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Sarasota Friday, Apr. 1, 2011 6 years ago

City funds Five Points laser-light spectacular

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

APRIL FOOLS — It’s been rumored to top Pink Floyd’s laser-light show.

Brain-tingling streaks of light will soon begin to boogie through Selby Five Points Park, creating a spectacle of animated light that will brighten up anything within a one-mile radius.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the recently installed LED lights at the park, the city is upgrading them. Each night at 9 p.m., a 30- to- 60-minute laser-light show, set to the music from the “Star Wars” trilogy soundtracks, will project onto the surrounding condo buildings.
For those interested in experiencing their own clone war in the middle of the park, LightBrite FX Lightsabers with LED electro-luminescent blades and MAXXout! sound effects will be sold 15 minutes prior to each show, in front of the Selby Public Library.

On the third Wednesday of each month, The Sarasota Opera and The Sarasota Orchestra will co-host the show, and the public will be able to hear live songs choreographed to colorful laser beams. Donations will be accepted and given to the youth programs of each organization.

But not everyone is excited about the new form of entertainment. During the show’s test run last week, one resident of a nearby condo said he was temporarily blinded by the light.

“I looked out my window, and suddenly, a bright streak hit me and I fell backward,” said the resident. “I saw a bright light and thought, ‘Am I dead? Am I going to heaven?’”
The man is not pressing charges and is instead currently developing nighttime laser-light show goggles for anyone who thinks they, too, might start to finally see the light.

A second incident occurred when a man strolling through the park started dancing to the music. He ran smack into the bear sculpture outside the Plaza at Five Points, landing himself in the hospital with a broken nose. A Sarasota Memorial Health Care System administrator urged the man to be more careful in the future.

“Had he been carrying a lightsaber, he might have avoided the statue,” said the administrator. “We want people to engage and interact during the laser shows, and lightsabers are one way of ensuring people can see where they are going in the park when it’s dark outside.”

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected]

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