Art, music and fun fill the ‘burg this weekend

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A full spectrum of arts hits The ‘Burg this weekend, including the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, FolkFest 2014, Philadelphia-style jazz, a tribute to ABBA, and the St. Pete Yoga Festival.

For Festival of Reading and FolkFest, there will be various road closures and parking restrictions in effect at the USF St. Petersburg campus and on Central Ave.

Celebrate the Written Word with Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading

More than five thousand booklovers are expected at the USFSP campus for the 22nd Annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading.  Over 40 local and national authors and booksellers will be on hand for the one-day celebration of the printed word.

The event features author signings, panel discussions, and a festival book market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Parking is available both downtown and on the USF St. Petersburg campus. More details are  available at

Now through Sunday at 5 p.m., Sixth Ave. S. and Second St. S. will close to traffic for the Festival of Reading. Sixth Ave. S. will close from First to Third Sts. S., while Second St. S. will close from Fifth to Sixth Ave. S.

No vehicles are allowed inside during street closures.

Creative Clay FolkFest

At the same time, Central Ave. offers two days of live music, art, and kids’ activities during Creative Clay’s annual fundraiser, FolkFest St. Pete 2014.

FolkFest, now in its eighth year, the family-friendly festival features local and national recording artists, including Ella Jet, Rebekah Pulley, and Von Grey.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Free parking is available in Tropicana Field Lot 6, at First Ave. S. and 13th St. Festivalgoers are encouraged to observe posted parking regulations. For information, visit

In preparation for FolkFest, Central Avenue will close between 11th and 13th Sts. beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow, October 24, through 5 p.m. Sunday, October 26.

Additionally, the 1100 to 1300 blocks of Baum Ave. will close to all but local traffic from 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday with parking restrictions on both sides of Baum in effect from  7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday only.

Other FolkFest parking restrictions include both sides of Central Ave. from 11th to 13th Sts. from 7 a.m. tomorrow through 5 p.m. Sunday, as well as the south side of Baum Ave. from Dr. M.L. King Jr. St. N. to 13th St. from 7 a.m. Saturday through 5 p.m. Sunday.

Owners of vehicles with Residential Parking Permits who usually park in the affected area are encouraged to find alternative parking locations to avoid citations or possible vehicle relocation.

Circus McGurkis

Circus McGurkis is a festival celebrating 43 years of peaceful co-existence at Lake Vista Park, 1401 62nd Ave. S. Spectators can enjoy live music, vendors, lifestyle workshops, food and more during the Peoples’ Fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, visit

Wait, There’s More Fun!

Additional arts-related events in St. Petersburg this weekend include a tribute to 70’s Swedish supergroup ABBA on Friday 8 p.m. with Arrival: The Music of ABBA at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st St. S. Also at 8 p.m. Friday, Pieces of a Dream brings the sounds of R&B, funk, new jack swing and smooth jazz at the Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave. N.

On Saturday 8 p.m., the Mahaffey Theater also hosts the Florida Orchestra in concert, with a performance of Barber’s Violin Concerto.

On Sunday, Sunken Gardens hosts the St. Pete Yoga Festival (1825 4th St. N), Nureyev’s Eyes is at American Stage (163 3rd St. N) and Dracula – The Vampire Strikes Back is at St. Petersburg City Theatre (31st Street South).

For more events in and around The ‘Burg, visit

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.