Taking place on Thanksgiving weekend, Shopapalooza Festival is one of the biggest shopping events in the entire Tampa Bay region. This huge vendor market takes place on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, hosted at Vinoy Park. LocalShops1 Founder Ester Venouziou is the prolific mind behind this celebration of small businesses, brought together by co-sponsor the City of St. Pete and tourism partner Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.
The 13th annual Shopapalooza Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, November 25 and 26 from 10am-5pm. In addition to hundreds of great local businesses, the event features four outdoor food halls, live entertainment and activities all weekend long, food trucks, a massive beer garden, and the most glam seating lounge. Altogether, Shopapalooza Festival showcases more than 350 local vendors in the Tampa Bay Area. It is the biggest Small Business Saturday (and Sunday!) celebration ever.
Shopapalooza is the biggest local shopping event of the season
Each food hall will feature snacks, drinks, entrees and desserts for everyone to enjoy. Selections include options for vegans and those with more carnivorous sensibilities.
A kids zone featuring crafts, play and learning stations will also be set up, sponsored by Imagine Orthodontic Studio. Organized by Coastal Dream Events, the kids zone will feature photo ops with Princesses, Ms. Florida and Santa, stilt walkers, yard games, crafts table, and more. The section also includes food and dessert trucks, animal rescues, and vendors specializing in gifts for children and parents.
There will also be an incredible Santa Rampage, Parade and Costume Contest taking place Sunday. Santas will arrive as early as 10 am, and the parade starts at 12:30, from the southernmost end of Vinoy Park, circling the entire park, and finishing up at the Main Stage for an epic photo op and costume contest.
This family-friendly event is absolutely free to attend. You can even win a $500 shopping spree by registering in advance on Eventbrite (one winner will be picked for each festival day). This year’s nonprofit partners are Jump for Kids and St. Pete Youth Farm. The festival is co-sponsored by the beautiful City of St. Pete.
Food halls, kid zones, and more at Vinoy Park
“Every year, Shopapalooza Festival kicks off the holiday shopping season by celebrating the great independent businesses that make Tampa Bay such an amazing place,” says Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 and Shopapalooza founder. “These past couple of years, especially, we all saw how much we depend on small businesses and all they do to keep our communities going, from giving meals to schoolchildren and first responders, to raising funds and donating supplies to neighbors in need. The local business community went above and beyond, and if we want them to stick around, it’s time for us all to give back and support them as much as we can. This year’s Palooza is the biggest one yet: 11.3 acres filled with pure local awesomeness, and many surprises to be discovered.”
Vinoy Park is located at 701 Bayshore Drive NE in St. Petersburg, FL. Parking is available at garages across downtown St. Pete. There will be free trolley rides to and from Shopapalooza at the Southcore Parking garage, which is located on 2nd Street South between Central and 1st Avenues.