Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pajama-clad shoppers fill downtown St. Pete for annual Sunrise Sale

ST. PETERSBURG – Once a year, Kay Leonard dons her furry white rabbit slippers and goes shopping.

They're her go-to footwear for St. Petersburg's annual Sunrise Sale, which celebrated its 40th installment Thursday.

Leonard arrived at dawn for the start of the sale along with dozens of shoppers in silk pajamas, floral robes, and sleep shorts.

Her painted red toenails peeked out of the front of her slippers as she looked through a glass kaleidoscope in Shapiro's Gallery. By 8:30 a.m., Leonard had to be at MacDill Air Force Base for work. But she would never miss the Sunrise Sale.

"You can run fast with rabbit shoes on," she said.

The event boasts doorbuster deals at several participating shops and eateries, including Bruce Watters Jewelers and Kilwins. Matt Shapiro, co-owner of Shapiro's Gallery, said his business was offering 20 percent off until 10 a.m.

Yellow pennants and balloons guided the way, and the Downtown Looper Trolley offered free rides for early shoppers. The Downtown Business Association organized the event.

It was built in part around a 1970s theme, and some visitors wore tie-dye shirts.

Linda Miller, of St. Petersburg, arrived in pink pajamas with her friend Janis Froelich. She said she woke before dawn and took off her pajamas, only to don a clean pair for shopping.

"It's fun," she said. "Life is short, you got to go for it."

Some visitors were more shy about their informal get-up, casting their eyes down sheepishly as they passed on the sidewalk.

When approached by a reporter, a man in Ohio State University pajamas put his head down and walked away briskly.

Morgan Youngerman and Sarah Rieth, both students at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, were reluctant to talk at first.

They awoke at 6:30 a.m. to visit the sale. The sheets were still calling at 7 a.m.

Asked for the last time she was up so early, Rieth laughed and said, "Never."

But soon the laughter turned to giggling, and it didn't stop. The girls held plates with fresh slices of cake – the perfect antidote to early morning drowsiness.

They were ready to press on. Not to shop, they said, but to gawk at strangers in pajamas.

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8804. Twitter: @zacksampson.

Pajama-clad shoppers fill downtown St. Pete for annual Sunrise Sale 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  2. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended

    Nation

    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.
  5. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.