St. Petersburg’s First Friday block party will return after all

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After announcing last month that the popular First Friday block party in downtown St. Petersburg suspended indefinitelyorganizers announced on social media that the event was saved and would continue this week thanks to new sponsors.

For more than 20 years, on the first Friday of each month, traffic was stopped on two blocks of Central Avenue for a party featuring live music and beer and food vendors. In its early days, downtown was not the busier destination it is today, and the party is credited with attracting a wide range of ages to the monthly gathering.

The event was put “on pause” in November and December as organizers said they needed sponsors to come to the rescue because it costs nearly $12,000 each month to fund street closures, policing, insurance and organization.

Earlier this week, organizers posted on the Facebook event page that it returns this Friday, January 5, thanks to sponsors CMK Construction and My Florida Bathroom, as well as Forward Hospitality, owners of the Goodnight John Boy nightclub and the western-themed bar Welcome To The Farm.

“First Friday St Pete is back and we're ready to rock!,” the announcement reads, noting that the 6-10 p.m. event will host party band 22N.

Music producer 22N Force Productions and Tampa Bay Nightlife TV have revived the block party in early 2022 after a pandemic hiatus.

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