Not going to the Grand Prix? Here's some other stuff to do in St. Pete - SaintPetersBlog

Not going to the Grand Prix? Here’s some other stuff to do in St. Pete

Tens of thousands of St Pete residents and out of towners will flock to downtown St. Pete this week for the St Petersburg Firestone Grand Prix. But for those who aren’t up for paying big bucks to watch fast cars and hear loud noises, there’s plenty else happening around town this weekend.

The SunLit Festival continues this weekend with several events. The 35th Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is happening Friday through Sunday at the Coliseum in downtown. The event runs from 5 p.m. until 9 on Friday night, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6 for one day or $10 for a three-day pass.

Geared toward the true literary enthusiast, the event includes lectures and author book signings and features 115 national and international dealers selling rare and out of print books.

For those who are looking to be a part of the racing action, but aren’t going to the race, the city is hosting movies in the park each night during the Grand Prix on the Museum of Fine Arts North lawn in North Straub Park.

Friday night features the Disney movie “Cars.” It’s a family friendly animated film about the fall of a winning race car – not the driver – with feel-good messages and humor to make the whole family laugh.

Saturday night is the 1981 film “Cannonball Run” featuring Burt Reynolds. Reynolds plays a daredevil driver who embarks on a cross country race.

Sunday’s feature is “Days of Thunder.” The 1990 film stars a young Tom Cruise who plays a young hot-shot stock car driver who gets his chance to compete at the top level.

The movies begin at dark. Other events are available at movies in the park including food trucks and live music.

The Tampa Bay Boat show also runs all weekend at Tropicana Field. The boat show starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It closes at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is hosting another SunLit Festival event Friday night. The Poetry Night Hike will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last until about 8:00. It features a combination of poetry readings and hiking through the park.

On Saturday the Area 6 Special Olympics are being played at Lakewood High School in South St. Pete on 54th Avenue South. The games feature soccer, bocce ball, volleyball, cycling and tennis.

For those all-natural health nuts out there the Holistic Health Symposium and Seminar is at the Awakening Wellness Center at 6161 Ninth Street North featuring holistic speakers, demonstrations, vendors, food, music and raffle prizes. \

A brief demonstration at Sunken Gardens on Saturday starts at 10:30 a.m. Compost Magic shows simple ways to turn kitchen waste into “garden gold.” Allen Bednar from the company Simply Hydroponics will share his tricks to effective composting. Special compost bins will be available for purchase following the demonstration.

Also on Saturday, an event celebrating literary icon Jack Kerouac’s birthday is at the Flamingo Sports Bar at 1230 Ninth Street North from 7-11:30 p.m. It’s the same bar where the famed writer enjoyed his last drink. There will be live music from local artists like Ronny Elliott, Geri X and the Florida Boys. The event will also feature beat poetry and Special Guest Tim Dorsey with a reading from his latest book, Coconut Cowboy.

On Sunday residents can enjoy Alligator Walk at Boyd Hill where experts will teach about Florida’s state reptile, the American Alligator. Admission to that event is $1.50 for Friends of Boyd Hill and $3.00 for all others.

More information about this weekend’s events and others are on the city’s website.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.
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