By Barbara Ann - Email: | Facebook: | Twitter: @BarbaraAnnWqyk

St. Petersbug’s Grand Central District will be hosting the Sunshine City Festival and Chil Cook-off  on Saturday, February 23 from 11 – 4 p.m.  The event will include live music, arts/crafts, food vendors, and a concert by former American Idol contestant Melissa McGhee.

The festival will take place on the 2400-2500 blocks of Central Avenue in the heart of the Grand Central District and will celebrate the unique characteristics of Saint Petersburg with a nod to “Old Florida.”

The Sunshine City Festival will include live musicicon1 2013 Sunshine City Festival & Chil Cook Off, arts/crafts vendors, food vendors, and the Grand Central District’s 8th Annual Chili Cookoff. Entertainment will be provided by Tampa Bay’s own American Idol contestant Melissa McGhee, as well as local artists Steve Arvey’s Band of Steves and Scotty Lee and the Treble Hooks.

The 8th Annual Chili Cookoff will run from Noon – 3 p.m. and winners will be announced in multiple categories: Best Restaurant Chili, Best Business Chili, Best Individual Chili, Best Neighborhood Chili and People’s Choice Chili. The entries will be tasted and scored by celebrity judges, including former Tampa Bay Buccaneers players. Chili tasting ticketsicon1 2013 Sunshine City Festival & Chil Cook Off will be $15 in advance ($20 day of the event), and will include tastings of all the chili entries, and one (1) vote in the People’s Choice category.

This event it FREE, but there are limited tickets for Chili Cookoff tastings so get yours now! Click this link for tickets and more info.


  • The Sunshine City holds a Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine – a stretch lasting 768 days that began in 1967.
  • St. Petersburg’s motto is “Always in Season”
  • In 2011 and 2012, American Style magazine ranked St. Petersburg its number one “mid-size city for art,” citing its vibrant arts scene.
  •, a leading publisher of travel and destination advice, named St. Petersburg as one of the country’s “Top 10 Cities for Cycling” in 2012.

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