To celebrate the Honda Grand Prix taking place this weekend, St. Pete is hosting the Grand Prix Illuminated Night Parade on Thursday 22 March. Although the Grand Prix started in 2003 in St. Pete, the Illuminated Night Parade has been held since 1969. The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg, Inc. are in charge of setting up the parade. The Suncoasters is an non-profit civic organization of volunteer business leaders who donate their time and money to produce events to honor the City of St. Petersburg and to raise funds to provide scholarships and financial support for youth education in arts and music. There will be floats, krewes, marching bands, neighborhood associations, dance troupes and the Grand Prix drivers in their show cars to celebrate the official start of the Grand Prix Race Weekend. For the 30th year, the 500-member Second Time Arounders Marching Band will marching in the parade. Following the parade, there will be a fireworks show at North Straub Park. The parade starts at Central Avenue and 5th Street and travels east on Central Avenue, then heads north on 2nd Street, then heads east on 1st Ave North, then north on Beach Drive to 5th Avenue North. All downtown parking garages will be open to the public. Parking is available at Baywalk Garage and the South Core Garage on 1st Avenue South. Handicap Parking will be available on the South side of 5th Avenue, East of Bayshore Drive. All seating is first-come, first-served.
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