St. Petersburg Celebrates All Things Local at LocalTopia

Williams Park in St. Petersburg will turn into a mecca for community, arts and locals on February 1.

Localtopia is a celebration of locally owned and independent businesses in St. Petersburg. The event will include a full entertainment lineup, a craft beer garden with local brews on tap, local food trucks, a children’s area and other offerings from independent businesses.

Local artists will provide live painting, and Creative Clay will make valentines.

Williams Park, the city’s first park, used to be a vibrant area for community gatherings. The group is hoping to use this event to bring that community feeling back to the park.

"We want to be a catalyst for other activities in the park throughout the year," says Olga Bof, founder and president of Keep St. Petersburg Local. "It will be a really visually rich event."

The event is the 2nd anniversary celebration for Keep St. Petersburg Local, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance. The group supports locally-owned, independent businesses through promotional campaigns, events and advocacy.

With over 400 members, the group’s accomplishments in its first two years of operations have included educational sessions to help local businesses grow, a city proclamation for independent week, and the first Guide to Independent Businesses publication. Members were recently highlighted in Kevin Bacon’s campaign to support buying local over the holidays.

"We want to spread the message even wider so that it becomes a way of life rather than a special occasion where you buy local,'' says Bof. "It's really about having our community think local first because it means that they’re supporting their family, their friends, their neighbors."

Funds from Localtopia benefit Keep St. Petersburg Local, as well as St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Suncoast Center.

The event’s presenting sponsor is Mazzaro’s Italian Market. Other supporters include Brown Distributing, Paper Street Market, The Hideaway Café and the City of St. Petersburg.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Olga Bof, Keep St. Petersburg Local

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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