The Glorious Fourth Celebrated with Friends and Fireworks at the Fort Harrison

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Embracing both the birth of the United States and the tropical nature of Florida, the Church of Scientology welcomed 127 guests for a tropical-themed 4th of July party.

This is the fourth year in a row that the Church has held an event like this, and it is a great opportunity to celebrate such an important day with friends.

The Church of Scientology, Flag opened the doors of the historic Fort Harrison this 4th of July for a celebration with neighbors and friends. 127 guests assembled in the Crystal Ballroom of the retreat for friendship and celebration.

The award-winning chefs of the Fort Harrison crafted a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” build-a-burger bar with six kinds of hamburgers and a slew of toppings. This was followed by an old-time radio-style reading by the East Coast Golden Age Theater, ice cream sundaes, and Clearwater’s spectacular waterfront fireworks display.

In keeping with the tropical theme, the tables were decorated with shallow trays of sand, containing a treasure chest, shells, flowers, and faux ‘doubloons.’

When dinner was done, Lisa Mansell, the Community Affairs Director for the Church welcomed the guests, saying, “In honor of America’s independence, founding father John Adams wrote: ‘I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance…It ought to be celebrated with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.’ Though we don’t have bonfires, we are celebrating in Florida style – burgers in paradise, ice cream sundaes, and fireworks.”

This was followed by the Golden Age Theater’s production of “The Drowned City,” a pulp fiction story by best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard. Taking place off the coast of St. Kitts and Nevis, “The Drowned City” is a tale of sunken treasure, merciless privateers, and gritty heroes. The cast for the show was Dylan Cefail, Eric Cefail, and Nathaniel Barrigan. The show was produced by Joanie Sigal and directed by Kathy Sweigart.

A dramatic thunder and lightning storm, which began during the show, ran its course by the time the first fireworks shot in to the sky from Clearwater Harbor. Guests enjoyed the spectacle from the open-air, tenth-floor terrace of the Fort Harrison.

“This is the fourth year in a row that the Church has held an event like this,” said Ms. Mansell, “and it is a great opportunity to celebrate such an important day with friends.”

About The Fort Harrison:

The Fort Harrison is a religious retreat owned by the Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization. The Clearwater icon underwent a top-to-bottom restoration which was completed in March 2009. Since then, the Church of Scientology has made its ballrooms and public spaces available to non-profit organizations for events to help them raise funds or communicate their messages. Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, serves as the example for the Church’s humanitarian efforts. Mr. Hubbard once said, “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others.”

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Karla Jo Helms
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