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News Release

ST. PETERSBURG ACHIEVES PERSONAL BEST WITH SPORTS, THE ARTS AND GREEN THUMB

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 24, 2015) – St. Petersburg feels the burn this weekend as world-class tri-athletes run, bike and swim through downtown, gardening and environmental enthusiasts get growing at the Green Thumb Festival, and the Rays and Rowdies host opponents from Toronto and Jacksonville. Channel your inner Impressionist, experience theater under the stars or visit an outdoor market, the sun’s always shining in St. Petersburg.

About 3,000 of the fittest athletes in the world test their endurance during the 32nd annual St. Anthony's Triathlon. The annual event, including tomorrow’s Meek & Mighty triathlon for youth, has kicked off the North American triathlon season in St. Petersburg for the past 31 years. The fun starts with a Sports and Fitness Expo in Straub Park until 7 p.m. today and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For an event schedule, course maps and other information, visit www.satriathlon.com.

Visitors to downtown over the weekend will see road closures, detours and delays along the event route, with the heaviest traffic impact on Sunday. Vehicles will be allowed to cross the route, at safe intervals. On Sunday, motorists should expect significant delays and should plan travel routes accordingly. Along some areas of the course, runners and bicyclists will share the road with motorists; motorists are encouraged to use caution in these locations.

Access to the Vinoy Hotel, garage, and Vinoy Place Condos will be permitted via a cone line, while access to the Pier and Demen’s Landing will be permitted when vehicles may safely cross the race course.

Tomorrow’s Meek & Mighty event extends from Fifth Ave. SE northward, including the North Shore Pool, extending to 18th Ave. NE. Sunday’s triathlon course extends from Snell Isle, along Brightwaters Blvd., south to Pinellas Point Dr. through Lakewood Estates.

Roads closed during the weekend for both events include Fifth Ave. S. (Dali Blvd.) to First St. S. and Bayshore Dr. NE between 2nd and 5th Aves. NE.

Motorists, including residents and visitors to Snell Isle and the Marina, are encouraged to exercise patience and pre-plan weekend routes as both events will heavily impact the Snell Isle Bridge and major access roads. Marina residents parked along Bayshore Dr. NE should find alternate parking locations from approximately 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday and from 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday to avoid being blocked in by the events.

Parking restrictions will be in place from 5:30 a.m. tomorrow until the event concludes around 2 p.m. on Sunday:

  • Both sides of Bayshore Dr. NE from Central Ave. to 5th Ave. NE
  • Both sides of Fifth Ave. NE from Bayshore Dr. NE to 7th Ave. NE and Bayshore Dr. NE;
  • Both sides of North Shore Dr. NE from 9th Ave. NE to Coffee Pot Blvd. NE

Additionally, parking will be restricted on both sides of North Shore Dr. NE from 7th to 9th Aves. NE from 5:30 a.m. tomorrow through noon Sunday.

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 Dr. NE from Central Ave. to 5th Ave. NE;
  • Both sides of 1st St. S. from 1st to 6th Aves. S.;
  • Both sides of 1st Ave. S. from 16th to 28th Sts. S.;
  • Both sides of 1st Ave. S. from 1st St. S. to Dr. M.L. King St. S (both sides);
  • Both sides of 4th St. S. from 5th Ave. to 6th Aves. S.
  • the south side of 5th Ave. S. from 1st to 4th Sts. S; and
  • the south side of Brightwaters Blvd. NE from Snell Isle Blvd. to Lamar Way NE.
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Owners of vehicles displaying Residential Parking permits should locate alternate parking areas during the weekend to avoid citations or possible vehicle relocation. Residential Parking Permits do not exempt owners from citations or relocation during special events.

Spectator parking is available the Sundial or South Core garages, the Al Lang Stadium parking lot and the Beach Drive and Dolphin parking lots at the Pier for $5 during the weekend. However, road closures in place for Sunday’s triathlon may prohibit access to some parking lots at certain times.

Grow Green - Get your garden growing at the 29th annual Green Thumb Festival in Walter Fuller Park, 7891 26th Ave. N., this weekend. Learn about the city’s newest sustainable initiative, Universal Curbside Recycling, coming to St. Petersburg in May, browse environmental and horticultural exhibits, learn effective landscaping and natural resource conservation, have soil and water tested, and get garden tools sharpened at the free festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, April 25-26. 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 kids’ Make N’Take tent or the expanded food court! www.stpeteparksrec.org/greenthumb.

Catch Some Rays! Spend the weekend at the ball park when the Toronto Blue Jays come to roost at Tropicana Field for games tonight through Sunday. Tickets for all three Tampa Bay Rays games are available at www.raysbaseball.com.

Get Rowdies! The Tampa Bay Rowdies face off against Jacksonville Armada FC tomorrow night in the second home game of the spring season. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. match are available at www.rowdiessoccer.com.

Theater Under the Stars – Spread a blanket and enjoy the sunset when American Stage in the Park presents In the Heights in Demen’s Landing Park through May 17. This year’s production tells the story of chasing your dreams and finding your true home through three generations of music in a vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood on the brink of change. www.americanstage.org

Over the Rainbow – Follow the yellow brick road to the Mahaffey Theater when Hilary Kole Pays Tribute to Judy Garland with favorites from such classic films as Meet Me in St. Louis, Broadway Melody, A Star is Born, and The Wizard of Oz. Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance are on sale at www.themahaffey.com or www.floridaorchestra.org.

Get Creative - Channel your inner Monet or other favorite artist en plein air during the 8th annual Painting in the Park, Sunday, April 26, at the Museum of Fine Arts. Presented by the MFA, Local Buds Artisan Collective and sponsored in part by Keep St. Petersburg Local, the free event encourages family-oriented art, including ‘erupting’ and bubble painting and graffiti art on a car from 1 to 4 p.m. All supplies are provided. www.fine-arts.org

Get Fresh! Get a fresh look at St. Petersburg with a visit to one of the city’s outdoor markets. On Saturday, visit the Saturday Morning Market in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for fresh and organic vegetables, fruit, meat and seafood, prepared meals, unique handmade items and more. www.saturdaymorningmarket.com Or experience Soulful Sundays on the Deuces when vendors at the Deuces Live Sunday Market set up for business at Ninth Ave. S. and 22nd St. S. Market hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine. https://www.facebook.com/thedeuceslive.

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

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