ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (ST. PETERSBURG INFORMATION DEC. 30, 2013) - Everyone's invited to take off into the wild blue yonder when St. Petersburg marks the city's 100th anniversary of flight tomorrow night during First Night First Flight 2014. Or swing into the new year with a vintage-style dance party at the historic coliseum, sizzle at the Mahaffey Theater's hot New Year's Eve party, mark Kwanzaa with a celebration of creativity, or catch the latest release on the big screen.
First night takes flight - the entire city is invited to mark the historic January 1 mail flight of the Benoist with dance, theater, music, art, bubbles, drumming, ice skating, fireworks, and more downtown and along the waterfront in one of the largest outdoor New Year's Eve parties in Florida.
The First Night First Flight 2014 fun begins at at the MoreanArtsCenter, where kids are invited to put their stamp on the event with party hats, masks, science experiments and paper airplane creations before leading the way to the waterfront in the procession of flight. The procession, escorted by the Mt.Zion drumline and color guard, departs the MoreanArtsCenter at a second procession to the waterfront, anchored by a hand-decorated Chinese-style dragon, leaves Williams Park at
Rolling street closures to accommodate both processions will occur as revelers make their way along Central, 5th and 2nd Streets N. and along 2nd Ave. N. to Bayshore Dr. guests can enjoy live music and dance from street performers, and in venues throughout downtown and along the waterfront, in jazz, bluegrass, opera, pop, rock, hip-hop, country, steel gospel, and chamber music, along with the diverse musical styles from the T.A.S.C.O.'s young performers showcase.
Spectators can enjoy two fireworks shows, weather permitting, during the First Night 2014 celebration, scheduled for with a fireworks finale at . While fireworks displays rely on good weather conditions, first night 2014 activities will continue in the case of inclement weather.
While some first night events are free, most require buttons, which are available at select St. Petersburg locations, any first night activity, performance venue or the first night information booth at the corner of Beach Dr. and Second Ave. NE on New Year's Eve. Buttons cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 with 5 and under free. On December 31, prices increase to $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12. First Night First Flight is presented by the Bill Edwards group. www.firstnightstpete.com
Traffic and parking - Bayshore Dr. will close to traffic from Second Ave. NE to Fifth Ave. NE from tomorrow until January 1 for first night 2014 activities. Motorists should use caution traveling in the downtown area beginning late afternoon Tuesday due to increased pedestrian traffic.
There will be very limited on-street parking during the set-up for first night and along the waterfront during the New Year's Eve activities. No parking signs will be posted and meters bagged in affected areas to warn motorists of upcoming restrictions.
Residents who park on-street overnight should remove their vehicles by on December 31 to avoid receiving citations or having vehicles relocated when crews will begin clearing streets. Residential parking permits will not exempt vehicles from being ticketed or towed.
Daytime parking is available in both city-owned downtown parking garages, baywalk and south core, and the Al Lang Stadium parking lot for $5. After , parking will cost $10. Parking at both pier lots will cost $5 during the day and throughout the evening.
Or conserve energy and ride the St. Petersburg trolley's downtown looper during its normal Tuesday route until , then take PSTA's Central Avenue trolley, which provides service along the waterfront until fares for the downtown looper cost .50 per person, while central avenue trolley fares vary depending on the service area. For route map and fare information, visit www.stpetetrolley.com.
Patrons of Muvico who park at baywalk on New Year's Eve may show their movie ticket stub and parking receipt for reimbursement at the theater's customer service window.
Swing in the new - dance the night away during TampaBay swing's annual New Year's Eve party, swingin' the new year, at the historic coliseum. festivities include swing dance lessons, party favors, noisemakers, a vintage fashion photo shoot, balloon drop, champagne toast and more at 8 p.m. with dancing to the Tom Kats 18-piece big band and vocalists Sasha Tuck and Ronnie P. at Guests are encouraged to dress in new year's or vintage attire. Tickets are available at www.tampabayswing.com.
Hot New Year's Eve - join the hottest party people in St. Petersburg and groove into 2014 with live dj's, go-go dancers, led screens and a toast during the Mahaffey Theater and hot 101.5's hot new year's eve party. The fun begins at the Mahaffey Theater at tickets are available at www.themahaffey.com.
Other New Year's Eve events in St. Petersburg include kuumba, or creativity, Kwanzaa's fifth day of celebration, at the EnochDavisCenter, 1111 18th Ave. S. at and a screening of jump, part of the Gathr preview film series at Muvico baywalk, presented by the Sunscreen Film Festival. For other St. Petersburg New Year's Eve celebrations, visit www.stpete.org/events.