ST. PETERSBURG - Each year, the air fills with an appetizing aroma as tasty food samplings from dozens of area restaurants are prepared and served to hungry festival-goers – and it’s all for a worthy cause.
This year’s A Taste of Pinellas will run Friday through Sunday, May 20-22, at Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE.
Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for members of the military and law enforcement and for persons 65 and older. At the gate, tickets are $15 a person for adults and $12 for members of the military and law enforcement and for persons 65 and older. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free. Proceeds benefit the All Children's Hospital Telethon.
More than 40 participating restaurants will offer food samples this year. Attendees can try new and delicious tastes from the best local restaurants. Food tickets are $5 for 10, with ticket sales benefitting All Children's Hospital.
Confirmed restaurants include Alessi, Poppa’s BBQ, Mookie’s Kettle Korn and Mythos Greek Taverna, all of Clearwater; Larry’s Giant Subs and Seasons Café and Bakery of Pinellas Park; Munchies Grill and Bar and The Pie Factory of Largo; and MadFish and Snappers Sea Grill of St. Pete Beach as well as Brady’s Backyard BBQ of Safety Harbor, Crabby Bill’s Seafood of Indian Rocks Beach, Mickey’s Snacks of Palm Harbor, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery of Dunedin and
The Pub of Indian Shores. Other participating restaurants include 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, BellaBrava New World Trattoria, Bob Evans, Central Avenue Oyster Bar, Courtside Grille, Dog House Bar and Grill, Empanada World, Evos, Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, Fresh Go, Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge, Harvey’s 4th Street Grill, Hooker Tea Company, Pipo’s Café and Red Mesa Restaurant.
Of course, there’s more than just food at A Taste of Pinellas. Food and music will go hand in hand at the annual fundraising event and this year’s lineup includes performances by headline acts including Chris Isaak, Bonnie Raitt and Third Eye Blind.
Best known for the single “Wicked Game,” Isaak’s debut album, “Silvertone,” was released in 1985. It floundered until director David Lynch featured the song “Gone Ridin’” in the film “Blue Velvet.” In fact, Isaak’s songs often find their way into film. Lynch would use “Wicked Game” in his next project, “Wild at Heart,” and the 1995 single “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” would be used in Stanley Kubrick final film, “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Born into a musical family, Raitt is a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter. She has become an institution in American music, boasting an impressive 18 studio albums including her latest, “Souls Alike.” Her highest charting singles are “Something to Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” both from 1991’s “Luck of the Draw.”
Bringing an alternative rock sound to the closing day of the festival, San Francisco’s Third Eye Blind’s current lineup features Stephan Jenkins on vocals and guitar, Brad Hargreaves on drums, Kryz Reid on guitar and Abe Millett on bass. The band’s eponymous debut album in 1997 included the hit singles “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How’s It Going To Be.” They followed up in 1999 with the album “Blue,” which included the single “Never Let You Go.”
The full entertainment schedule for A Taste of Pinellas is as follows:
Friday, May 20
• Amanda Drake and The Barn Burners, 5 p.m.
• Josh Turner, 6:15 p.m.
• Chris Isaak, 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
• Rocky Ruckman Band, 1 p.m.
• Motel Funk, 2:15 p.m.
• The Black Honkeys, 3:45 p.m.
• Josh Garrett, 5:15 p.m.
• Buddy Guy, 6:45 p.m.
• Bonnie Raitt, 8:30 p.m.
• Fireworks, 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 22
• Adam 812, 1 p.m.
• Allison Iraheta, 2:15 p.m.
• Colbie Caillat, 3:45 p.m.
• Third Eye Blind, 5:30 p.m.
In addition to food and music, the Suncoasters of St. Petersburg will present the All Children's Hospital Parade, sponsored by BB&T, on Saturday, May 21.
Formerly known as the Festival of States Parade, the updated event will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on Bayshore Drive at the Mahaffey Theater and will travel north to the entrance of A Taste of Pinellas at Vinoy Park.
The parade will feature current and former patients of All Children's Hospital as well as clowns, krewes and antique cars. Raymond, the loveable mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays, also will be on hand to serve as the grand marshal of the parade.
The Suncoasters also will sponsor the Tampa Bay Rays Family Zone inside A Taste of Pinellas. The zone will open Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, noon to 5 p.m. It will include entertainment on the General Dynamics Kids Stage, including performances by Shana Banana, Silly Sam the Music Man, Raymond, the Franzini Science Circus, the Cross Bayou Elementary Signing Choir, Tapped In and Men of Note from Busch Gardens.
The Family Fun Zone also will offer opportunities for face painting, arts and crafts as well as representatives from Radio Disney, the Science Center of Pinellas County, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Pier Aquarium, Great Explorations, Ovation School of Arts, the YMCA of St. Petersburg.
There also will be interactive health and safety activities from All Children's Hospital, including the Fit4Allkids Program.
A Taste of Pinellas is an annual benefit for All Children's Hospital, with all proceeds going to the annual All Children's Hospital Telethon. The telethon celebrates the miracles of the past while providing a reminder of the work that remains to be done following the completion of the brand new All Children's Hospital. The new hospital offers more room for families as well as the cutting-edge technology that children need.
Founded in 1926, All Children’s Hospital is the only specialty licensed children's hospital on Florida's west coast. The facility has grown into a leading pediatric referral center dedicated to advancing treatment, education, research and advocacy in child health.