LARGO - Nothing defines Largo quite like Largo Central Park.
It’s the city’s No. 1 attraction, the crown jewel of its recreational offerings, drawing thousands of people during large events and a consistent stream of families on all other days, traveling from across the county to enjoy its state-of-the-art playground and large, open green space under towering oak trees.
“Certainly I think it’s the best park in the county,” said Largo Mayor Woody Brown. “It was such a good decision to make a park 20 years ago. It’s a huge asset to the community, and not just Largo, but the surrounding community as well.”
LARGO - The eighth annual Art Hop and Taste Fest raised about $20,000 for the Largo Public Library and kicked off a year-long celebration of the library’s 100th anniversary April 25.
Three buses took more than 200 art lovers on a short tour through the city, stopping at Peacock’s, The Wine Shop and Side Door Antiques to admire a display of work from a local artist at each business before concluding with a party back at the Largo library.
LARGO - Brookdale Wishes, a corporate initiative of Brookdale Senior Living, is making the wish of a lifetime come true for Cleo Bennett, a resident at Brookdale Pinecrest in Largo.
Bennett has yearned to ride in a hot air balloon since she was a little girl. Resident Program Coordinator Shaun Ehrlich found out about her wish and nominated her for the Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime award.
“Cleo is such a special lady, I wanted to do all I could to help her fulfill this dream,” Ehrlich said.
LARGO - The Greater Largo Library Foundation is hosting the eighth annual Art Hop, a fundraising event, April 25, 6 to 10 p.m., at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.
The Art Hop will showcase local businesses, special guest artists, the library and the youth artists of the area. The event will include silent auctions, delicious foods, entertainment, dancing and more.
Starting out at the library, guests will board buses and hop all over Largo’s downtown area, visiting businesses and artists. At each business, they will be able to meet an artist, bid on a silent auction item, find great refreshments and explore the business.
LARGO - Blue Rose Yordan has been named winner of the 2015 Largo Teen Idol Competition, which took place on April 9 at the Largo Cultural Center.
In additional to the grand prize package, Blue Rose is offered the opportunity to perform the national anthem at a Blue Jays Game and perform at local shows with the city of Largo’s special events department.
One of the most popular events of the spring season at the Largo Cultural Center, Largo Teen Idol is a showcase of the best teen talent from Largo and the surrounding cities. All teens ages 13 to 18 are eligible to participate in this vocal performance competition. Each of the 11 finalists presented one song of their choice.
LARGO - Largo commissioners were divided with a 3-3 vote April 21 on whether to spend a total of $250,000 to replace the aging basketball courts at Bayhead Complex.
“This is not a priority item by any stretch of the imagination,” said Commissioner Curtis Holmes. “Right now, I’d rather go out there and buy police cars than spend $250,000 redoing a basketball court. I think we need cop cars more than we need basketball courts.”
Commissioners Michael Smith and Donna Holck had little to say on the topic but joined Holmes in voting to deny the request. With Commissioner John Carroll absent, the tied vote forced the issue to be delayed until the next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, May 5.
LARGO - Lester R. Dailey, 69, a longtime Tampa Bay Newspapers correspondent and avid historian, died April 16, 2015 of an illness.
Dailey worked as a freelance writer for Tampa Bay Newspapers for more than 20 years.
“Lester did a great job covering Clearwater and other areas of the county for us,” said Executive Editor Tom Germond. “He will be deeply missed, not only as a loyal correspondent but for his commitment to the community as a volunteer and a historian.”
LARGO - In preparation for the summer season, Largo firefighters have been practicing how to save children from drowning in a pool.
The new, live pediatric training is a step beyond required training for paramedics and emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, in the department. And the program wasn’t an idea the chiefs in the fire department developed, explained Assistant Fire Chief Michael Handoga.
LARGO - The moratorium on park impact fees - directly responsible for several new developments in Largo - could expire for good in 2016.
Largo commissioners discussed April 14 whether the fee, designed to fund the purchase of future parkland, should be reinstated past its expiration date on May 31, 2016. Several developers of recent large-scale projects like the Gateway North apartment complex have said lack of parkland impact fees tipped the scales in favor of development in Largo, as opposed to elsewhere.
LARGO - The Rotary Club of Largo welcomed Rotary Assistant Governor and Indian Rocks Beach club member Bruce Sobut April 6.
Sobut participated in the 167.5-mile Across Florida bike ride April 12, taking the opportunity to raise awareness and donations for Rotary International’s End Polio Now efforts. This year, there have only been 21 new cases of Polio reported worldwide, mostly in endemic countries.