WHAT: 8th Annual LOCALTOPIA, “A Community Celebration of All Things Local”
WHEN: Saturday, February 20, 2021 | 10 am to 5 pm (Rain Date: February 27, 2021)
WHERE: Williams Park, 330 2nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Plus Streets Closed for Festival (See Map: https://localtopia.keepsaintpetersburglocal.org/#map)
Streets closed for LOCALTOPIA:
2nd Avenue between 2nd and 4th Streets North | Main Entrance/Exit at Corner of 2nd Ave & 2nd St N
3rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues North (1st Ave N heading west will be open, but parking spaces next to the park will not be available) | Entrance Only: Park Entrance at 1st Ave & 3rd St N
The old bus lane on 4th Street North will also be closed (4th St N heading south will still be open)
Pursuant to Pinellas County Order No. 21-3, the whole festival footprint will be enclosed. These are the Entrances at which every single attendee’s temperature will be taken upon entry + event Exits:
MAIN ENTRANCE/EXIT: Corner of 2nd Ave & 2nd St N
ENTRANCE ONLY: Park Entrance at 1st Ave & 3rd St N
EXIT ONLY: Methodist Church Parking Lot off 2nd Ave N
Free Bike Valet at Main Entrance/Exit – Corner of 2nd Ave & 2nd St N
WHO: Organized by Keep Saint Petersburg Local – Also KSPL’s 9-Year Anniversary Celebration
Presented by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
COST: FREE* family-friendly festival *(Please consider throwing something into the tip jars at the “Local Thirst Stations” to help support LOCALTOPIA)
NO DOGS due to social distancing issues. Please leave pets at home!
*Not* pet-friendly since 2016 due to large crowds. Because we love our furry friends, we want to ensure that they (and our human friends) stay safe.
COVID-19 Plan: bit.ly/LocaltopiaCOVIDPlan
Masks are required for attendance & temperature readings will be taken at all entrances!
The 8th Annual LOCALTOPIA, “A Community Celebration of All Things Local,” presented by the Independent Business Alliance, Keep Saint Petersburg Local (KSPL), and voted “Best Festival” two years in a row, is ON!
Last year’s LOCALTOPIA was the biggest one ever staged by KSPL. A few short weeks after, was when our world changed. LOCALTOPIA 2020 was one of the last, large special events to take place before the pandemic began. Thankfully, we were still able to put on the festival, at which vendors experienced a record sales day. Many have shared that their participation that day is what has kept them in business. As many of LOCALTOPIA’s vendors are makers, they did not qualify for PPP loans and/or grants, and any assistance that they did receive did not kick in until months later.
Every year we are proud to say that LOCALTOPIA will be bigger and better than the previous year. This year, that is not a claim we can make; however, even if it is not the biggest one ever, this year’s LOCALTOPIA will be the most important one we have ever presented. Many of this year’s participants’ livelihoods depended upon markets and events, which have not taken place this past year. Due to spikes in our area’s COVID-19 case numbers after the holidays, many events at which they were hoping to participate have been cancelled.
Planning for this year’s festival was already challenging enough due to pandemic-related issues: No major sponsors | No draft beer sales (and alcohol sales are expected to decrease significantly) – In an abundance of caution, we chose to not have draft beer this year. We also chose to not operate the event in its normal “sip/eat & stroll” manner, as part of our COVID-19 Plan. There will only be one area where attendees can remove masks when activelyconsuming food and drinks. It also meant having to move all of the food and drink vendors out of Williams Park, and off 3rd Street, where many have normally been interspersed. They will now all be located on the same street for safety, and to have them right next to the area where eating and drinking can take place. We will still have food trucks lined up in the “Food Truck Rally Alley” on 4th Street, but no eating and drinking can take place there, and we will also have more food trucks on 2nd Avenue, alongside the other food and drink vendors. (On the plus side, it will create the biggest and best “Local Food Hall” in St. Pete, with nearly 50 of our City’s favorites all in one place!) | Less vendors – As much as we would have wanted to have more vendors this year, we’ve created more distance between them than normally exists at the event. We added even more space between them in Williams Park, to allow for more room on the paths inside the Park. As they will only be located on one side of those paths, this creates an automatic directional as there will not be anything to see on the other side, plus more room to spread out. | Less volunteers (LOCALTOPIA is volunteer-powered) – We expected to have less volunteers this year due to varying comfort levels. Even though we have been so incredibly lucky to have volunteers returning year after year, some of them may be immuno-comprised. We would not want to have anyone participating who does not feel comfortable being at the event, and/or cannot participate due to medical conditions.
Our extensive COVID-19 Plan was already taxing our limited funding and resources before Pinellas County issued its Emergency Order No. 21-3 on January 21, 2021. “Any other event organizer would have chosen to cancel. But, it is Keep Saint Petersburg Local that puts on LOCALTOPIA,” says Olga Bof, Founder/Executive Director. “As a mission-led event, rather than one that is purely profit-led, we know how important this day is for our vendors. LOCALTOPIA is not a superfluous event, it is a vital, economic stimulus for our community. Last year’s festival had an economic impact of nearly $4 million dollars on just LOCALTOPIA Day. The 2020 Economic Impact Study’s results only included non-residents; it would have been much higher if it included our locals, who are the majority of those who attend. It also did not reflect the event’s impact post-pandemic – how many of the participants not only were able to stay in business, but that our locals were seeking them out months after the festival. Because of all of this, we have a responsibility, and an obligation, to do everything we absolutely can to put this event on this year. It’s going to be exceedingly difficult to do it, but it is our duty to do so – for our vendors, for our Independent Business Alliance’s members, and for our City. We also know that we are operating in the safest way we possibly can, following all CDC, County and City guidelines. There are other events that have already happened, that did not operate in the manner in which LOCALTOPIA will be managed. We completely understand that not everyone will feel comfortable attending this year. But, those who do feel comfortable attending this outdoor, masked event are asked to adhere to all of the measures in place for everyone’s benefit.
Despite the challenges and COVID measures, we have still planned a very special festival, with new elements including a new arts area, as we still want to provide engaging art experiences this year. LOCALTOPIA will still feel like St. Pete’s best “Community Celebration of All Things Local.” We hope that everyone will still bring the best vibes they’ve always brought out on LOCALTOPIA Day!
Next year, we hope to put on the biggest LOCALTOPIA ever to make up for this past crazy year! But many of those participating won’t be around if we don’t support them right now! Whether you choose to come to the festival, visit our brick-and-mortars, or you’re still only comfortable buying online, please do all you can to help Keep St. Pete Local, right now, more than ever!”
• MAKERS & MERCHANTS: Art & Handcrafted Goods, Artisanal & Plant-Based Food & Beverages, Body/Self-Care, Books, Clothing & Accessories, Home Decor, Jewelry, Pet, Plants & Plant-Based Products, Vintage, Vinyl & Much More! (Find all the Vendors HERE)
• VILLAGES: Arts Village | Family Village | Health & Wellness Village | #AllThingsPlants Village (Learn more about the Villages HERE)
• EAT & DRINK LOCAL: 4th Street: Food Truck Rally Alley | 2nd Avenue: More Food Trucks + Restaurants + Food & Drink Vendors + “Local Thirst Stations” Selling Local Beer in Cans & Canned Wine (Find all the Vendors HERE)
• 3RD STREET (Between 1st and 2nd Avenues): Boutiques | DJ (Owner of STUFT Gourmet Foods – 1 of 2 DJs we’ll have this year) | Literary Corner | Street Fun
NEW FOR 2021:
• 2ND AVENUE (Between 2nd and 3rd Streets): Our New Arts Area will allow you to experience street art from a safe distance. In addition to the CARMADA Art Cars you’ll find on the street, you can watch one being live painted by artist, JUJMO. You can also shop for art from the nearly dozen artists on this newly-added street, as you listen to DJ rogerthomas (Find all the Vendors HERE)
• LIVE LOCAL MUSIC on the Williams Park Bandstand (View the Lineup HERE)
• STREET ART & PERFORMANCES for All Ages & More Surprises!
About Keep Saint Petersburg Local:
Keep Saint Petersburg Local is a non-profit organization, affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance, working to build a thriving local economy and a unique community. The Alliance does this by nurturing connections for and acting as the voice of locally-owned, independent businesses and by raising awareness of the importance of buying local.
About Local Businesses:
Independent, locally-owned businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. They use the goods and services of other local businesses. They’re owned by our friends and neighbors, or maybe even you (they employ our friends and neighbors too). Community-serving businesses are the backbone of local economies, civic life, local charities and wealth creation for millions of citizens, as well as a training ground for future generations of entrepreneurs.
The problem is that today, independent businesses face unprecedented competition from larger chain competitors, internet merchants and franchises that enjoy national or international branding power and major economies of scale. As a result, community-based businesses comprise a smaller portion of our economy than ever before. We’ll lose much more than places to shop, dine or do business if we allow current trends to continue.