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‘Snow’ forecast for St. Pete this weekend

Ashley Morales

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This year, The City of St. Petersburg's annual Snowfest event will include two slides covered in 65 tons of faux snow. Photo: St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation

It’s been nearly 50 years since snow has been spotted in St. Pete, but this weekend, it’ll almost feel like the real thing.

The City of St. Petersburg is hosting its annual Snowfest event Dec. 2. The festive event includes family-friendly activities, inflatables, fire trucks, food trucks and the biggest draw of all – faux snow. Sixty-five tons of snow, to be exact.

“We’re blowing it in at 3 in the morning,” said Angela Farber with the City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department. Farber has been working for the City for 28 years, and she says Snowfest has been a staple holiday event in all that time.

As many Florida transplants may remember from their older, colder home states, sledding is a popular winter activity where snow enthusiasts of all ages slide down a hill on a wood or plastic sled. Jan. 19, 1977, was the last time measurable snow was recorded in the Tampa Bay area, but St. Pete will coat two slides in fake snowflakes this weekend and offer toboggan slide rides for all ages. 

“[For Northerners], it brings it back for them a little bit, a little reminiscing,” said Farber. “Floridian kids are excited to see snow, they love it. It’s exciting and a little scary at first, and then they go down the slide and they just get back in line over and over again.”

And the parents?

“I think they try to use the kids as an excuse, but they really want to go,” Farber laughed.

Snowfest will offer two snow-covered slides, one large slide and a smaller slide for younger kids. Wristbands are required for the rides, and they’re available for $5 through Dec. 1 at any City recreation center or online. Wristbands can also be purchased on the day of the event, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at North Straub Park.

Snowfest is one of a handful of upcoming City events celebrating the holiday season. There will also be a showing of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in Crescent Lake Park at 6 p.m. Dec. 9.

Details about the City’s upcoming holiday events are available on the Parks and Recreation department’s website.

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