ST. PETERSBURG — The roaring of the engines will rev up the crowds, for sure, but how loud will the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg actually get?
For St. Petersburg residents, the answer might simply be too loud. But others say the race, and all the accompanying fanfare, is worth it.
Near the Subway on Fourth Street N, the noise sounded like a horde of angry bees. But as visitors got closer to the track, it gets to full ear-splitting mode. The cars hum around curves, zooming past onlookers with a clear "VROOM."
Outside the Tampa Bay Times' office in downtown St. Petersburg, the noise is a measly 70 decibels — slightly louder than a regular conversation. Near the Subway, it was 85 decibels — about as loud as a lawn mower.
And it's anywhere from 110 decibels to 120 decibels while standing next to the track. That's as loud as an ambulance siren whizzing by or standing in front of speakers at a rock concert.
The festivities continue until Sunday — assuming rain doesn't delay any squealing-tire-and-screaming-engine excitement.
Some tenants at the Bayfront Tower at One Beach Drive leave on vacation to escape the thunder, said Eddie Feliciano, the complex's courtesy coordinator.
Others, he said, have race parties or go up to the roof on the 28th floor to watch.
"We've got one of the best views of the track up there," he said.
The noise is a small price to pay for Melody Blackthorne, manager of Great Clips for Hair at 300 Third St. S.
Since the Grand Prix came to town, her salon has been bustling with drivers, teams and fans. She said with the way the economy has been, every bit helps.
"I think it's great to see that things are getting better to show that if we invest a little bit and put up with a little bit, it's going to be very worth it," she said.