‘Welcome to St Pete’ sign to be unveiled on Wednesday

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Motorists heading west crossing the Howard Franklin Bridge will get a new welcome to St. Petersburg, reports William Mansell of Patch.

In time to welcome the delegates and guests to St. Petersburg for the Republican National Convention, the city’s new welcome tower will be formally unveiled at a giant ribbon cutting event on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m.

Mayor Bill Foster will join local businessman Bill Edwards, members of City Council and invited guests to cut the ribbon.

According to a news release, the 75ft tall structure is visible more than a mile away.

St. Petersburg’s has similar welcoming signs on I-175 and I-375 that were placed in 2004, the city said.

For this structure, Edwards donated $600,000 for construction, which took five months to complete.

Edwards said he felt compelled to help St. Petersburg by donating the tower.

“The timing was right,” Edwards said in a news release. “In addition to exponentially increasing tourism in Central Florida, the upcoming Republican National Convention will be bringing tens of thousands of visitors from other states to our beautiful waterfront city. Now and in the future, we must project the image of a diverse, exciting, economically refreshed St. Petersburg, and the tower is an impressive beacon of that image.”

Due to Florida Department of Transportation restrictions regarding safety and vehicles on the shoulder of I-275, the public is not invited to attend, a news release said.

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.