Workers spent the day putting the finishing touches on a giant birthday cake in Straub Park, for St. Petersburg's 20th year of "First Night". The event began in 1993 as an alternative, non-alcoholic way to ring in the New Year. The events feature local artists, and live music. "We basically bring art out into the open for the whole community to enjoy," said Jorge Vidal, First Night program and volunteer coordinator.
The venues will be at various locations within walking distance...including, BayWalk, Straub Park, Williams Park, and the Museum of Fine Arts. While most of the outdoor events can be enjoyed for free, a $10 button buys admission to the indoor acts, and pays for the costs of putting on the First Night celebration.
First Night is a family event and features several unusual activities. Some of the favorites returning this year are bubble wrap stomping and the candle lantern labyrinth."People will get ribbons as they enter the labyrinth to think about what they want for the new year. At the end of the maze they tie their ribbon in the tree. By the end of the night the tree is literally full of good wishes and goals for 2013," says Wendy Nero, First Night volunteer.
This year people can also participate in a giant 30' X 24' Twister Board, and a 70 person musical chairs game. Also, folks will be allowed to legally climb the majestic banyan trees in Straub Park.
Two fireworks shows, at 9 and Midnight, top off the night.
It takes about 40 city workers and 100 volunteers to put-on the event. Organizers expect a crowd of 25-30,000 this evening.
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