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St. Petersburg is often referred to by locals as St. Pete. With an average of some 361 days of sunshine each year, it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City" One of the first of many major events of the year that takes place is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which is held in the month of January. The parade hosts many bands facing off in a Battle of the Bands, Drum Line Extravaganzas. In March the city hosts the annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The annual Grand Prix is located in downtown St. Petersburg and is the first round of the IndyCar Series. Bluesfest is the earliest event which is hosted in the Vinoy Park, Bluesfest hosts multiple live blues artists, views of the Tampa Bay waters from the park, and providing drinks and free food. One of the many art festivals, called the Mainsail Art Festival, is free entry art exhibition which takes place at the Vinoy Park, which provides people quality art that they can purchase from local artists. The art festival also provides live music, awards, and food courts. The triathlon event which takes place downtown is hosted by St. Anthony's Hospital which involves a 1.5k swim through Tampa Bay, a 40k bike along the waterways, and a 10k run through the neighborhoods and onlooking spectators. One of the last major events is the Green Thumb Festival, a special event originating in 1986 to promote tree beautification and planting in the city of St. Petersburg which is currently located in Walter Fuller Park. A major event that takes place in June is the St. Pete Pride weekend. During this weekend, the LGBT community and supporters come to celebrate in the streets with festivals, 27/82 concert, LGBT pride parade, pride in fashion, and so much more. The St. Pete Pride weekend also hosts a variety of block parties, food stands, DJ stands, art festivals, local hosted parties, and the LGBT welcoming center. In July, the 4th of July firework celebration invites the citizens to downtown St. Petersburg to watch the fireworks. In November, one of the last major music and food event hosted in St. Petersburg is the annual Ribfest located at the Vinoy Park. Ribfest hosts many festivities that include teams of award-winning "ribbers" and other "yummies", family fun zones, drinking vendors, and two stages hosting many well known country music artists. From the end of November through December begins holiday events. The first event of this holidays is the Santa Parade followed by Snowfest with "glice" skating, toboggan slides, Kiddyland, and other events. The city hosts an annual NCAA football game in Tropicana Field entitled the St. Petersburg Bowl every year in mid December. On December 31, St. Petersburg has its last event called the First Night St. Petersburg where people celebrate the arts from venues across the city. The city has a children's museum (Great Explorations), the Museum of Fine Arts, and will soon host the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. The St. Petersburg Museum of History (which has a full-size replica of the Benoist XIV seaplane and is located near the approximate spot by the St. Petersburg Pier where the first scheduled commercial flight departed), a Holocaust Museum, and the Salvador Dalí Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dalí's works outside of Europe, including a number of famous and large-scale paintings such as The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The Chihuly Collection, located at 400 Beach Drive, houses some of the magnificent glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly. There are also various other smaller art galleries and entertainment venues, especially in the downtown area, which has seen a boom in development since the mid-1990s; these include the Mahaffey Theater complex, American Stage (an equity regional theater), The Coliseum, and Palladium Theatre, and the Midtown Royal Theater, The Arts Center, and the Florida Craftsmen Gallery.


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