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It's a run for the money in downtown this weekend

Downtown St. Petersburg is going to be crawling with people Saturday when a number of popular events all take their mark in a 10-block area.

On its own, each event has its own constituency, but when you put them together, you get sweaty shoppers leaving the Race for the Cure to browse the opening of the Saturday Morning Market, and drivers not used to traffic jams on a Saturday morning.

Probably the smartest group will be the bicyclers pedaling to the opening of the new downtown spur of the Pinellas Trail. They will gather at the trail trestle bridge near Tropicana Field at 9:30 a.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony and entertainment and then hot-wheel it over to the market.

Here's a look at some of the events:

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure The breast cancer fundraiser, now in its 10th year here, has always been the first Saturday in October and has coexisted well with the market. But this year the market has moved to the parking lot of Al Lang Field — a place runners have used for parking. So expect spots at the Baywalk and Bayfront Hospital parking garages to be at a premium. Check-in for the race begins at 6 a.m. Opening ceremonies start at 7:15. The 10K is at 7:30 and 5K starts at 8. You can register on Friday at Vinoy Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or on race day. It's $35 for the 5K and 10K, $10 for kids.

Saturday Morning Market Opening for its seventh season, the market has moved to roomier Al Lang Field, at First Avenue S and First Street, which has a wheelchair-friendly entryway. Now the largest such market in the Southeast has become a hot spot for socializing. Some 6,000 shoppers attend weekly from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bike trail grand opening The popular Pinellas Trail bike path now winds through downtown, meaning you could pedal all the way from Al Lang Field to Tarpon Springs. A grand opening will be held near Tropicana Field, and there will be dignitaries, as well as live entertainment, helmet fittings and bike registration from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free.

The Hogs and Dogs party The Grand Central District, between First Avenue N and First Avenue S, from 19th to 31st streets, will have motorcycle displays, a dog pageant and costume contest, and live entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. See grandcentraldistrict.org.

It's a run for the money in downtown this weekend 10/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 6:53pm]
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