The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg roars into downtown this weekend, kicking off the 'World's Fastest Spring Break Party' with hot cars and world-class drivers giving fans a taste of some of the best street racing on the IndyCar circuit. Activities for the weekend get underway tomorrow with the Harvey's 5K run and 1 mile Run/Walk and annual Illuminated Night Parade. Visit www.suncoasters-stpete.org for information on both events.
Traffic officials warn of heavy congestion in the immediate downtown area between 5 and 10 p.m. for the run and Night Parade. While everyone is encouraged to attend both events, they should expect road closures and delays
along the parade route and surrounding streets.
Harvey's 5K Run and 1 Mile Run/Walk
A tradition for over 25 years, the Harvey's 5K Run and 1 mile run/walk becomes part of the motorsports celebration with a 5K run along the Illuminated Night parade route. The fun begins at 6 p.m. from Fourth St. N. and Central Ave. The route follows Central Ave. east to Beach Dr., Beach Dr. to Fifth Ave. NE, through Vinoy Park, around the North Shore Aquatics Complex, through North Shore Park, then west on North Shore Dr. to retrace the route and finish at Fourth St. and Central Ave. The run is expected to end by the start of the parade, around 7
p.m. Proceeds benefit art and music programs in Pinellas County schools.
Access to the Vinoy Hotel will be limited once the race begins when traffic
along Fifth Ave. NE will be temporarily halted. Once the field clears, hotel
access will be allowed only from the north via Fifth Ave. NE and Beach Dr. NE.
until the parade concludes around 9:30 p.m.
The 2013 Illuminated Night Parade sponsored by BB&T and
Progress Energy features floats, crews, marching bands, dance troupes, beauty
queens, and special appearances by IndyCar drivers, along with Mayor Bill
Foster and Pete, St. Petersburg's First Puppy. This year's parade Grand
Marshal is U.S. Army Specialist and St. Petersburg resident Charlie Lemon.
Lemon, a double amputee, represents Wish for Our Heroes, a national charity
which assists military members facing hardships. Lemon will also give the
command to start Sunday's 12:30 p.m. Honda Grand Prix.
Parade units step off from Central Ave. and Fifth St. N. around 7 p.m.,
proceeding east on Central Ave., to Second St. N. Units follow Second St. N.
to First Ave. N, where they travel east to Beach Dr. On Beach, the parade
marches north until it ends at Fifth Ave. NE. Units will continue along Fifth
Ave NE to Seventh Ave. NE and the North Shore Pool parking lot, where they
disperse. Some surrounding streets will also see congestion as parade units
assemble prior to the 7 p.m. start. Streets affected include Eighth St. S.
from First Ave. N., Third Ave. S. from Eighth St. S. to Fourth St. N.
Limited crossing during the parade will be available at Third St. Fourth St.
and Second Ave. NE, while access to The Pier and Demen's Landing will be via
Second Ave. NE. Delays should be anticipated as vehicles will be allowed to
cross only during gaps in the parade and when it is safe to do so.
Parking restrictions will be in place along both the race and parade route by
midday tomorrow to accommodate event organizers. Affected areas will have No
Parking signs posted and meters bagged to warn motorists of Thursday night's
events. Residential parking permit holders are advised to plan ahead for
alternate vehicle parking locations to avoid a citation or be subject to
towing. Residential parking permits do not exempt vehicles from either
citations or towing during downtown special events.
For a complete rundown of Grand Prix weekend events, including directions to
the track and where to park, visit http://www.stpete.org/grandprix/.
Smartphone users can zoom their way to up-to-the-minute race information at
their fingertips, by going mobile at www.stpete.org/mobileGP.
Special thanks to the City of St. Petersburg for sharing this press release with St. Pete Patch.
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