The Festival of States, a springtime festival, drew thousands to St. Petersburg.
The Festival of States, launched in 1917 to keep visitors in St. Petersburg past spring, drew thousands to its parades through the years.
Published Apr. 5
Updated Apr. 8
One of its legacies has been the popular Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band, formed to perform in the 1982 parade. The band of adult musicians will head to this fall’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It will be their second time around.
The festival, organized by the Suncoasters, a group of influential leaders from the city’s business and professional communities, drew high school bands from around the country. A Sungoddess, selected each year, was joined by “royalty” from other festivals.
The parades eventually became part of the Grand Prix kickoff and stopped for good in 2014. The Suncoasters officially disbanded in 2018, but memories of their springtime festivities remain.