“Feel the burn” in St. Pete this weekend with the St. Anthony’s Triathlon and more

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This weekend, St. Petersburg features world-class tri-athletes as they run, bike and swim through downtown at the annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon.

Those looking for a little less “burn” can enjoy gardening and meet with environmental enthusiasts who look to get growing at the Green Thumb Festival, the Bay Area’s largest annual outdoor horticultural exhibition.

In addition, weekend in the ‘Burg offers a chance to get rowdy with the Rowdies, paint like an Old Master, and explore nature through music or celebrate freshness at the city’s newest outdoor market.

Run, Bike and Swim for St. Anthony’s Triathlon

See 4,000 of the fittest athletes in the world test their endurance during the 31st St. Anthony’s Triathlon. The annual event, which includes Saturday’s Meek & Mighty for children, has kicked off the North American triathlon season in St. Petersburg for the past 29 years. The fun starts with a Sports and Fitness Expo in Straub Park Friday and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For a weekend schedule, course maps and other information, visit www.satriathlon.com.

Downtown St. Petersburg will experience road closures, detours and delays along the event route over the weekend, with the heaviest traffic impact Sunday.

Meek and Mighty

Saturday’s Meek & Mighty event extends from Coffee Pot Boulevard to Fifth Avenue S., while Sunday’s triathlon course begins at Coffee Pot Boulevard, extending south to Pinellas Point Dr. Sunday’s route also uses First Avenue S. between First St. N. and 28th St. N. and roads through Lakewood Estates. Roads closed for the event include Fifth Avenue S. (Dali Boulevard) to First St. S. and Bayshore Dr. NE between Second and Fifth Avenues NE.

Variable message boards in place along the event route will inform residents and motorists of the event and when to anticipate congestion. Motorists are encouraged to exercise patience and pre-plan routes, including residents of Snell Isle, as events both Saturday and Sunday will affect the Snell Isle Bridge and major access roads.

Parking will be restricted on the following roads from 5:30 a.m. Saturday until the event concludes around 2 p.m. Sunday:

  • Bayshore Drive NE from Central Avenue to Fifth Avenue NE (both sides)
  • Fifth Avenue NE from Bayshore Drive NE to Seventh Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive NE (both
  • North Shore Drive NE from Seventh to Ninth Avenues NE (both sides)
  • North Shore Drive NE from Ninth Avenue NE to Coffee Pot Boulevard NE (both sides)

On Sunday, parking restrictions will be in place between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the following locations for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon:

  • Bayshore Drive NE from Central Avenue to Fifth Avenue NE
  • First St. S. from First to Sixth Aves. S. (both sides)
  • First Avenue S. from 16th to 28th Streets S (both sides)
  • First Avenue S. from First St. S. to Dr. M.L. King St. S (both sides)
  • Fourth St. S. from Fifth Avenue to sixth Aves. S. (both sides)
  • The south side of Fifth Avenue S. from First to Fourth Streets S
  • The south side of Brightwaters Boulevard NE from Snell Isle Boulevard to Lamar Way NE

Owners of vehicles with Residential Parking permits should find alternate parking locations during the event to avoid receiving parking citations or face possible relocation. Residential Parking Permits do not exempt vehicles from citations or relocation during special events.

Spectator parking is available at either the Sundial (formerly MidCore) or SouthCore garages for a special event rate of $5. Surface parking is available for $5 in lots at Al Lang Stadium and at The Pier; however, road closures in place for the triathlon may prohibit access to these lots at certain times during the event.

Get Growing

Start your garden growing with a visit to the 28th annual Green Thumb Festival in Walter Fuller Park, 7891 26th Ave. N.

Browse environmental and horticultural exhibits, get tips on recycling, effective landscaping and natural resource conservation, have soil and water tested, and garden tools sharpened at the free festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27.

Take home free mulch or a butterfly plant, shop from more than 2,000 trees available for sale, or visit the plant auction. And don’t miss the St. Petersburg Garden Club’s Flower Show, the children’s “Make N’Take” tent or the expanded food court!

More information is at www.stpeteparksrec.org/greenthumb.

Get Rowdy with the Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies try to get one in the win column Saturday when they welcome the Atlanta Silverbacks to Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m. This is the Rowdies’ second home game of the 2014 season. Tickets are available at www.rowdiessoccer.com.

Be One with Nature

Experience the soothing rhythms of percussion when the Florida Orchestra incorporates organic instruments, including water-filled basins, to present Chinese composer Tan Dun’s Water Concerto at the Mahaffey Theater Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.themahaffey.com or www.floridaorchestra.org.

Let your Creativity Flow

Channel your inner Monet or other favorite artist en plein air during the Museum of Fine Arts’ seventh annual Painting in the Park presented by Kane’s Furniture Sunday, April 27.

Explore unique artistic methods with the family, including giant box painting, kite flying, a tricycle mural and more from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is free, all supplies are provided and instructors will be on hand to assist in the creation of your masterpiece.

More information is at www.fine-arts.org

Freshness Thrives at Deuces Live Market!

Experience the peak of freshness every Sunday when vendors at the newly expanded Deuces Live Sunday Market set up for business at Ninth Avenue S. and 22nd Street S. The market offers fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, flowers, plants, baked goods, unique handmade items and more, along with live entertainment. Market hours are from 1 to 6 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine.

For information, contact Veatrice Farrell at deuceslivestpetemainstreet@gmail.com.

For information on other events in and around St. Petersburg this weekend, visit www.stpete.org/events.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.