TARPON SPRINGS — One of Tarpon Springs’ most popular periodic community events is celebrating its 15th birthday.
The 2014 Sunset Beach Concert Series officially kicked off last Thursday evening. Organizers are planning to celebrate the event’s 15th anniversary late next month.
“It’s gone from about 120 people and laying plywood on the sand to where we now have a beautiful pavilion for bands to play on and that lots of people I know have even gotten married at,” said Tarpon Springs Recreation Specialist Daniela Smyth.
February’s concert attracted a crowd of nearly 2,000, Smyth reported, and organizers are expecting the same large turnout for March 27’s anniversary event.
That show, featuring the Straightup Blues Band, will include a post-concert bonfire for guests looking to spend a little more time at the beach.
Smores ingredients will be provided by a local Girl Scout troop for the bonfire, and a retired astronomer will be on the beach with telescopes for anyone interested in a little late-night celestial lesson.
“It’s a way for the families to stay out a little longer and enjoy the weather and stars and bonfire,” said Smyth, adding that the entire night is scheduled until 11:30 p.m.
Earlier in the night, a number of people influential in creating the concert series and fostering its growth will be recognized on stage, Smyth said.
“At 8:00 we’re going to bring up all the people that made the concert what it is today; all the people that donated and helped with the pavilion build and everything else.”
Sponsoring this season’s series for another year are Sun Toyota in New Port Richey and Florida Hospital North Pinellas.
“The great news we have is that we’ve been sponsored by both again,” Smyth said. “They’re going to alternate who is the main sponsor each concert.”
A change for this year is in concessions, which have been taken over by the organizers and upgraded, Smyth said. Items include Italian sausages with grilled peppers and onions, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, nachos, a coffee stand and more.
To find the full concert schedule this year, navigate to the Recreation link on the Tarpon Springs municipal website at www.CTSFL.us.