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Grand Opening For St. Petersburg's Revitalized Pier District Is Finally Here

Janet Eckelman sculpture at the Pier District in St. Petersburg

It’s taken two years and held up by the coronavirus pandemic, but St. Petersburg residents will finally get their first official glimpse of the revitalized Pier District on the city’s waterfront.

The unveiling takes place Monday afternoon in a reservation-required event starting at 5 p.m., and continues throughout this week.

The $92 million project was originally slated to open in 2018. It was then delayed until December 2019.

It was most recently scheduled to reopen May 30. That date was delayed after Go. Ron DeSantis suggested large crowds should not gather during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the pier’s features are a Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, restaurants including Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille, 17 vendors in the Pier’s marketplace, a $1 million playground, and Janet Echelman’s $1.47 million “Bending Arc” sculpture.

Officials are requiring reservations this week to limit crowds. Tickets will be issued from Monday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at 8 p.m.; details on tickets and parking are available on the city of St. Petersburg Pier website.

City officials recommend wearing a face mask when social distancing is not possible.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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