Thursday, April 26, 2018
Events

St. Petersburg's Localtopia festival aims to spotlight local businesses

Independent business alliance and advocacy group Keep Saint Petersburg Local is having a two-year anniversary, and it's celebrating the only way it knows how: by promoting local businesses and the city.

"Localtopia is a celebration of all things local," KSPL founder Olga Bof said of the free event Saturday. "We're trying to change how downtown is perceived."

The much-disparaged Williams Park will be the site for the event, which is expected to draw more than 100 local vendors and 3,000 to 5,000 people.

"We would like for people to look at Williams Park in a completely different light," Bof said. "It was our city's first park. It's in the heart of the community, and it's where people used to gather in the '30s and '40s to hear the bandstand."

The event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the hours purposefully extended into the evening so guests can experience the park with its twinkling tree lights and downtown backdrop.

A beer garden will feature new St. Pete breweries, Cycle Brewing, Green Bench Brewing and St. Petersburg Brewing Company. Antique and vintage stores like Paper Street Market will have seating areas that can be booked by the hour for $60 as a VIP lounge. A children's corner will feature hands-on crafts and activities, and the bandstand will feature performances by members Bay Street Music Studio and acts such as the Betty Fox Band.

Vendors booths will range from arts and culture to health and wellness, as well as food and services. The organizers are hoping that will expose businesses to new customers.

"Anything we can do to help St. Pete is definitely how we want to do things," says Kurt Cuccaro, owner of Mazzaro's Italian Market, which is sponsoring the event. "We have a lot of out-of-state guests but we also have a lot of local customers and we'd like to give back to them."

The local celebration comes on the heels of a major endorsement for the city. This month, the New York Times mentioned St. Petersburg as one of 52 places to visit in 2014, citing local businesses such as the Hollander Hotel as must-sees. At the same time, KSPL has seen its businesses and customers rally in favor of independently owned enterprises. The organization started with 50 members and now has more than 400 listed under its newly published Members Directory & Guide to St. Petersburg, which the organization hopes will serve as an index for tourists and locals alike.

Comments
Review: Bill DeYoung’s ‘Phil Gernhard, Record Man’ recounts the life of a Florida music powerhouse

Review: Bill DeYoung’s ‘Phil Gernhard, Record Man’ recounts the life of a Florida music powerhouse

Phil Gernhard might be the biggest musical force from Florida you never heard of.Gernhard died in 2008 at age 67, so estranged from family and friends that he willed his considerable estate to a long-lost high school girlfriend. But before that sad e...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

OCALAIt’s midmorning at the pub, not far from the backyard patio where it all began, and the old guys from the old band are reminiscing on the old days over cream of mushroom soup."When we were kids," Billy Taylor said, "all you wanted was a hot show...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

A trip to the Caribbean conjures up visions of swaying palms and a watercolor palette of blues, greens and shades in between. Just 10 minutes or so from the port of Costa Maya, Mexico, a fixture on most western Caribbean cruise itineraries, lies an i...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

TAMPANow is as good a time as any, since there is no great time to take a deep dark look into the apocalypse of humanity.But history rewards those brave enough to try, from Nostradamus to George Orwell, who are looking more and more like the same bre...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekendAthletes St. Anthony’s Triathlon: Elite professional athletes and Olympians from around the world will be at this St. Petersburg race this weekend, one of the premier triathlon events in the country. There’s a big incentive, with ca...
Published: 04/25/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 26

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 26

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy sees a down-and-out producer and his accountant scheme to produce the most notorious flop in theater history. Through May 13. 8 p.m., Demens Landing, 100 First Ave. SE, St. Pe...
Published: 04/25/18
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is stunningly dark, but it’s still wildly entertaining

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is stunningly dark, but it’s still wildly entertaining

What does Thanos want?That question lies at the heart of Avengers: Infinity War, the at-once dark, maddeningly open-ended yet fiercely entertaining new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which pits the titular global do-gooders — still s...
Published: 04/25/18
Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

TAMPA — A lonely and changeable sky illuminates the top of the stage through most of Waitress, running this week at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. The neon lettering of Joe’s Diner reflects days and nights that don’t differ en...
Published: 04/25/18
Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

PUPPET MASTER: Jeff DunhamCelebrated ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is no dummy. The record-breaking comedy superstar sells out arenas around the world, bringing along his ill-behaved puppets including grouchy Walter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, redneck Bu...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18