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Letters: First Night opens 2009 with big crowds

First Night fireworks

First Night opens 2009 with crowds

On behalf of our board of directors, I want to thank the St. Petersburg Times for its continuing thorough coverage of our community and for its sponsorship of Transitions First Night St. Petersburg.

One of the articles about the upcoming event mentioned that First Night would include an hourly countdown of fireworks from the top of the Pier beginning at 8 p.m. in addition to the FirstFireworks show at 9 p.m. and the FinaleFireworks at midnight. The unforeseen detritus caused by the 8 p.m. display necessitated the cancellation of the 10 and 11 p.m. displays. This was a disappointment for us, and we realize it may also have been for our participants. Next year we will revise our plan.

Our 16th First Night had one of the biggest crowds ever. Every one of the 23 venues was packed.

Many thanks to our title sponsor, Transitions Optical, for making First Night possible in our community. With their support, we will continue to make First Night the place to be on New Year's Eve.

First Night would not happen without the support of each of our sponsors, our individual donors, our many volunteers, the venues who open their doors to the community, and the city staff who help us put on the event. We have a very special community!

We wish everyone a wonderful new year.

Pat Mason, executive director, Transitions First Night St. Petersburg

Downtown protests

Venue is for fun

Here we go again. We have hundreds of people protesting right in front of BayWalk. I have no issues with free speech, but how about practicing some common sense? That doesn't cost a dime.

BayWalk is facing foreclosure due to a number of things so I will not lay the entire blame on the protesters. However, the display this past Saturday does not help matters any.

There must be another location where protesters can be noticed other than an entertainment venue such as BayWalk. I am certain that there are a ton of better things the St. Petersburg Police Department needs to be doing than keeping the peace between two groups of people protesting about things that are taking place on the other side of the planet.

What single positive thing comes out of this sort of protest? Are they being heard by the Israelis or Palestinians?

Disrupting our city's entertainment venues is not the answer and is a complete waste of time and city resources.

Every so often, I enjoy some time at BayWalk, but now will not be going due to these protesters.

Todd Priest, Kenneth City

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Letters: First Night opens 2009 with big crowds 01/06/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 9:22am]
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