Unbelievably enough, it’s the 27th year for First Night St. Pete. In addition to all of the attractions we’ve come to love — the bubble stomp, the crazy hats, the Resolution Bonfire, the flashing buttons and the fireworks — artists and organizations like LOST Creations, James Oleson, Zulu Painter, Creative Clay, NOMAD Art Bus and more will transform South Straub Park into an Interactive Arts Park. That’s on top of eight hours of music, interactive exhibits, puppetry, aerial arts, fire jugglers, street performers, scavenger hunts and so much more in over 12 venues throughout Downtown St. Petersburg.
Festivities kick off with First Kids at 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church and Mirror Lake library, followed by kid-popular events like the First Night Bubblestomp at 7:45 p.m. in North Straub Park and the Kids Kaboom Fireworks at 8 p.m. Musical acts range from The Petty Experience on North Straub’s Finale Stage to One City Chorus at Trinity Lutheran to the St. Pete Opera at the Cathedral of St. Peter; dance and movement events include Soul Cirque in Williams Park and Dundu Dole Urban African Ballet at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. And, finally, 2020’s first fireworks display (or is it 2019’s last?) starts on the waterfront at midnight.
Much of the evening’s fun is free, but most of the venues are accessible only with a First Night St. Pete button, a collector’s item in itself and also a way to support the performers. This year’s custom-designed button (adult, $15; child, $10) was designed by Carlos Culbertson, aka Zulu Painter. You can buy one today at the Main Tent, located on the NE corner of South Straub Park, from 12 Noon until 11 p.m. or at any of the participating venues. For further info on purchase and a full schedule of events, go to FirstNightStPete.com.