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Safety Harbor Commission Cancels 4th of July Fireworks

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Safety Harbor city commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to cancel the city’s annual 4th of July parade and a fireworks show that would have been held at the Waterfront Park.

However, commissioners instructed City Manager Matt Spoor to work with the American Legion Post 283 on possibly holding a “scaled down” 4th of July drive-thru of local neighborhoods.

The possibility of drawing huge crowds to town during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic was cited as the main reason for canceling this year’s celebration. Previous 4th of July fireworks shows have drawn an estimated 10,000 spectators.

Safety Harbor joins other cities in the area that have canceled fireworks including Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Gulfport, and Sarasota.

Mayor Joe Ayoub said he had received a call from Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who advised that with all the other fireworks shows being canceled, people from those towns might come to Safety Harbor if there was a fireworks show.

Ayoub said he was “fine with having no fireworks this year”.

Commissioners Cliff Merz, Andy Zodrow, Carlos Diaz and Nancy Besore agreed that the potential crowd would be unmanageable and a potential health hazard.

The commission also received e-mails and comments from residents who oppose having fireworks and a parade this year.

“I think the patriotic thing this year is to keep our people safe,” said Besore.

City Manager Spoor said the American Legion Post, which sponsors the parade, wants to do something on the 4th, possibly something similar to a recent drive-thru graduation celebration organized for Safety Harbor school children.

A caravan of decorated cars traveled through neighborhoods where graduates and their families could celebrate from their yards, driveways or garages.

Commissioners also kept open an option to hold a fireworks show for Veterans Day in November which will be discussed at a future commission meeting.

Harbor Commission To Consider Fireworks Options

in city hall/events/news

The Safety Harbor City Commissioners are looking at options for the city’s 4th of July celebration, including canceling the annual fireworks show at the Waterfront Park and Marina because of the COVID-19 virus threat.

The 20-minute fireworks display has drawn around 10,000 spectators, according to city officials. Such gatherings are not allowed under current state-mandated guidelines in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Phase 1 of reopening the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor has not announced when Phase 2 would begin which might allow for large venue events but with limited capacity (50 percent or less).

The city’s contract with the fireworks vendor is due to be signed by Tuesday, June 2. And numerous Florida cities, including Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Gulfport and Sarasota, have already canceled their fireworks shows.

After reviewing event logistics and information, the city staff offered the following options for consideration at the meeting set for Monday night.

1, Host a full event with vendors, entertainment and fireworks display. Concerns include managing density, social distancing enforcement, and sufficient personnel for crowd management.

2. Host a fireworks only show. Concerns include managing venue closings and sufficient personnel to keep people away.

3. Postpone the fireworks display to an alternate date.

4. Cancel the event.

Even though Safety Harbor City Hall is expected to be opened again by Monday, the commission meeting with be virtual, using Zoom technology.

Also on the agenda is a presentation by the Safety Harbor Fire Department on the upcoming hurricane season and further discussion on providing some kind of aid to city businesses or residents impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Commissioners have been discussing giving aid since early April but have not settled on who, what, how or how much, although they have expressed willingness to spent $200,000 to $300,000 from a General Reserve Fund.

The most recent proposals involve giving $1,000 grants to small businesses to cover rent, mortgage or utility costs to those eligible (an estimated 200 potential businesses). Another proposal would grant $200 to $300 utility credits to low income individuals who would qualify.

For more information go to http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com

Harbor Happenings: Week of September 2, 2019

in events

This Labor Day weekend brought hurricane prep but fortunately for us Dorian remains of the Atlantic side of the Florida peninsula. Folks in the Bahamas will need support as they begin recovery efforts. Hopefully, Dorian will continue to move up – and out – away from the east coast.

The City Commission meets tonight. Find the Agenda here: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1676

There will be public hearing regarding the Millage Rate and tentative 2019-2020 Budget, the 2020 Municipal Election and Qualifying Period (did you know the qualifying period is one week?) and the code amendment to establish locational requirements for recording devices placed on poles on residential property.

New Business includes a request for a Downtown Partnership Grant for 509 Main Street, amendments to the land development code, a draft ordinance requiring backflow protection for breweries and the first reading of Draft Ordinance 2019-16 which would “amend the Land Development Code to establish exemptions to the 35 foot/3 stories height requirement and establish a height incentive in portions of the Community Redevelopment District.”

Please see the City Commission Agenda for more information – and see the calendar below for more Harbor Happenings this week.

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September 2019

Open Mic with Josh Plummer

September 3, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Troubled Waters Brewing, 670 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
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Tuesdays at 7pm

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Wednesday Night Drum Circle

September 4, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, happening 30 times

Palm Tree Courtyard, Main Street
Safety Harbor, 34695 United States
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"On Main Street by the Happy Salmon Restaurant in the Palm Tree Court Yard. Drumming is good for you in every way. Come enjoy." (Facebook) Please check the Facebook page for cancellations before heading over.

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InPrompt2! A Prompted Open Mic Night

September 4, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Safety Harbor Art & Music Center, 706 2nd Street North
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
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What's the strangest, oddest, weirdest experience you've ever had? Do you still think of that moment or that thing that happened to you that you were never able to explain? We want to hear it in the form of a story, song or poem. You get up to 7 minutes at the mic. One project…

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Latin Thursday in the Lobby Lounge

September 5, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, 105 N. Bayshore Drive
Safety Harbor, Florida 34695 United States
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Live Latin music and dancing every Thursday night.

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Taylor Fletcher Band

September 6, 2019 @ 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Harbor Bar, 840 Main Street
Safety Harbor, 34695 United States
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Find out more »

Market on Main

September 8, 2019 @ 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
John Wilson Park & Gazebo, 401 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
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Find out more »

Wednesday Night Drum Circle

September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, happening 30 times

Palm Tree Courtyard, Main Street
Safety Harbor, 34695 United States
+ Google Map

"On Main Street by the Happy Salmon Restaurant in the Palm Tree Court Yard. Drumming is good for you in every way. Come enjoy." (Facebook) Please check the Facebook page for cancellations before heading over.

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Fake Blues

September 13, 2019 @ 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Harbor Bar, 840 Main Street
Safety Harbor, 34695 United States
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Market on Main

September 15, 2019 @ 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
John Wilson Park & Gazebo, 401 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
+ Google Map
Find out more »

Words & Wine Book Group

September 16, 2019 @ 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, 915 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin Find out more about the book on GoodReads!

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Words & Wine Book Club

September 16, 2019 @ 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 6:30 PM on day Third of the month, happening 3 times

Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, 915 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
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Words & Wine meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at Whistle Stop Bar & Grill. October - Carnegie’s Maid, by Marie Benedict November – The Last Year of the War, by Susan Meissner December – The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra Patrick 

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Books & Bagels Book Club

September 17, 2019 @ 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 10:30 AM on day Third of the month, happening 4 times

Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 2nd Street N. FL 34695 United States + Google Map

Books & Bagels meets on the third Tuesday of each month. July:  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman  August:  Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith  September:  Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See  October:  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 

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Wednesday Night Drum Circle

September 18, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, happening 30 times

Palm Tree Courtyard, Main Street
Safety Harbor, 34695 United States
+ Google Map

"On Main Street by the Happy Salmon Restaurant in the Palm Tree Court Yard. Drumming is good for you in every way. Come enjoy." (Facebook) Please check the Facebook page for cancellations before heading over.

Find out more »

Third Friday Music Series

September 20, 2019 @ 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
John Wilson Park & Gazebo, 401 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
+ Google Map
Find out more »

Finger Style Guitar: TBFGG 3rd Saturday

September 21, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 7:00 PM on day Third of the month, happening 20 times

Brady’s Backyard BBQ, 340 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
+ Google Map

"Members of TBFGG play instrumental guitar music all night no breaks! Music of Bach, Beethoven, Flamenco, Classical, Beatles, Ragtime, Movie Themes, Pop and more!" (Facebook)

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(Photo / Jarine Dotson)

Harbor Happenings: Week of August 12, 2019

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Are you hosting a community event in Safety Harbor? Submit your event for our calendar!

Events should be either free and open-to-the-public or proceeds used to support greater community good. Please send event suggestions to newsroom@safetyharborsun.com.

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