REDINGTON BEACH — Perhaps city commissioners had a sinking feeling that a discussion on the dreaded dunk tank was imminent.
But what would a family friendly, all-American type of celebration be without such a contraption?
Town officials and community leaders are making plans for the celebration of the town's 75th anniversary on Saturday, April 18, at Town Park on Gulf Boulevard, including games, food and entertainment.
Commissioners gave their support for the event at their meeting Feb. 19.
"We also are going to have a dunk tank providing the commissioners are going to actively participate," said Kris Johanson, chairwoman of the town's Park and Recreation Board.
After several seconds of silence, commissioners’ answers such as "of course" and "yes," drawing laughter from the audience.
Johanson said activities will start with a family-oriented event in Town Park, beginning with an opening ceremony about noon, featuring an honor guard and Mayor Nick Simon's opening address.
The title of honorary mayor will be awarded to oldest resident followed by food, games and entertainment. Face painting, bungee jumping, and a golf-putting course also will be included. Pulled pork, chicken, domestic and craft beers, soft drinks, tea and lemonade, ice cream bars and other food will be served. A rain date has been set for April 19.
The organizers are planning to buy 350 commemorative beer mugs to sell, offsetting costs by about $3,500. Attendees who buy the mugs are entitled to free beer or hard cider during the family event.
Johanson said the planners hope to have a tent displaying the history of Redington Beach in photos.
A beach strut will be featured that evening. Awards may be presented to residents for wearing the best decorative hats and costumes. Other beach activities will include a bonfire and an entertainer playing steel drums.
Commissioner Fred Steiermann, who has been helping with plans for the event, praised Johanson, representatives of Redington Beach Property Owners Association, the Redington Beach Garden, Florida Destinations, City Clerk Missy Clarke and others involved in preparations for the ceremony.
"In a short time frame, these talented people worked together and came up with an all-day fun-filled celebration worthy of our town's 75th anniversary and being the best place to live and call home," Steiermann said.
The total cost of the event has been estimated at up to $18,171 for the celebration. Steiermann said the town's out-of-pocket costs, though, would be about $14,000, and that the Property Owners Association has agreed to donate $3,000 for the event.
Commissioners were pleased with the plans.
"Kris, again, great job, and I don't know how long Fred worked on that speech, but he was quite eloquent in giving praise to all those people who have been involved in this," Mayor Nick Simons said.
“Typically, the way the wheels of government move, I'm impressed that this thing has been put together this quickly and it sounds like it's going to be a great event," he said.
In other news
Commissioners postponed taking action on a resolution pertaining to the Friendship Park improvement project. The proposed contract calls for Kloote Contracting Inc. of Palm Harbor to do the work at a cost of $50,663.
Town Planner Bruce McLaughlin said the firm that week just received the contract, which he called voluminous.
"It's not me that killed the tree this time," McLaughlin said.
Commissioner David Will and McLaughlin will meet with Kloote representatives to discuss the details on the contract.
According to previous discussions, the project calls for demolition of the existing pergola at Friendship Park, installing retaining walls, and adding paving.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to table the motion on the resolution.