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Pinellas Park Beacon
Thousands attend Country in the Park

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Photo by THOMAS MICHALSKI
Leo Thiewes, a U.S. Army soldier stationed in Georgia, watches son, Leo Jr., 4, feed a llama.
PINELLAS PARK - Thousands of people attended the 24th annual Country in the Park March 15. The event featured live music, crafts, a trade show and plenty of food and beverages.

"It was a resounding success," said Tim Caddell, the city's public affairs administrator. "It's safe to say that everyone, young and old, had a great time."

The event at the England Brothers Band Shell Park was preceded on March 14 by the 15th annual Chili Blaze. Sponsored by Pinellas Park firefighters, it doubled as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Country music singer Mark Chesnutt led a string of entertainers throughout the day. Chesnutt has charted more than 30 Billboard singles including eight No. 1 singles. Among them are "Almost Goodbye," "Thank God for Believers," "Outlaw" and the novelty song, "Bubba Shot the Jukebox."

Other entertainers at the fest included the Rodeo Rhythm Kings, Tailspin, Clemons Road and Mountain Memories Bluegrass.

The craft show offered a wide variety of items ranging from patriotic T-shirts to stuffed animals.

The Suncoast Mustang Club offered about 100 Ford Mustangs from the 1960s through the latest models right off the showroom floor.

The trade show portion of the fest, sponsored by the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce, was housed under two large tents. Guests were given the opportunity to visit exhibits presented by area businesses and groups.
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