Sunrise over; deals continue
Vicki Haines along with her daughter Jessica Mansis, 10, and friend Chelsea Pinholster, 13, stroll up Beach Drive. Dirk Shadd | Times]
Update: The free breakfast pastries have been reduced to crumbs. Gone are the free pots of coffee and kettles of tea outside the stores. People are hustling by in suits and hard hats, not pajamas.
The official sale has wound down, but many store owners will keep their doors open - and their one-day-only deals alive - for the rest of the day.
To attract the after work crowd, store owners like Steve and Julie Meyer at In Search of Balance, 300 Beach Drive, will stay open until 8 p.m., with sales of 25 to 75 percent off their cool, comfortable summer wares.
Just down the block, Maison Rouge will offer deep discounts on select lingerie. The morning may be nearing an end, but store employees promise 10 percent off at the register for customers in their jammies, even until the store closes at 7 p.m.
Update: It's almost 8 a.m. and the crowds haven't exactly swelled, but some curiosity-seekers remain in search of the abundant bargains.
"I didn't wake up this early for nothing," said Maryanne Neefe, a downtown legal assistant perusing a table jammed with homemade ceramics and folk art at Vladimir's Russian Art Gallery.
She's wearing a silk pajama ensemble of leopard print pants and a black top. She's also wearing make up because works starts in a half hour. Supposed to, anyway.
"I'm going to see how long I can get away with this," she said.
Update: About 25 storefront have opened just as hints of sunrise peek through an overcast sky.
Customers are peppered throughout Beach Drive, though not in droves. A plate of brownies and a pot of coffee perched on a table at the AquaStone Wellness Spa, untouched.
Britt Doughtie, 46, wipes down the still-wet windows of Cherie's Eklectika, the popular corner storefront selling snarky knickknacks. So far, business in slow.
"People are excited about the drastic cuts in prices, but it's a humble beginning," he said.
Stay tuned for more updates...
ST. PETERSBURG -- Sitting in a plaid lawn chair and sipping a latte, Barbara Smith has her eyes on a special ring.
She's been here since 3:30 a.m., guaranteeing the St. Petersburg woman the first and only spot in what she says will be a long line for the once-a-year sale at Bruce Waters jewelry store.
"You can only lose out once," said Smith, second in line for the 2007 sale.
Although she's alone outside the jewelry shop, a small crowd - some of them clad in pajamas - has formed in front of several stores, the first sleepy-eyed customers at the 35th Annual Sunrise Sale sponsored by the Downtown Business Association.
Stay tuned for more...