Make us your home page

Grand Prix speeds into St. Petersburg

After four weeks of crews putting up concrete barriers and chain-link fences to turn downtown St. Petersburg streets into an IndyCar track, Firestone Grand Prix weekend is finally here. The festivities kick off tonight with the Illuminated Night Parade at 7:30 p.m. at Central Avenue and Fifth Street N, followed by fireworks. Then, bring on the noise! Practice gets started about 8 a.m. Friday leading to Sunday's big race that will be broadcast in 200 countries, the season opener for the IndyCar Series. The waterfront course is 1.8 miles long and contains 14 turns, providing lots of beautiful background glimpses of St. Petersburg. Don't forget earplugs. Besides racing, this year also includes:

A "Hero Zone," a very challenging, free interactive obstacle course designed by the military for kids to test their skills, included with race admission.

A huge 105-foot Ferris wheel for $5, benefiting Alzheimer's research.

The Wishes for Heroes 5K at 6:30 p.m. Friday that lets runners hoof it on the actual race track.

The Brighthouse Network Speed Zone will have a mechanical bull, gyroscope, power jump, rock climbing wall, pit stop challenge and boxer jocks, costing $5 per ride.

Grand Prix tickets are $30-$55 general, $70-$135 reserved at

For tips on parking, where to sit and more, watch the Play Tampa Bay video above.

Grand Prix speeds into St. Petersburg 03/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 2:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelly talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  2. Taste test: new products including S'mores English Muffins, Town House crackers, Keebler Cereal with Real Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Birds Eye pasta

    Taste Test

    My summer memories always included being hungry. I'm pretty sure it was boredom, but it was always dangerous for my mom to bring me and my siblings along on a July grocery run. We would always reach for sugary cereals or salty snacks. Apparently, we weren't alone. The grocery store aisles are full of new snack offerings …

  3. Discovering the true meaning of Black Forest cake in the German region itself


    The first time I had a taste of the Black Forest, it wasn't by way of cake.

    Black Forest Cake in Germany was granted legally protected status in 2013. It must use the gateau’s original ingredients, including kirsch, a brandy made from fermented sour cherries from the region.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of July 24-30


    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The geek fest returns to the Tampa Convention Center from Friday-Sunday, bringing celebrity appearances including Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Uhura), Kate Beckinsale and numerous comic book artists and writers. Also, comics, videos, toys, action …

    Shaun Audit poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …