orange Street , the Mother Meres parking lot and Safford Avenue, Tarpon Avenue to Orange Street and Tarpon Avenue to Court Street, and along the sponge docks, Dodecanese Boulevard from Athens Street to Roosevelt Boulevard.
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ST. PETERSBURG - Hone your craft and connect with other writers at the first annual Camp Wordier Than Thou.

This evening summer camp for adults will take place Aug. 9-16. The week’s activities, which culminate in an optional weekend camping trip at the St. Petersburg/Madeira Beach KOA, include two-part workshops, seminars and social events.

All workshops and seminars will take place on the University of South Florida’s waterfront campus in St. Petersburg; social events will be held at various downtown bars and restaurants.
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GULFPORT - The eighth annual Gecko Crawl will help usher in Gecko Season in Gulfport with a poker run, an opportunity to sample drinks at six locations and a festive street party in Gulfport’s colorful waterfront district.

The Gecko Crawl will be Saturday, Aug. 8, 4 to 9 p.m., with an after party beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are now on sale.

Gecko Crawlers will be able to enjoy a beverage at the following participating bars and restaurants: Little Tommie’s Tiki, Mangia Gourmet, Neptune Grille, O’Maddy’s, Peninsula Inn and Salty’s - all located within easy walking distance along Beach and Shore boulevards. Crawlers may start at any participating location and continue their crawl in any order.
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GULFPORT - Tickets for the seventh annual Gecko Ball will go on sale Saturday, July 4. This year’s ball will be celebrated with a theme of “Gecko Gras!” on Saturday, Aug. 29, 6 to 11 p.m., at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport.

Mardi Gras will be the order of the evening, including its pageantry, dancing, New Orleans-style music, food and more. Attendees can expect to experience over-the-top revelry and costumes, including outrageous headdresses, glitter, a rainbow of make-up, wigs, feathers, masks, beads and baubles, kings and queens, clowns, jesters, geckos, and a host of other fantasy-inspired creatures amid a kaleidoscope of colorful décor. Ball-goers are encouraged to develop costumes relating to Mardi Gras, or geckos, or a creative combination of the two. A dancing costume parade and contest will help decide some of the best outfits at the ball.
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ST. PETERSBURG - With everything from murals to museums to independent art galleries dotting the city, St. Petersburg’s visual arts scene is unquestionably vibrant.

Now, one local nonprofit aims to elevate writing and literary arts to a similar scale.
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TAMPA - The Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa will offer Bay area residents and visitors the opportunity to experience autonomous vehicle technology, in addition to drones and robots this summer in a hands-on, interactive way.

Guests can ride in a driverless vehicle, fly commercial drones and code robots all summer long at MOSI.
 ... Read More 
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TAMPA - The newest female offspring at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is not a princess, but she is receiving a royal welcome. A southern white rhinoceros was born May 21 to first time mother “Alake,” originally from the Phinda Reserve in Africa.

The newborn marks the fourth successful southern white rhino birth and the seventh rhino born in the Zoo’s history (four African, three Asian).

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Rhino Taxon Advisory Group, which includes the southern white rhino Species Survival Plan, designed to support conservation of select wildlife species at risk of extinction. The newborn introduces new DNA into the genetics of the managed population in North America.
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ST. PETERSBURG - The Morean Arts Center is in search of St. Petersburg’s best cupcake.

The contest will be presented Saturday, Aug. 15, noon to 3 p.m., at the Morean Arts Center Galleries, 719 Central Ave. A $15 entry fee allows each participant to enter one submission. A minimum of six delicious cupcakes is required for entry so that the judges can taste each submission.

“I loved this event from the start, because it provided both novice and professionals to showcase his or her talents in a way that St. Pete had yet to experience before,” said Valerie Knight in a press release. Knight is a past contestant, winner and judge.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETE BEACH - The TradeWinds Island Resort and the Tampa Bay Rays plan a series of Rays watching parties over the next five months at the Guy Harvey Outpost, 6000 Gulf Blvd.

The games will be broadcast on a huge screen directly on the beach and Rays Radio will broadcast live. The schedule is:

- Sunday, May 17, Minnesota Twins, 2:10 p.m.
 ... Read More 
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For music and concert events, visit the live music calendar.
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