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Public invited to lighting of YMCA in St. Petersburg tonight

For the first time in more than a decade, the historic downtown YMCA building in St. Petersburg will glow with the light of the season.

A group that's dedicated to preserving the empty structure at Second Avenue S and Fifth Street is holding a special public remembrance ceremony that will feature the lighting of the building.

According to a news release by Historic YMCA Inc., the short evening ceremony will be one of "silent reflection and prayer for those across the nation who have recently fallen from the hands of others and a release of pain from all tragedies in our lives from 2012."

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. today, with a silent reflection and prayer at 6:57 that will last for three minutes.

Lights will then go live on the YMCA at 7, with a rendition of Silent Night.

Those attending are asked to bring candles and any handheld Christmas lights.

The group, which is seeking to save the building from demolition by purchasing it, also has plans to offer tours beginning the day after Christmas and lasting through Jan. 1. The building will be open from noon to 5 p.m., offering open house access and small group guided tours. The tours will be held at the middle of each hour, starting at 12:30 p.m.

Space is limited to a first-come basis. For appointments, call (727) 686-2163, or email

Plans are also in the works for a free musical event on New Year's Eve featuring singer/songwriters from the Tampa Bay area. The lineup will be announced and posted on both the group's website,, and Facebook page at

Public invited to lighting of YMCA in St. Petersburg tonight 12/24/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 24, 2012 11:30am]
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