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Larici, Barrionuevo headline Citrus Festival
Article published on Tuesday, March 26, 2013
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Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo, from the FOX television show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” will perform an Argentine tango during the Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars preliminary competition Thursday, April 4.
PALM HARBOR – The headline act for this year’s Palm Harbor Citrus Festival are choreographers Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo from the FOX television show, “So You Think You Can Dance” who will perform a special Argentine tango during the Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars preliminary competition Thursday, April 4.

The fifth annual festival takes place Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7 in Historic Palm Harbor along Florida and Georgia Avenues. The Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Old Palm Harbor Main Street will host the four-day event, which is sponsored by Arthur Murray Ballroom Dance Studio.

Larici and Barrionuevo are champions of NBC’s “Superstars of Dance” and have been featured on “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Got Talent.” Both dancers are 2009 gold medal recipients for the International Dance Competition representing Argentina.

Local celebrities will perform in the Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars preliminaries on Thursday in Harbor Hall. Dinner will be hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Tickets and votes may be purchased online at palmharborcc.org or by calling 784-4287.

The top three finalists will be announced at the end of the preliminaries. They will go on to compete on Sunday, April 7 at the Main Stage of the Citrus Festival in Historic Palm Harbor.

The talent lineup includes Connie Stewart Schuck, chairman of the board, Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce; Deborah Thomas, executive director, Old Palm Harbor Main Street; Kelli Snow, marketing director, Chick-fil-A; Belinda Forstner, agency assistant administrator, Pinellas County Tax Collector; Jordan Myers, chairman-elect for the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce; and Josh Lovetere, a local firefighter and paramedic.

Dance instructors include David Schmidt, Rio Rivera-Young, Candice Cunningham and McKelette Dowers.

Along with the dance competition, a number of lead events are also planned during the festival including a performance by The Black Honkeys, a local soul, R&B and funk group. The Black Honkeys have released two CDs, “Thank You Kindly” (2006) and “Live at the State” (2012). The band recently opened for national acts Tone Lc, Arrested Development and Vintage Trouble.

The Black Honkeys have been voted “Best in the Bay” three years in a row by a readers’ choice poll sponsored by Creative Loafing. Lead vocals are performed by “Bro” Phil Esposito and Nicole Simone Colyfield. Steven Tanner will pound his drums while guitarist Greg Czinke will lay down riffs. Accompanying players include Wil Harris (bass), Terry Clark (trumpet), Scott Myers (trombone) and John Dash Dixon (keyboards).

On Saturday, April 6, the Citrus Festival Queen Pageant will take place. The event is open to all females 14 to 18 years of age, who are in the ninth through 12th grades. Contestants must be a resident of Palm Harbor, Ozona or Crystal Beach or attend either Palm Harbor University High School or East Lake High School. Contestants will be judged according to preliminary assessments, eveningwear and one special interview question. The grand prize includes a college scholarship, gift bags and the title of Miss Palm Harbor Citrus Festival Queen. The cost to enter the competition is $35.

The festival features a midway carnival, which runs all four days, complete with an old-time Ferris wheel, amusement rides, games and “carny” food. A variety of food trucks will roll in each day of the event along with beer trucks on Friday and Saturday evenings.

On Saturday, the Palmsbury Bake-Off entries will be judged. Categories for baked items include cookies, bars, cakes, cupcakes, pies and tarts. Four divisions are available for children, adult and senior adult entries. One lucky contestant will win the coveted grand prize. For more information or to enter the bake off, call 727-771-4900 or 813-810-0015.

The Palm Harbor Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor a cornhole tournament. Proceeds will benefit children’s scholarships. About 100 participants are expected to attend the fundraiser.

Saturday is also the big vendor day and 25 or more vendors will exhibit items for sale that include everything from arts and crafts, physician and financial services, and cosmetics to home improvement and construction products and services.

The festival’s major sponsors are AMG Group, Bright House Networks, Bringing Home Community News, Jolley Trolley, Solar Sanitation Inc., Tampa Bay Newspapers, Tampa Bay Times and others.

Performers from the Palm Harbor Branch YMCA along with local live bands will offer entertainment on the main stage during the four-day event. Entertainment will be offered throughout the day on Saturday. Live music by local bands will be played on the main stage Saturday evening.

The schedule

Thursday, April 4

Arnold Amusements Citrus Festival midway, 5-10 p.m.
Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars, preliminaries, featuring Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo (tickets $35), Harbor Hall, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 5

Arnold Amusements Citrus Festival midway, 4-11 p.m.
The Black Honkeys, main stage, 8:30-10 p.m.

Saturday, April 6

Co-ed softball 1-pitch tournament, men’s 1-pitch and kickball tournaments, Sunderman Field, 8 a.m.
Arnold Amusements Citrus Festival midway, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Miss Palm Harbor Citrus Festival Queen Pageant finals, 11 a.m.
Palmsbury Bake Off, Harbor Hall, 1 p.m.
Cornhole tournament, 11th and Florida Avenues, 4 p.m. until sunset.

Sunday, April 7

Arnold Amusements Citrus Festival midway, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars finals, main stage, 2 p.m.

For more information on the fifth annual Palm Harbor Citrus Festival, visit www.palmharborcc.org.
Article published on Tuesday, March 26, 2013
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