ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mayor Rick Kriseman announced a new plan Tuesday to bring back live events to St. Petersburg… with a slew of new rules to keep attendees safe.
One of the biggest events soon to return to the city is the St. Pete Grand Prix, which will return October 23 through October 25 allowing a limited number of race fans.
The grandstands at Albert Whitted Airport have sat empty for six months since the race was canceled in March.
Lee Aquino, who works as a chef at the Birchwood and Teak Restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg can’t wait for the event to return.
“We’re really excited to get that loud noise happening down here again. It’s huge. It’s one of those pivotal hospitality holidays every year for us,” he explained.
Carly Craven, just down the street at the Adventures in Paradise Retail shop agrees.
“Having the race again will be great. That one last corner is like right outside of the store,” she said with a smile.
St. Pete leaders announced Tuesday that other events can also start applying for permits beginning on Monday, October 5. However, event organizers now have to submit a COVID-19 mitigation plan and have it approved by city leaders.
The plan must have strict guidelines for how the event will work to prevent the spread of the virus…including this key factor: “If you can not maintain social distancing and you’re not with members of your family or party, please put on a mask,” Mayor Kriseman added.
St. Pete leaders say it’s also critical that the COVID-19 positivity rate stays below 5%. Business employees tell ABC Action News they’ll continue to do their part.
“Right now, everyone comes in, they put their mask on right outside the door, we have our dressing rooms open. We clean them every time someone uses them,” Craven added.
Also starting Monday, libraries, recreation centers and city buildings will be able to fully reopen in St. Pete.