ST. PETE, FLA. — The City of St. Petersburg hosted its annual Santa parade and tree lighting ceremony on Saturday as hundreds gathered along Bayshore Drive in St. Pete to watch the parade.
“I’m here for Santa,” said three-year-old Navy Grueninger.
The parade began at 6:30 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park and ran along Bayshore Drive to 5th Avenue Northeast. The tree lighting happened immediately following the parade. Mayor Ken Welch led the countdown to light the tree.
Santa arrived with some help from St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.
“Something fun to do on a Saturday. We’ve got the kids. My mom lives downtown so we had parking which is a really convenient thing to have, off street parking and a couple blocks away for a walk, run the kids around, tire then out, have a fun night,” said Martin Knaust.
The annual holiday tradition coincided with Small Business Saturday. Hundreds of people were enjoying the shops and restaurants on Saturday night.
“Fortunately, people come from Sarasota. They come from Spring Hill, come all the way down here in an effort to see what’s happening in downtown St. Pete because they know there is always something happening,” said Jose Martinez, Founder of Sartorial Inc., a men’s clothing store.
The City of St. Pete has numerous events throughout the month of December, including Snowfest at North Straub Park on Saturday, Dec. 3.
For a complete list, visit the city’s website.