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Community event weekend: Run Fest, Pier beer and Tarpon Springs seafood

Bill DeYoung



The St. Pete Run Fest returns to the downtown waterfront this weekend. Photo provided.

It’s a run for the roses, and Ryan Jordan’s right out there near the front.

The St. Pete Run Fest, which Jordan created five years ago with his brother Keith, was recently ranked by BibRave, a prestigious national running website. The St. Pete Half Marathon – just one of the ambulatory events at this weekend’s Run Fest – was named the fifth-best half marathon of the last decade.

Wrote one participant: “The course is fun and fast with very few ‘boring’/non-scenic points.”

This weekend’s downtown event is actually the fourth Run Fest (Covid canceled it in 2020). And even though the big races are Saturday (the Bayshore Drive 10K and 5K runs) and Sunday (the Half), there are still a (very) few spots left for registration.

The grassy plaza that separates the Dali Museum and the Mahaffey Theatre will be set up today through Sunday with more than 75+ vendors, artisans and entertainers.

After five years in the festival business, Jordan – an avid runner who was in the IT business in a former lifetime – says he’s still figuring things out.

“There’s so many things to learn,” he says, “not only in terms of the race itself. This is a celebration of St. Pete – it’s really a large-scale festival that includes running events. So you keep learning not only in terms of marketing – how do you get the name out? – but how to execute things better.

“The star of the show is the city, and everyone coming together.”

See the website here for information on all St. Pete Run Fest events.

You’ll notice that the Run Fest course, while taking in much of the beauty of own downtown waterfront, don’t extend onto The Pier. The logistics, Ryan Jordan says, were too much – vendors and other businesses would be either displaced or majorly inconvenienced.

Jordan’s organization created the inaugural Pier Run back in July, to celebrate the facility’s 1st anniversary. So next year, more Pier and more running.

In the meantime, Saturday’s Beer at the Pier features libations from 20 area craft brewers. The 21+ tasting event, held at the Pier Family Park (adjacent to the Bending Arc sculpture lawn) in two sessions: -4 or 6-9 p.m. Food trucks, live music and “beer talks” complete the picture. Info and tickets here.

Tarpon Springs

The 33rd annual Sponge Docks Seafood Festival takes place today through 9 p.m., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. It’s arts, crafts, live music and lots and lots of locally-caught seafood … what it is, really, is a great excuse to visit beautiful Tarpon Springs, on the Anclote River, on a cool-breeze weekend. Details here.








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