Large crowds, bright colors expected for today St. Pete Pride promenade and street festival

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Two of St. Petersburg’s most notable neighborhoods Historic Kenwood and the Grand Central District host one of the country’s largest celebrations of diversity June 30 with the 10th annual St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade. More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the brightly-colored parade, which begins at 9 a.m., and street party, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. complete with live music, food, and street vendors. The Promenade and Street Festival serves as the grand finale to St. Pete Pride’s month-long celebration of tolerance and diversity.

The St. Pete Pride Promenade kicks off at 9 a.m. from 3100 Third Ave. N., and proceeds east to 30th St. N. The parade continues south on 30th St. N. to Central Ave., before turning east and proceeding into the Street Festival area on Central Ave. at 28th St. The Promenade is expected to disperse around 11 a.m.  Central Ave. from 21st to 28th Sts will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. to accommodate the Street Festival.

Motorists will see traffic delays during the parade, especially along 31st St. N.  Traffic around Central Ave. will be diverted to the east and west of Central Ave., and motorists are advised to expect delays. For fans attending the Rays-Tigers baseball game, the portion of Central Ave. between 21st and 28th Sts. is expected to reopen to through traffic around 6 p.m.

Festival parking is available throughout the Grand Central District and the downtown area, as well as in lots designated for the event. Accessible disabled parking will be available in a lot located at 22nd St. and First Ave. N. Festival attendees may wish to park downtown and take the Central Ave. Shuttle, operating on a slightly modified route during the event using First Avenues N. and S. to bypass the street festival on Central Ave. Regular shuttle fares will apply (.50 each time you board).

The public must observe all conditions of the street closure permit issued to the St. Pete Pride event organizers, including a designated area for free speech, size limits and display of hand held signage, and use of amplified sound during the street festival. Persons wishing to use amplified sound and/or hand held signs or banners that extend beyond their torso or that are mounted onto sticks or other rigid objects will be permitted to do so on 27th Street where it fronts Central Ave. sidewalks. These designated areas are located on 27th Street only – north of the Central Ave. northern sidewalk and south of the Central Ave. southern sidewalk OR anywhere outside the permitted area.

Copies of the street closure permit and additional permit conditions will be posted at the event. Event maps are available at www.stpetepride.com.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.