Music fest to benefit children’s projects

The Black Honkeys will headline the Bands on the Bay music festival in Safety Harbor on March 3.

SAFETY HARBOR – With cooler temperatures heading our way this weekend, what could be better than listening to red hot bands while drinking an ice-cold beer – all while raising money to benefit children in Pinellas County?

If that sounds like it might be right up your alley, head over to Safety Harbor Waterfront Park on March 3 as Bands on the Bay kicks off its third year.

Formerly Bands and Beer on the Bay, the Saturday music festival will feature an afternoon and evening of rockin’ bands and locally brewed craft beer, courtesy of Big Storm Brewery.

Event organizer Charrie Moscardini said this year will be the best one yet.

“We are so excited,” Moscardini said. “Especially because 100 percent of the proceeds go back into the community.”

Proceeds go to charity

The festival benefits the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center and the Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor. The proceeds are split equally between the two organizations, Moscardini said.

“Last year we raised about $18,500 and we were absolutely thrilled,” she said.

In the past, the Kiwanis Club used its share to fund a $31,000 pledge to Kiwanis International, which partnered with UNICEF on the Eliminate Project, which seeks to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus – a preventable disease that claims the lives of more than 30,000 infants and mothers each year.

This year, with that pledge met, Moscardini said the club is looking to offer a substantial scholarship to a Safety Harbor student heading to college.

Moscardini said the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center will use its share of the proceeds to fund its recently opened food pantry, which debuted four months ago following the closure of a previous outsourced pantry, which serviced 50 families in Safety Harbor.

“A good share of those funds will go to fully solidifying that program,” Moscardini said. “It’s important to us to know that families will know they will have food when they need it.”

Musical lineup

• 3:30 p.m. Soul Circus Cowboys, a vintage rock and roll band, will kick off the festival. The band was Best Local Band for Creative Loafing “Best of the Bay” Readers’ Choice Awards in 2016, as well as Best Local Roots/Alt Country Act.

• 5:15 p.m. Shevonne and The Force, founded by Shevonne, Philidor who appeared on America’s Got Talent and American Idol is up next.

• 7-8 p.m. Hard Luck Society, a popular Gainesville band known for “catchy, Dixie-landish Americana with a bent.” Its repertoire includes old jazz standards to Western Swing to Rockabilly and everything in between.

• 8:30 p.m. The Black Honkeys, a popular Tampa Bay area R&B, funk, soul, and rock and roll band, will close out the evening. The band has been voted Best Local Band four times in Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay” Readers’ Choice Awards and voted 2017’s Best Local Jam Band, Best Local Cover Band and Best Local Soul/R&B/Funk Act.

Eat, drink and be merry

Big Storm Brewery is the featured craft beer supplier for the event, and will showcase a variety of locally-sourced ingredients, such as citrus and wildflower honey.

Traditional beers also will be available, along with wine, for $5 per purchase or attendees may purchase a $17 beer and wine pass good for four drinks.

A variety of food trucks also will be on hand for the event, including Sarge’s Smokehouse BBQ, The Kings Bistro, Dochos Latin Bistro, The Dude and His Food, Flip’n Tasty Filipino and Fishin’ Chicken.

VIP experience

For those looking for a more lavish experience are encouraged to purchase a VIP ticket, $60, that will grant them access to the VIP tent, which has been fully donated by Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Ed’s Fine Wines.

“This has been such a wonderful gift for us,” Moscardini said. “We really aim to provide a quality experience to our VIP donors.”

The VIP tent will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, including mini Beef Wellingtons, chicken quesadilla bites, raspberry and brie croûte and tomato and roasted pepper bruschetta.

Festival details

The festival will be held from 3 to 10 p.m. at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane.

General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased ahead of the event at mwnfc.org or at the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, 1003 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N. VIP tickets are $60. General admission tickets will be sold at the gate on Saturday.

For more information, call Moscardini at the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center at 727-791-8255 or by email at cmoscardini@mwnfc.org.