Clearwater is one of several cities across Florida and the nation that hosts “Rathayatra” or Festival of the Chariot. This Hare Krishna festival with religious and cultural significance dates beach to 1486 and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The chariot carries the deities Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama, and Lady Subhadra as attendees pull it with long ropes through city streets. Chanting, dancing, and feasting culminate the celebration which honors Lord Krishna’s return to Vrindaban.
The Clearwater Police Department held its Annual Awards Ceremony and Banquet for the Clearwater Police Volunteers at the Clearwater Country Club. The hours of service worked by the volunteers in 2017 saved the Clearwater Police Department over $255,000. Volunteers Jim Hill, John Pergantis, and Yvette Sussman received special recognition for their work, and Sid Kaye was named the 2017 “Volunteer of the Year.” Congratulations and thanks to all those who serve as a Clearwater Police Volunteer!
On Saturday, the City of Clearwater and the Clearwater Campus of St. Petersburg College officially opened SPC’s third joint-use library in Pinellas County. The new facility contains 10,000 square feet of public space, 15,000 square feet of college space, and 15,000 square feet of public space. The library replaces the city’s East Library that was located a few blocks west of the campus on Drew Street. There are more than 90,000 electronic and print books and audio-visual materials available, and a dedicated program room and children’s section are also being provided.
The City of Clearwater and its many neighborhoods held the city’s annual “Neighborhoods’ Day” on April 14th. City Council and staff visited over 20 neighborhoods that hosted block parties throughout the day. Police and Fire and Rescue Departments also participated with officers and vehicles. There were games, food, music, and socializing on streets, parks, and backyards in all sections of the city during a “bright and beautiful” Clearwater Saturday.
The City of Clearwater joined with executives of the Philadelphia Phillies to dedicate “Monument Park at Jack Russell Stadium.” Prior to moving to Spectrum Field, the Phillies held spring training at Jack Russell Stadium, which was also home to the world champion Clearwater Bombers. Monument Park at Jack Russell Stadium honors the 80 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who were Phillies or players from other teams who played at Jack Russell Stadium.
The 5th annual Clearwater Library ComicCon was held today at the main library in downtown Clearwater. There were a variety of vendors, and many activities for all. Attendees were able to capture their ComicCon fun with a free digital photo featuring comic, game, movie, or exoctic location backdrops. Superheroes, video games, and costume contests were held. Authors were available for a “meet and greet,” and NASA’s Kurt William Leucht spoke on “What’s the Deal with Mars?” Food trucks were also on site, and outdoor activities were coordinated by Vargar, a community sports group and social club.
Through the generous gift of Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel to Nova Southeastern University, the next College of Osteopathic Medicine will open in Clearwater in 2019. Today, ground was broken for the 27-acre campus on the site which used to be the home of Clearwater Christian College. Nova Southeastern University, under the leadership of President George Hanbury, will relocate its Tampa Campus to Clearwater and also open the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences for programs specializing in physical and occupational therapy, sonography, speech pathology, and nursing.