Monday, Dec 22, 2014

St. Petersburg prepares for annual First Night parties

TBO.com staff
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ST. PETERSBURG - The city’s annual New Year’s Eve party begins Tuesday as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of Tony Jannus’ flight across Tampa Bay with art, dance, theater and music.

Dubbed “First Night, First Flight 2014,” the festivities kick off with FirstKids at the Morean Arts Center at 4 p.m., where children may make hats, masks and paper planes. There will be two parades – a 7 p.m. Procession of Flight led by the Mount Zion Drumline and Color Guard from the Morean Arts Center, and a 10:30 p.m. parade of hand-decorated, Chinese-style dragons from Williams Park.

First Night, one of the largest outdoor New Year’s Eve parties in Florida, includes musical performances from opera to hip-hop, a youth talent show and banyan-tree climbing. Fireworks are scheduled for 8 p.m. and midnight.

Streets will be closed along Central Avenue, Fifth and Second streets north, and along Second Avenue North to Bayshore Drive.

Some First Night events are free, but many require buttons that may be purchased at the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Museum of Fine Arts. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.

On Wednesday, an airboat will re-enact Jannus’ flight across Tampa Bay. The plane will take off after a 9 a.m. ceremony near the approach to the Pier, 335 Second Ave. N.E., and will land in the seaplane basin at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa.

For a detailed schedule of music, performances and activities, visit www .firstnightstpete.com.

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