Independence Insurance Agency

Learn How the Commercial

Trucking Insurance Experts at Independence Agency

Can Save your Company Thousands of Dollars!

Get A Quote

Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Saint Petersburg, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

Service Areas

percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Saint Petersburg, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Saint Petersburg, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Saint Petersburg, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

phone Call Now
 Trucking Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Saint Petersburg, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Saint Petersburg, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Saint Petersburg, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Saint Petersburg, FL

Latest News in Saint Petersburg, FL

Top Tampa Bay area events for the week of Dec. 4-10

Pinellas Park Christmas Parade: The 50th annual, one-sided holiday parade takes on a 1970s theme. All floats will be decorated to represent something from that era. The parade starts at the railroad tracks and travels east on Park Boulevard to U.S. 19, disbanding at the overpass near Shoppes at Park Place. Eastbound lanes will be closed and the westbound lanes will travel both directions during the parade. Free. 6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). McDonald’s, 5170 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park.Nate Bargatze: The 2021 Grammy-nomi...

Pinellas Park Christmas Parade: The 50th annual, one-sided holiday parade takes on a 1970s theme. All floats will be decorated to represent something from that era. The parade starts at the railroad tracks and travels east on Park Boulevard to U.S. 19, disbanding at the overpass near Shoppes at Park Place. Eastbound lanes will be closed and the westbound lanes will travel both directions during the parade. Free. 6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). McDonald’s, 5170 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park.

Nate Bargatze: The 2021 Grammy-nominated comedian and podcaster who recently hosted “Saturday Night Live” performs. $36-$76. 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6500.

On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan: This is the true-story musical about two people who believed in their talent and each other and became an international sensation. $58-$98. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday (Dec. 7-8). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000. themahaffey.com.

Snow Days at the Aquarium: The “Snow Fly Zone” this year has added activities including a snowball toss, snowball slingshot, snow painting and a snow maze. Aquarium staff will constantly be making new snow to keep it fresh. There will be a snow maze, snowball cornhole, dancing on the rooftop terrace and more. Included with admission; $29.70 and up. 9:30 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (Dec. 9-10). The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000.

IRB Holiday Tour of Homes: Enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt of beach homes decorated for the holidays with music, art, decorations, refreshments, raffles and more. Upgrade to VIP tickets for a tour guide experience on the Jolly Trolley. Benefits the Beach Art Center. $30-$100. 1-6 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Beach Art Center, 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. 727-596-4331.

Hanukkah in the City: The Chabad Center of Greater St. Petersburg celebrates the first night of Hanukkah with aerial performances, live music, a gelt drop, face painting, latkes, doughnuts and a menorah lighting with elected officials. RSVP to chabadsp.com/Chanukah23. Free. 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). South Straub Park, 198 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

Christmas at Coachman: Enjoy music as you shop from more than 125 local artisans and small businesses at this market with an interactive play area, pet adoptions, fresh produce, a splash pad, playground, photos with Santa, stories by Mrs. Claus, appearances by the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who and a pet parade. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater.

Planning your weekend?

Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter

We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.

Loading...

Christmas in the Country: Bring the family to experience the sights, sounds and smells of an old-fashioned country Christmas. Learn how the holiday traditions of the 19th century differ from those of the 21st through hands-on crafts, holiday activities, historical interpretations, carols and decorations. $14, $12 seniors/students, 5 and younger free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Cracker Country at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 N. U.S. 301, Tampa. 813-627-4225.

Oakdale Holiday Light Display: People come from around the world to see this giant walk-through holiday light show. The 46th anniversary edition covers approximately half an acre and features more than 500,000 lights, an 18-train HO scale model railroad, a 150-piece manger scene, four giant Christmas trees, a bubble machine, a dancing life-sized snowman and more. 6-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 3. Free. Kresge House, 2719 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg.

Merry Beach Market and Holiday Festival: There will be more than 150 local vendors, live entertainment and food and drink stands. The Merry Beach Market is also a good spot to watch the start of the 57th annual Madeira Beach Lighted Boat Parade and the official lighting of the Madeira Beach Christmas tree. Other activities include photo ops with Santa and snow for the kids to play in. Free. 2-8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). ROC Park, 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach. 727-392-0665, ext. 503.

Jingle Y’All: Six of country music’s newest and biggest stars are featured, including Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Elle King, Corey Kent, Kassi Ashton and Neon Union. Benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. $60 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5). Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. 813-627-7625.

Plays in the Park: For this theatrical picnic, Clearwater library staff will be reading an act of a famous play aloud as a group, with parts randomly assigned. No acting experience is required. Bring a picnic blanket or towel to sit on. The group will meet on the first floor of the Clearwater Main Library lobby and move to Coachman Park (weather permitting). Free. 2-3:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. 727-562-4970.

Ho-Ho Holiday Party: Take your photo with Santa and enjoy crafts, inflatables, games, prizes and a holiday hayride to see the neighborhood lights. Free. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Morningside Recreation Complex, 2400 Harn Blvd., Clearwater. 727-562-4280.

Winter Village: This year features a cafe, shops, ice skating, movies, boat parade viewing, silent disco (Fridays only), Winter Village Express on the TECO Trolley, hourly light shows (7-10 p.m.), curling, visits with Santa, theme nights and more. Hours given are for the shops and cafe. For a schedule of special events, ice skating times and tickets, go to wintervillagetampa.com. Village free, skating and some special events additional. 4-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday (Dec. 7-8), noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (Dec. 9-10). Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa.

A Christmas Carol Gets Decked: This funny take on the Charles Dickens classic asks the question “What would happen if everything that could go wrong with a community theater production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ did go wrong?” $21-$27. 8-10 p.m. Friday (Dec. 8), 2-4 and 8-10 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9), 2-4 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Carrollwood Players Theatre, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. 813-265-4000.

Nurse Blake: Orlando native Blake Lynch, a nurse who discovered that humor helped him get through a period of burnout and the pandemic, shares his perspective with audiences around the country. $39.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. Macinnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

Handel’s Messiah: With its divine “Hallelujah” chorus, Messiah, a tradition for nearly 300 years, is the ultimate celebration of holiday joy. Florida Orchestra music director Michael Francis conducts the orchestra in a performance that features The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000.

Hope for the Holidays: This holiday-themed wrestling match benefits local families through numerous charities. No cover. 4-8 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Cage Brewing, 2001 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg. 727-201-4278.

Christmas in the Wild: Thousands of lights fill holiday-themed areas throughout ZooTampa for this event featuring larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures and the return of Forest of Fantasy Christmas tree light shows with synchronized lights and music. In addition, expect festive activities, entertainment, wildlife encounters and Santa Claus. $29.95, free to members and pay-for-a-day ticket holders. 4-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday (Dec. 8-10). ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. 813-935-8552.

Movies for Maui: A double feature of “Flying High Again” and “Legend Has It,” two movies about snowboarding and skiing. Benefits victims of the Maui wildfires. $27.50, $15 ages 11 and younger. 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). Largo Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive. 980-920-9016.

Holiday Pops: The university’s Symphony Orchestra will have jazz and pop singers, ballerinas and even a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, with a free photo op. Free. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. University of Tampa David Falk Theater, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. 813-253-3333.

South Pasadena Lighted Boat Parade: The parade starts on the northeast side of Pasadena Isle, just outside MarineMax St. Petersburg. Free. 6:30 p.m. Friday. 6810 Gulfport Blvd. S., St. Petersburg. 727-343-6520.

The Outlaws: Formed in Tampa in 1972, the band whose hits include “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” performs. With special guest The Artimus Pyle Band featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. $39.50-$109.50. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

Sarah Brightman: The Grammy-nominated soprano brings her Christmas symphony tour to Tampa Bay. $53.75-$253.75. 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 12). Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Here’s how the Tampa Bay area is observing Hanukkah

This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown Thursday and ends at sundown Dec. 15. The holiday is coming at a time as the world continues to watch the war between Israel and Hamas and marches and protests erupt around the world. The following is a list of 14 ways the Tampa Bay area is observing the holiday.Hanukkah in the City: The Chabad Center of Greater St. Petersburg celebrates with aerial performances, live music, a gelt drop, face painting, latkes, doughnuts and a menorah lighting with elected officials. RSVP to ...

This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown Thursday and ends at sundown Dec. 15. The holiday is coming at a time as the world continues to watch the war between Israel and Hamas and marches and protests erupt around the world. The following is a list of 14 ways the Tampa Bay area is observing the holiday.

Hanukkah in the City: The Chabad Center of Greater St. Petersburg celebrates with aerial performances, live music, a gelt drop, face painting, latkes, doughnuts and a menorah lighting with elected officials. RSVP to chabadsp.com/Chanukah23. Free. 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). South Straub Park, 198 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

Outdoor Menorah Lighting: A New York deli popup and menorah lighting with latkes, doughnuts and chocolate gelt. No cover. 5 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). Kosher Kaddy Market, 5113 State Road 674, Wimauma.

Unite Through Light: Hanukkah: Join Chabad of Clearwater for the lighting a themed menorah, a visit from ThunderBug, a show by Nerdy Noah, a gelt drop by the Clearwater Fire Department, live music, a Hebrew school performance, latkes, doughnuts and dreidels. Free. 5 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7). Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. 727-265-2770.

Hanukkah Celebration: This inclusive celebration of food and culture features potato pancakes and other fried party foods. No cover. 5-10 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 7) through Dec. 14. Wheelhouse, 7220 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-623-0589.

Hanukkah Stay and Play: Kids can decorate a Star of David through coloring and stickers. RSVP to amandaseaton@fit4mom.com to ensure there are enough supplies. No cover. 10 a.m. Friday (Dec. 8). Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-796-1070.

Hanukkah on Ice: The annual celebration features the lighting of an ice menorah and skating to Jewish music around the flaming menorah. $10 (includes skate rental). 8-10 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 9). AdventHealth Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel. 813-803-7372.

Chase the Dreidel 5K: Chase a human dreidel in sneakers as it “spins,” or runs, through St. Petersburg. Includes a medal, shirt, swag bag, potato pancake supper and doughnuts. $36. 4-7 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Congregation B’nai Israel, 300 58th St. N., St. Petersburg.

Hanukkah at the Beach: Join Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg to light up the fourth candle of Hanukkah at this beachfront celebration with music, latkes and dreidels. Free. 5:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Treasure Island Beach Access, 10400 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island. 727-549-6165.

Hanukkah: This “Light of the World” biblical celebration includes dinner, traditional music, songs, activities, games, lessons, a bonfire, desserts and a cocoa bar. $30, $20 children. 4-7 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). The Barn at Pine and Palms, 19146 Huckavalle Drive, Odessa.

Planning your weekend?

Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter

We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.

Loading...

Hanukkah Menorah Parade: The parade will leave from the Chabad House and drive through Fishhawk, making stops at individual homes to give out treats. Free. 5 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Chabad of Brandon and Southshore, 11412 Mcmullen Road, Riverview.

Hanukkah Street Fair: Join Chabad at Wiregrass to “Light Up the Night” at this celebration with a helicopter gelt drop, aerial show, DJ dancing, bungee jump, rock climbing, obstacle course, photo booth, face painting, stilt walkers, potato latkes and doughnuts. No cover. 5-7 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Krate at the Grove Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd. 813-406-5819.

Hanukkah on Ice: Join Chabad of Pinellas for the annual celebration with ice skating, the Grand Israel menorah lighting, music, balloons, gelt, doughnuts and latkes. Free. 5-7 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10). Tampa Bay Skating Academy at Westfield Countryside, 27001 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater. 727-723-7785.

Downtown Dunedin Hanukkah Celebration: Chabad of Pinellas County lights a jumbo neon menorah at this celebration with a drone gelt drop, DJ dancing, songs, latkes and doughnuts. Free (reservations required at YIChabad.com/Festival). 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 12). John Lawrence Pioneer Park, 420 Main St., Dunedin.

Hanukkah Read Aloud: An interactive read-aloud to a Hanukkah-themed book with games and craft activities for children. Free. 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 13). Clearwater Beach Library, 69 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater. 727-562-4970.

St. Pete Beach’s Café Soleil is starting a new chapter

After a decade nestled in a cozy corner of the Dolphin Village Shopping Center, St. Pete Beach’s Café Soleil is relocating just a half-mile north on Gulf Boulevard. If all goes well, the popular French bakery and coffee shop will launch its next era early in January.It’s been quite the learning curve for the café’s owner Lauren Chezaud, who contends her landlord, New York-based Brixmor Property Group, forced her out of Dolphin Village so she wouldn’t compete with a Starbucks in the plaza.St...

After a decade nestled in a cozy corner of the Dolphin Village Shopping Center, St. Pete Beach’s Café Soleil is relocating just a half-mile north on Gulf Boulevard. If all goes well, the popular French bakery and coffee shop will launch its next era early in January.

It’s been quite the learning curve for the café’s owner Lauren Chezaud, who contends her landlord, New York-based Brixmor Property Group, forced her out of Dolphin Village so she wouldn’t compete with a Starbucks in the plaza.

Starbucks moved in many months ago. “We had been co-existing peacefully for the last year,” Chezaud said.

The nightmare began when she approached Brixmor about renewing the lease for Café Soleil, which had been initially signed in 2013. “They very nicely told me that they had a great location on the other side of the shopping center,” Chezaud said. “It was bigger, and they were going to give me a deal on. So I thought ‘why not?’”

She said she spent nine months getting through city red tape and negotiating with contractors in anticipation of the relocation. “They sent me a lease for the new place; I signed it and I never heard back from them. I was in a rush. I needed to know what was going on.

In a letter, she said, “They pretty much let me know that I no longer had a deal, because by relocating to the other side of the shopping center, I was becoming a new tenant.”

The terms of the new lease, according to Chezaud, dictated that she couldn’t sell anything that competed with Starbucks. “We’re a coffee shop. There’s no way we could survive without serving coffee. And they told us we could no longer serve specialty drinks, why is why people come to our place.”

She is in possession of a text from her leasing agent, alleging a conflict: “The way your menu reads right now, Starbucks will not approve your use.”

Brixmor, which manages 365 shopping centers nationwide, including Seminole Plaza, Tyrone Gardens and Rutland Plaza in Pinellas County, issued a statement in September challenging Chezaud’s claims.

“While our leasing representative’s text could have been worded differently, she was indicating that there was a potential conflict within another tenant’s lease,” it read. “The potential conflict was ultimately resolved, but Café Soleil informed us she no longer wished to remain in our center and is relocating to another location.

“As previously communicated, Café Soleil was not asked to change its menu or stop serving coffee and pastries.”

Through a statement, Starbucks also told WTSP-10 Tampa Bay the corporate giant “had no knowledge of the café’s status with Dolphin Village ownership” and was committed to being a “good neighbor” in the St. Pete Beach shopping center.

Chezaud smelled a rat. “Everyone denied,” she said. “They all blamed each other.”

Unfortunately, she added, “I couldn’t sue them. They didn’t break my lease. They just decided not to renew it. I have a lot of people working for me. I can’t afford to go into a legal battle for all kinds of reasons. So it was just maybe easier to move to a place that was happy to have us.”

It’s 5501 Gulf Boulevard, next door to the home of the Taverna on the Bay restaurant – the former home of Caddy’s, and before that, Silas’ Steakhouse.

(For those with long memories, the plaza was the location of the popular Silas Dent restaurant in the 1980s and ‘90s – and in the ‘60s, the location of Tussaud’s London Wax Museum, one the first tourist attractions on St. Pete Beach.)

“We’re right across the street from major hotels, so that’s going to bring in business,” Chezaud enthused. “We’re not too worried about our customers; we were worried about finding a place on the beach, but this is just around the corner.”

A native of Paris, Chezaud decided to open her pastry shop in St. Pete Beach after she read about the place on TripAdvisor.

In 2012, when she moved to the area, “It was a quaint community that was quiet when it wasn’t Spring Break. It was seasonal. The beach would get really busy during Spring Break, Thanksgiving, Christmastime, but we had a time of the year when it was slow. There was no traffic. You had the beach to yourself. There was no loud music on the beach.”

Like all small business owners, she noticed how things began to swell. “We were voted No. 1 beach in the country by TripAdvisor, several times over the past decade,” Chezaud said. “It’s wonderful for businesses, but the downside is that it increases traffic. And it gives motivation to big chains – they want to be on the No. 1 beach in America – so they see financial interest in moving here.”

She is a member of the advocacy group Protect St. Pete Beach.

“We’re not against change. But when it comes to the point where it threatens all the small businesses, or discourages them to open up here, or forces them to leave, then I think people have an issue with that.”

Brixmor Property Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

St. Pete space tech startup adds ex-Virgin Orbit leader and retired astronaut to its leadership team

St. Petersburg’s Lonestar Data Holdings has added two figures from the space industry to its leadership team since September: an ex-president at a space startup and a retired astronaut whose life inspired a movie.Stephen Eisele was appointed president and chief revenue officer of the company on Dec. 4, while Jose H...

St. Petersburg’s Lonestar Data Holdings has added two figures from the space industry to its leadership team since September: an ex-president at a space startup and a retired astronaut whose life inspired a movie.

Stephen Eisele was appointed president and chief revenue officer of the company on Dec. 4, while Jose Hernandez, the former spacewalker, joined the company’s board of directors on Nov. 1. The appointments represent additional levels of support for the early-stage company as it seeks to pioneer storing data on the moon, according to a release.

Eisele will take over the company’s strategy for revenue, development and growth. He has been in the aerospace industry for over a decade, and he spent more than five years as vice president of business development at Virgin Orbit, a bankrupt spin-off of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galatic. He will also look to foster strategic partnerships and expand the company’s market presence. His business experience and knowledge of the space industry will be “instrumental,” according to a release.

“His extensive experience and leadership in the space and satellite industry make him the ideal choice to lead our company into the next phase of growth and innovation,” Chris Stott, the company’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Lonestar Data Holdings has appointed Steve Eisele as its president and chief revenue officer.

Lonestar Data Holdings

As a member of the board of directors, Hernandez will provide insight from his extensive background to help the company navigate the “ever-evolving technology landscape,” the release said. He has worked in various sectors of the aerospace industry.

A movie about his career, called “A Million Miles Away,” highlights his upbringing and maturing into an engineer working with NASA and flying to the International Space Station.

He is retired from his position with NASA and is CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering LLC, an engineering and consulting firm. Several other properties are connected to Hernandez, including Tierra Luna Cellars, a wine company in Lodi, California, and Tierra Luna Grill, a restaurant in Texas.

“We could not be doing any of this without [Hernandez],” Stott said in a prepared statement. “He and his team at Tierra Lunar have been, and continue to be, pivotal to the success of our work at Lonestar.”

Jose Hernandez was appointed to the board of directors of Lonestar Data Holdings.

Lonestar Data Holdings Inc

Lonestar Data Holdings, founded in 2021, has received two pre-series investments totaling more than $6 million. It is a member company at the Innovation District’s Maritime and Defense Technology Hub in St. Pete. Its founder has a 20-year background in aerospace entrepreneurship and development.

In October, it announced plans to launch a test mission from Cape Canaveral to experiment with data transmission on the moon. The test has since been delayed and will be held in January, Stott told the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Keep Digging

The essential holiday drinks to try in St. Pete this season

St. Petersburg is filled with some of Florida’s coolest cafes and coffee shops in Florida. Many of these shops are slinging festive holiday-inspired drinks to add a little extra winter to this tropical wonderland. These are arranged in alphabetical order because we couldn’t begin to rank these spots – they’re all incredible. Did I miss your cafe? Send me an email with your holiday drink: [...

St. Petersburg is filled with some of Florida’s coolest cafes and coffee shops in Florida. Many of these shops are slinging festive holiday-inspired drinks to add a little extra winter to this tropical wonderland. These are arranged in alphabetical order because we couldn’t begin to rank these spots – they’re all incredible. Did I miss your cafe? Send me an email with your holiday drink: [email protected].

Bandit Coffee 2662 Central Ave Must-try drink: Salted Brown Butter Latte (and cold foam) Bandit just launched their new food menu and we’ve been itching to try everything on it. Their infamous Maple Bourbon latte is back for its annual winter appearance. And they have a new salted brown butter latte and cold foam that sounds divine. They described it as “melted Werthers butterscotch” energy and we’re already sold.

Blush Tea and Coffee 2382 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N Must-try drink: The Spiced Eggnog Cold Brew Blush is near and dear to my heart. The Spiced Eggnog Cold Brew and the Cookie Butter Latte are the two I’m most excited about. But they also have Peppermint White Chocolate Matcha Lattes, Gingerbread Tea Lattes, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mochas, and a few more December holiday specials. PS If you haven’t tried the new sandwiches on their lunch menu, you’re missing out!

The Chelsea St. Pete 2462 5th Ave N Must-try drink: O’Canada! The Chelsea feels like it’s a hidden gem still. Tucked into the Warehouse Arts District, it’s part coffee shop, part tea shop, part gift shop, and a lovely little patio space. Their new holiday specials are extra cozy. The O’Canada! is a spiced brown sugar cold brew topped with maple syrup cold foam. And Granny’s Famous Latte is two shots of espresso with caramel apple butter and your choice of milk.

Crislip Cafe 645 Central Ave Must-try drink: Son of a Nutcracker Latte Located in the historic Crislip Arcade on the 600 Block of Central Ave, Crislip Cafe is a St. Pete gem. And they have a holiday drinks menu of almost TEN festive sips for you to work your way through this month. New this year is the Son of a Nutcracker, a roasted hazelnut praline latte. It’s also one of the spots in town to cozy up and enjoy a cup of spiced hot apple cider, a holiday necessity!

Grove Surf + Coffee 7370 Gulf Blvd Must-try drink: Beachside Nog Latte Grove is one of our favorite beachside coffee shops. This winter they’re serving up four holiday cups of cheer. We’re most excited about the Beachside Nog Latte with housemade spiced coconut cream syrup and nutmeg sugar topping. The Peppermint Matcha Latte is a close second though!

Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails 1111 Central Ave Must-try drink: Gingerbread Latte It’s that time of year when Intermezzo Coffee transforms into Miracle at Mezzo, a festive Christmas pop-up bar filled with cheer. During the day though, you can still soak up their impeccable holiday decor while you sip on their seasonal Gingerbread Latte.

Kahwa Coffee Find the Kahwa nearest you Must-try drink: White Chocolate Peppermint Latte Kahwa Coffee has served Tampa and the greater Tampa area for more than 15 years. This locally owned coffee roaster has an amazing staff serving multiple locations and continues to craft the most refreshing brews in the region. Enjoy their delightful White Chocolate Peppermint Latte this winter!

Paradeco Coffee Roasters 111 2nd Ave NE Suite 101 Must-try drink: Black Forest Latte One of downtown’s most aesthetically pleasing cafés, Paradeco Coffee Roasters serves up a mean kimchi potato hash (add egg and avocado). They have a whole crew of winter drinks lined up so here’s the hit list. PSA: All their drink specials are served dairy- and gluten-free! We’ve got a Lemon Rosemary Latte, a Black Forest Latte, a Gingerbread Latte, and a Peppermint Mocha rounding out the lineup.

Sugar Baby 9191 Park Blvd, Seminole Must-try drink: Cranberry Fizz This new café is a touch outside of the classic St. Pete border but it’s well worth the visit. Their breakfast menu is a gem with fluffcakes, breakfast burritos, and magazine-cover-worthy avocado toasties. This holiday season we’re eyeballing their Eggnog Latte, Hot Cocoa, and Cranberry Fizz drinks.

Increased federal funding helps homeowners weatherize, update

When St. Petersburg resident Brian Burke’s air conditioning unit stopped working, he had no idea how he could afford to repair it.“It’s pretty hard to live in Florida with no A/C,” said Burke. “There’s a business owner up the street who I know, so I talked to her about my A/Cgoing out and asked if she knew of any programs in the area.”Burke’s neighbor recommended the Pinellas County Urban League, which administers...

When St. Petersburg resident Brian Burke’s air conditioning unit stopped working, he had no idea how he could afford to repair it.

“It’s pretty hard to live in Florida with no A/C,” said Burke. “There’s a business owner up the street who I know, so I talked to her about my A/Cgoing out and asked if she knew of any programs in the area.”

Burke’s neighbor recommended the Pinellas County Urban League, which administers the Weatherization Assistance Program for Pinellas County. The federal program began in 1976 as a way to reduce energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes. The program funds weatherization improvements like new insulation, duct sealing, heating and cooling systems repairs or replacement, air infiltration mitigation, roof repair, mold remediation and installing ENERGY STAR lighting and appliances. Florida implements the program through a network of local providers like the Pinellas County Urban League.

“So since our inception of this program, we’ve been able to serve over 11,000 individuals in Pinellas County, which we’re very proud of,” said Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, President & CEO of the Urban League.

Now, even more residents will be able to benefit from the program as increased funding is coming to Pinellas County. In 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal designated $3.5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, with $93.6 million coming to Florida. U.S. Rep Kathy Castor says she’s been advocating to bring those funds to her district, resulting in an additional $223,000 to help the Pinellas County Urban League expand the program.

“[Burke] is not alone,” said Castor. “Across this community, there are so many of our neighbors who need these upgrades and retrofits to their homes to keep them healthy, to save money and to create jobs. This program creates jobs because they hire local contractors.”

Through the weatherization program, Burke was able to receive a new air conditioning unit, sealed ducts, a smoke detector, door sweeps, a water heater, energy-efficient light bulbs and an air filtration unit.

“Especially with my breathing and my heart condition, that helps,” said Burke. “It’s a blessing to have something like that.”

Gaskin-Capehart says applicants have to be at 200% of the national poverty level to qualify for the program, prioritizing seniors and residents with disabilities.

“That $223,000 that we received in October of this year will allow us to expand these programs in helping additional clients who aren’t necessarily already prepared for the weatherization programs,” said Gaskin-Capehart. “A lot of the local contractors that are here have had a major impact on the lives of our clients through this type of work.”

Castor and Gaskin-Capehart also touted the program’s money-saving benefits, emphasizing that helping low-income residents weatherize and update their homes leads to reduced electric bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, households that receive the Weatherization Assistance Program improvements and upgrades save on average $372 or more every year. Burke said the upgrades to his home have led to 30% lower utility costs.

“That,” he said, “was a godsend.”

Latest December 2023 Forecast Prediction For FL Released

FLORIDA — Winter has unofficially begun with slightly cooler than average temperatures in Florida and increased precipitation expected, a new forecast says.The Weather Channel said in an updated outlook released Thursday that December could bring slightly cooler than average conditions along the East Coast into Florida this month thanks to the El Nino weather pattern.Last week, warming ...

FLORIDA — Winter has unofficially begun with slightly cooler than average temperatures in Florida and increased precipitation expected, a new forecast says.

The Weather Channel said in an updated outlook released Thursday that December could bring slightly cooler than average conditions along the East Coast into Florida this month thanks to the El Nino weather pattern.

Last week, warming shelters opened in parts of Tampa Bay as overnight lows dropped into the 40s. Temperatures will fluctuate this week in Florida, with highs from the low 80s to upper 60s.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 81. West northwest wind around 9 mph.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. Northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. North northwest wind 6 to 8 mph.

Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 67. North northwest wind 7 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 45. North northeast wind 9 to 11 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. North northeast wind around 10 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. Northeast wind 7 to 9 mph.

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 76. East wind 7 to 9 mph.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 60.

The Climate Prediction Center says with 100 percent certainty the strengthening El Niño weather pattern will last through early winter, and with 90 percent certainty that it will last until spring. This year’s El Niño, which began developing in June, is the first in four years.

Not all El Niños are the same, and that adds uncertainty to winter forecasts, according to The Weather Channel.

In general, the forecast calls for warmer-than-average temperatures in the northern U.S. from the Great Lakes to western Canada to Alaska; drier-than-normal conditions in the Midwest and Ohio Valley; wetter conditions in the Southwest; and cooler-than-normal temperatures in the South and Southeast.

Family owned business sells Christmas trees in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - One local family has barely gotten sleep as they work seven days a week to make sure people find the perfect Christmas tree to put gifts under.The Gallagher's and their team are used to the holiday rush. The business has been operating for more than three decades, and they've quickly become a ...

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - One local family has barely gotten sleep as they work seven days a week to make sure people find the perfect Christmas tree to put gifts under.

The Gallagher's and their team are used to the holiday rush. The business has been operating for more than three decades, and they've quickly become a St. Pete staple.

"My dad started the business a year before I was born, and then when he passed away seven years ago, my wife Cierra and I took over, and now my daughter's eight and is growing up quick and wants to do everything," Owner David Gallagher laughed.

Their patch has been packed with people since they filled it with pumpkins in September. After taking a two-week break to transition to Christmas trees, they're once again open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.

Guests can head to the property and wander rows of beautiful, fragrant trees that come in a variety of shapes and sizes to pick one for themselves. They can also shop from a swath of stunning red poinsettias, vibrant Christmas cacti, festive wreaths, and more, while stopping at one of the decorated areas for a holiday photo-op.

READ: Fairgrounds St. Pete launches 'Scent of the Seasons' holiday experience

The team even takes online orders for pick-up and delivery. That's when Gallagher says he personally picks a great tree for each customer, to ensure they're not left disappointed.

"We're at 7401 4th street North in St. Pete, I would come sooner than later, I would suspect by this time next week we're gonna be down to slim pickins," Gallagher stressed.

Gallagher has brought in multiple loads of trees from North Carolina since the week of Thanksgiving.

READ: Christmas tree syndrome could trigger your allergies or asthma

Some are as big as 21 feet, and those he often travels to cut down himself.

The Gallagher's also want people to know that, unfortunately due to personal health reasons, Santa will no longer be on site for pictures in the afternoon for the rest of the season.

For more information, click here.

The Historic Old Northeast Candlelight Tour of Homes returns this weekend

The enchanting Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association’s Candlelight Tour of Homes returns for the holidays. A range of historic residential styles from beautiful Craftsman to Mediterranean Revival homes will be all aglow during the 25th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes from 3pm-8pm on Sunday, December 10. This one-of-a-kind walking tour blends vibrant local history with all the contemporary splendor of holiday decor.Few...

The enchanting Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association’s Candlelight Tour of Homes returns for the holidays. A range of historic residential styles from beautiful Craftsman to Mediterranean Revival homes will be all aglow during the 25th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes from 3pm-8pm on Sunday, December 10. This one-of-a-kind walking tour blends vibrant local history with all the contemporary splendor of holiday decor.

Few neighborhoods get decked out of for the holidays quite like Historic Old Northeast. The area is aglow with glistening lights, and the brick streets add an almost Dickensian charm. Inside, these homes are design and decor marvels. HONNA’s tour of homes offers a rare opportunity to see inside these residential wonders. Tickets are on sale now.

This year’s Silver Anniversary Tour highlights eight houses that range from historic, 100-year-old homes to new builds that mimic their historic neighbors. According to Nick Bell, president of HONNA, this year’s beautiful homes include Prairie Style, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, traditional four-square, and Coastal Farmhouse.

“With this being our 25th anniversary, we worked hard to line up some extraordinary houses that showcase the array of Old Northeast architectural styles,” Bell said. “The impressive homes range from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. And because we have eight large homes this year (as opposed to last year’s six homes), we encourage guests to plan on spending several hours on the Tour.”

A new addition to this year’s Silver Anniversary edition will be a “Refreshment Station” at the cordoned-off block of Cherry Street between 19th and 20th Avenues NE. It will provide guests with food and beverages for purchase along with live seasonal music. Tour guests will also enjoy holiday decorations throughout St. Petersburg’s first organized neighborhood as they journey from house to house.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s tour will benefit a pair of local non-profits, as HONNA has elected to support the St. Pete Youth Farm and the Waterfront Parks Foundation.

Tickets for one of St. Petersburg’s favorite holiday traditions can be purchased for $35 in advance online, or at the following St. Pete businesses:

Attendees can redeem their tickets for a Tour Guide Book and wristband between 2:45pm-7pm on the day of the event at their Hospitality Site Westminster Palms, 939 Beach Dr. NE.

St. Pete named best place to live in Florida among small and mid-size cities

Another day at home is another day in paradise. Yet again, the City of St. Pete is earning accolades as one of the premier cities to reside in, this time being named the best place to live in Florida among small and mid-size cities.The new rankings from Livability.com focused exclusively on cities with a population between 75,000 and 500,000, a range that St. Pete fell almost perfectly in the middle of (though t...

Another day at home is another day in paradise. Yet again, the City of St. Pete is earning accolades as one of the premier cities to reside in, this time being named the best place to live in Florida among small and mid-size cities.

The new rankings from Livability.com focused exclusively on cities with a population between 75,000 and 500,000, a range that St. Pete fell almost perfectly in the middle of (though the population of Pinellas County as a whole is, of course, much larger). The website worked with Applied Geographic Solutions to come up with a Top 100 list based on dozens of data points, weighted heavily by affordability and the relative ease of building a career and happy life.

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Pete took the top spot among qualifying cities in Florida, scoring a 756 out of 1,000, just ahead of Alfaya (754) and Fort Lauderdale (751). The only other Florida city to make the cut was Orlando, with a score of 695. Johns Creek, GA was the overall top scorer with an 877.

St. Pete was credited highest for amenities lending themselves to a great work-life balance, relative affordability of housing, a perfect inclusivity score, access to transportation, and a growing business sector. You can see the full report here.

More from Livability: “Locals and residents alike mingle at more than 1,000 special events and festivals that happen annually, ranging from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to St. Anthony’s Triathlon, yachting events, farmers markets, Florida’s largest Pride celebration and a long-running parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Stellar amenities also help St. Pete shine – we’re talking lots of pickleball courts, plus dog parks, the 45-mile Pinellas Trail that’s built atop old railroad tracks, award-winning golf courses, and, oh yeah, how about the historic shuffleboard and lawn bowling complex that has 74 courts and grandstand seating? But of course, one of St. Pete’s most prized amenities is its natural beauty, which includes 244 miles of shoreline along Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and intercoastal waterways. There’s also a unique downtown waterfront with restaurants and bars and a free Looper Trolley that connects to the city’s major attractions.

“St. Petersburg also gets accolades for being an artsy city. Second Saturday ArtWalks are a great introduction to the area’s studios and galleries, and locals have access to an extensive art collection in their own backyard, from the surrealist masterpieces at the Salvador Dalí Museum to the glass art at Imagine Museum and the impressive collection at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. Of course, enjoying an aerial performance or concert at the Floridian Social Club, a century-old venue, is also a must.”

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.