Get your costumes and walkin’ boots ready – St. Pete’s biggest street party is about to take over the town. Halloween on Central, presented by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, is back in St. Pete for 2023, filling up Central Avenue with a gigantic street carnival on Sunday, October 29 from 12-5 pm.
The sprawling celebration, which had a wildly successful first two years, will shut down nearly two miles of Central Avenue to traffic, creating a candy-filled oasis for pedestrians and bikers running through the heart of St. Pete. Central Avenue will be closed to cars from MLK Jr Street (9th Street) to 31st Street, creating a massive showcase of all things St. Pete, as the streets and sidewalks are filled with food trucks, performers, artists, local makers and vendors, and neighborhood bars, restaurants and shops showcasing their wares.
A few notes to know for attending: All parking at Tropicana Field lots will be free for the day, opening up thousands of spots courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays, who have generously sponsored the event. To help make Halloween on Central easier to attend, PSTA’s SunRunner buses will be free for all riders during the event. There will be a bicycle parking hub at 18th Street and Central Avenue. Attendees may use scooters, bikes, and skateboards to commute to this event and along the event route, but are asked to observe a 5 MPH speed limit inside the event.
As for more at the carnival, there are also live performances, dog and family-friendly activities (including the wiener dog race), and of course, plenty of candy for trick-or-treaters of all ages. There are more than 500 businesses along the festival corridor, many of whom go all out for the occasion with decorations, specials and more.
This year, we’re particularly excited for the new Voodoo Village, a massive market of local vendors sprawling across four full blocks of the celebration route. LocalShops1, one of our St. Pete favorites, is curating the market, which will feature more than 100 vendors. Spaces are going fast and several categories, including food vendors, are already filled. For information or to get on the vendor waitlist, email ester(at)localshops1.com.
Halloween On Central shines as a community celebration
Chris Arnold, Executive Director of the Grand Central District Association, and Roger Curlin, Executive Director of the EDGE Business District Association, are the team behind Halloween on Central, partnering with the City of St. Pete and St. Pete Pride to bring the entire celebration to life.
Halloween on Central’s inaugural event in 2021 drew 75,000 attendees, followed by more than 100,000 in 2022. In 2023, they expect to top 125,000 costumed festival goers strolling up and down the bustling stretch of Central Avenue, and they are planning even more activities and activations to fill the streets.
“It’s just a day to be happy and to be kids again – for the kids to be kids and the adults to be kids,” Curlin said. “Half the size of the city is in one place at the same time. Everyone is together celebrating each other.”
For the businesses involved, Halloween On Central presents an opportunity for EDGE and Grand Central shops and restaurants to welcome people who might not otherwise find their way through the door, providing tremendous exposure to the 125,000+ locals.
“Besides a massive thank-you to our title sponsor, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, whose financial support was key to producing this event, we also wanted to recognize our Platinum sponsors, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the Pinellas County Transit Authority (PSTA), whose commitment to this event and the community was instrumental in Halloween on Central returning in 2023,” Arnold said.
More information, as well as sponsorship opportunities, can be found at halloweenoncentral.com.
Event activities include:
- New: The Voodoo Vendor Village with Over 125 Vendors
- Strolling Performers, Entertainment, and Music
- Family Fun & Games
- Exploring Central Avenue’s Wonderful Shops, Restaurants, and Pubs
- Costumes Everywhere!
- Food Truck Hubs
- Trick-or-Treating & Candy Stops
- Costume Contests
- Wiener Dog Races & Dog Costume Contests
- Other Children’s Activities