ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - "We wanted to come here and have lunch and enjoy one last view before it all closes," said David Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald and his wife Millie have a special fondness for the St. Pete Pier.
After all, David was at the Pier dedication 40 years ago, playing in his middle school band as part of the festivities.
"It's a sad thing," Fitzgerald said softly as he stared at the skyline.
Though a few businesses have closed, people who stroll through the Pier shops will find bargains in the closing weeks. Carol Gray owns Crystal Mirage Gallery and has a store full of inventory to get rid of.
"Have to find good homes for everything. Everything's got to go, even the display cases," said Gray.
Want a good deal on T-shirts, this is the place to come.
"We're marking down all of our St. Petersburg gear, getting it out of the way so we'll have less stuff to move," explained Carrie Hinson of Des'T'nation.
Evelyn and Ed Weaver have been coming here for years, driving all the way from Lake Placid one final time to buy something to remember the Pier. Ed bought himself a yellow hat with the Pier logo on it. The couple also purchased several discounted pieces from Crystal Mirage Gallery.
"Oh, he's got to have that hat so we can remember St. Pete. He's got a collection of hats, but that's going to be one of his favorites," smiled Evelyn.
Roof top dining at Cha Cha Coconuts remains open, as does The Columbia restaurant. And the Pier Aquarium still has time for two little girls at the touch tank who come here often. Their mom, Katy Griffin of St. Petersburg says the girls, ages five and three, are aware that The Pier is closing.
"Just, you know, that childhood place that you always love to go; and you remember mom taking you and it's kind of sad," explained Griffin.
The Pier is scheduled to officially close on May 31. The city's application with the Army Corps of Engineers requesting a permit to demolish the Pier is still in the review process.
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