ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Localtopia, St. Petersburg’s annual “celebration of all things local” will go ahead this weekend as planned, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, to give businesses a boost in what’s been a really tough year.
Olga Bof, the founder of Keep St. Petersburg Local, said she was determined to make the event happen, even during a pandemic.
“If we as humans have had the toughest year, imagine what a business owner has gone through this past year,” Bof said.
For the past seven years, the event has put a spotlight on local shops, food vendors and artists.
Bof told 8 On Your Side that she considered cancelling this year’s festival because of coronavirus. But ultimately, she pressed forward in hopes of helping all local owners in the area.
“It’s actually our most important year because we want these businesses to survive, to be here after, and to make it to next year’s festival,” Bof said.
“We have a much smaller affair this year because of the pandemic,” she added.
The event will take place at limited capacity and there will be other safety measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Vendors will be spaced out in a fenced-in area. Visitors must undergo temperature checks. Masks are required, except for when eating or drinking in a no-mask designated area.
Bof said music will be played at the bandstand for the first time in more than a year.
“I think it’s going to be a joy filled day for the community, not just for the vendors to do well, but, for the community to experience what life was like before,” Bof said.
Localtopia will take place Saturday at Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free.
More information is available on the festival’s website.