St. Petersburg will be home to one of the biggest Pride parades in the country this weekend, one that was attended by thousands of people last year.
This year’s festivities are headlined by an Idina Menzel concert on Friday, the annual downtown Pride Parade on Saturday, and the Pride in Grand Central Street Fair on Sunday, during which Central Avenue will be closed for vendors and free concerts by Sheena Easton and 1980s star Tiffany.
And because of a growing concern at other Pride events around the country that have had bomb threats and other potential attacks, this year St. Pete Pride will for the first time have a security screening in Vinoy Park to scan for weapons on Saturday. And Sunday’s street festival will have concrete barricades to block any cars from reaching the crowds. Large city vehicles will be employed for that duty during Saturday’s parade.
Because the Tampa Bay Rays have home games at Tropicana Field this weekend, parking and getting around could be problematic. It will also be hot, so bring a water bottle. There will be filling stations near the parade route and misters for cooling off. Here are some more tips.
- All Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus routes will be free on Saturday, so consider a park-and-ride option, such as the free parking being offered at St. Petersburg High School. The park-and-ride at the school, 2501 Fifth Ave. N, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. More information and bus schedules can be found at psta.net/pride.
- The city’s SunRunner rapid bus will not be affected, though the Central Avenue Trolley will be detoured to avoid the street festival on Sunday.
- At last year’s Pride parade the parking lots at the St. Pete Pier were nearly empty, with visitors likely assuming the Pier would be closed. That was not the case, and the parking lots there will be open this weekend as well. Just be mindful that they will be blocked off starting at about 4 p.m. Saturday, so your car will be trapped there until after the parade. But if you are looking for a place to park, you couldn’t get much closer. Find details at stpetepier.org/getting-here-parking.
- While there will be standing room all along the parade route, VIP seating is available for $75 in the “Glamstands” at 400 Bayshore Drive NE at eventeny.com/events/stpetepride-3757. It includes front-row seating, two drink tickets and a private restroom.
- The Cocktail bar will be offering a free shuttle service from its location in the Grand Central District, dropping people off near the parade route and taking them back after the parade. Free. 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday at 2355 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-592-1914.
Pride parade day schedule
There’s a festival in Vinoy Park that runs from 2 to 10 p.m. at 701 Bayshore Drive NE.
The parade is expected to draw about 200,000 spectators, according to organizers. The parade will start at the Albert Whitted Airport and end at the Vinoy, a reversal of last year’s route. Those parked at the Pier will not be able to move their cars starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday until the end of the parade.
The Trans Pride March kicks things off at 5:30 p.m. by traveling from Vinoy Park to the parade’s starting point at Albert Whitted Park at 480 Bayshore Drive. You can register to join the Trans Pride March at airtable.com/shr8KrSzEazTf1Twn. You must arrive by 5 p.m. to participate.
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The parade will get underway at about 6 p.m. There will be 163 units in a parade that traverses 1.1 miles along Bayshore Drive NE.
Main Stage lineup in Vinoy Park
2 p.m.: DJ Donnie Luv
2:40: Madison the Doll
2:55: Prince Elijah Valentino Iman
3:05: Slam Anderson
3:50: Live Hart
4:50: Quin Killin
5:05: Brianna Summers
5:15: Rico Xann
5:45: Queen Sheba
6 p.m.: DJ Nightwing and Little Roddy Ranger
6:30: Akeem Woods
6:50: Shevonne and The Force
7:30: DJ Nightwing
7:40: Pride Court of Mx, Ms. and Mr. St Pete
8:10: Malaysia Babydoll
8:40: DJ Nightwing
8:50: Meet Me at the Altar