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High-flying, fast fun

A Times Editorial
Published March 30, 2007


If you like great weather, time off, action and horsepower, this is your weekend. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and AirFest in Tampa are expected to draw nearly 1-million people. Clear skies, a nice breeze and highs in the 80s will draw thousands more to the beaches and the ball parks, the final weekend for baseball's spring training. The calendar is packed - a reminder of how wonderful our area is for visitors and residents alike.

The Grand Prix, which runs today through Sunday, combines fast cars with the downtown waterfront. The high-rises and yachts are perfect backdrops to the color, speed and energy on the streets. AirFest, the free open house at MacDill Air Force Base, will draw 750,000 Saturday and Sunday, the highlight a display by the Navy's Blue Angels precision flying team.

This is the first time these marquee events in both cities will occur on the same weekend. The roads should reflect it. Traffic is expected to be a nightmare on southbound Dale Mabry Highway entering the MacDill gate. Motorists into downtown St. Pete should park and walk or hop on the free shuttle to the race course. Getting around could have been worse had a tanker crash Wednesday done more damage to Interstate 375 into downtown St. Petersburg, or had a stricken freighter not been run aground before reaching the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

So the real challenge is making a choice. Beyond race cars and warplanes, there are events in Dunedin, Palm Harbor, New Port Richey and Tampa - everything from craft and horse shows to celebrations of Renaissance, Celtic, Native American and Italian cultures. Enjoy the jam-packed weekend. Humidity and hurricane season are just around the corner.

[Last modified March 30, 2007, 01:13:04]

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