ST. PETERSURG, Fla. — It’s a celebration of all things local and it’s returning to downtown St. Pete on Saturday.
Localtopia is an outdoor event that spotlights more than 300 locally owned businesses. On Saturday, the event will transform Williams Park in downtown St. Pete into a one-stop shop for food, clothes, art, plants, and all kinds of unique items.
“Every person that comes out is like wow this is St. Pete. This is why we live here and it’s so awesome,” Localtopia organizer Olga Bof, who also heads up the group Keep St. Petersburg Local, explained.
New in 2022, Localtopia will be two blocks larger to accommodate more businesses. There will also be a second stage for live music. Bof said it comes at a crucial time for entrepreneurs dealing with two full years of the pandemic, supply and labor shortages, and rising commercial rent costs.
Oswald Castillo of Berry Boss Açaí believes his customers are a godsend.
“We’re still open thanks to our local community that supports us every day," Castillo said. "Without that, it probably wouldn’t even be possible. It’s been a challenging time, but we’re still here,” he added."
Miranda Mauro at Sip, Shop, Hooray agreed. The store she manages just celebrated its first birthday. The half bar, half retail space is providing a fun escape from the reality of the past 23 months.
“Yes it’s been a little crazy and chaotic (opening during a pandemic) but it’s been so much fun and so worth it to be able to open our doors and welcome people inside,” she said.
It’s these local shops bringing a unique flair to St. Pete that Bof said you can’t find anywhere else.
“This is the year that i believe will make or break our businesses. Localtopia is just one day but we have to support them year-round,” she elaborated.
Localtopia is a free event and will run from 10AM-5PM Saturday at Williams Park.
You can read more about the event here and see a map of the area below.