INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – City officials and the Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association are merging two annual events into one for IRB Beachfest, which will be held Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For many years the city held an event in the spring called “Beauty and the Beach.” It was followed two weeks later by the Homeowner’s “Biggest Beach Party Ever!”
“We started having conversations about is that really the smart thing to do,” Mims said. “There was some duplication because we were using some of the same food vendors. It led to the conversation about trying to merge the two events because it will save time, effort and money.”
New to this year’s family friendly event is a 60-foot waterslide. Activities also include sandcastle building, face painting, beach volleyball, a beach photo booth, cornhole, hoop contests and demonstrations provided by the Hoola Monsters of St. Petersburg, food and beverage vendors and nonprofit booths. Admission is free.
Paddle board demonstrations and games will be provided by Rad Bikes, Island Surf Shop and Beach Yoga Pinellas and kite flying by Windworks.
“It’s going to be a really neat event because the homeowners and the city are working hand-in-hand and combining forces to do this,” Mims said.
Beth Dunn, vice president of the Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association, is also pleased with the joint effort.
“This is great. The city has been fantastic. The staff is all very helpful, and it helps us when we are setting up and getting things going and in the promotion of it. Just the vendors themselves don’t really want to be at two events one right after the other,” Dunn said.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the emphasis will be on children’s activities. The Beach Billies, a band, will perform. From 4 to 9 p.m., more bands play as the festival becomes more adult-oriented. Other bands slated are Dead Frets, Oceanstone and Smooth D and the Hunks.
An eight-team volleyball tournament is scheduled. The winner of the championship game, which will be held at 5:30 p.m., gets $200.
Nonprofit organizations will have booths along 18th Avenue. They include Friends of Largo Nature Parks, Tampa Bay Watch, Gulf Coast Bird Rescue, Action 2000, the Indian Rocks Beach Rotary Club, Keep Pinellas Beautiful and Indian Rocks Family Sailing Association.
“We are trying to bring the emphasis back to the beauty of our beach, and the beautiful natural environment that surrounds us. It's our main asset here in IRB, and we all need to take steps to protect it,” Dunn said.
The money raised at Homeowners Association events goes back into the community for various projects. Those include outdoor fitness equipment at the 10th Avenue park, bicycle racks for area businesses, a new scoreboard, public address system and flag pole in Campalong Field for youth baseball, 12th Avenue Park lighting project and a picnic shelter at Keegan Clair Park. The group also supports local family shelters and the IRB Food Pantry.
“We partner with the Homeowners and Action 2000 on a lot of projects, and we are blessed by the fact the Homeowners and Action 2000 bring in a lot of money that we can turn around and do projects with and this is just a continuation of the great partnership we have with the homeowners,” Mims said.
Food vendors include Kooky Coconut, ice cream; Crabby Bills, hamburgers; Guppy’s on the Beach, crab cakes and shrimp gazpacho; Pajano’s Pizza, Italian sausage and meatballs; Red Lion Pub, wings, shepherd’s pie, fish spread and potato chips; Chicago Jaqx, Philly cheese steaks and Italian beefs; IRB Food Pantry, hot dogs, Kielbasa, water and soda.
City officials are considering having Beachfest on May 1 if it is rained out on April 30.
Sponsors include Century 21 Beggins, Discount Loans, Hendrick Roofing,Paramount Title, Great Bay Distributors, Crabby Bills and Total Wine.