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Mr. Sun in for a grander parade ride

A.C. "Toby" Krayer Jr.'s title of Mr. Sun acknowledges his longtime service to the community.


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- In 1941, 11-year-old Toby Krayer rode in the Festival of States parade on his bike, which he decorated himself. Today, almost 59 years later, he will ride more grandly, in a place of honor on a special float, as the newly crowned Mr. Sun.

A.C. "Toby" Krayer Jr. was named Mr. Sun on Friday night at the annual Coronation Ball at the Coliseum before a crowd of about 1,000.

Crowned as Sungoddess was Jessica Reider, 19, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida and a former Junior Sungoddess.

The ball and today's parade cap the Festival of States, an annual event begun in 1896 as a small, one-day celebration.

It now includes concerts, art and auto shows and sporting events over a two-week period. The festival is organized by the Suncoasters, a group of civic leaders.

A new Mr. or Ms. Sun and Sungoddess are crowned every year to represent the city at out-of-town festivals, and, in the case of Mr. Sun, to acknowledge distinguished, longtime service to the community.

Krayer, a St. Petersburg native, graduated from St. Petersburg High School, where he was a star basketball player, and Duke University. A bank executive, he was president of C&S Bank of Pinellas-Pasco County, now NationsBank, until his retirement in 1991.

He has served on committees and boards of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; Pinellas Suncoast Chamber; St. Petersburg Progress; Committee of 100; Community Development and Reinvestment Corp.; Pinellas County United Way; Great Explorations, the Hands On Museum; Museum of Fine Arts; American Cancer Society; American Heart Association; AAA Auto Club of the South; Sertoma Club; Golden Triangle; and American Institute of Banking. He is a past commodore of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and past president of the Suncoasters.

  • STARTING PLACE: Eighth Street and Central Avenue

  • COST: Free, but limited bleacher seating is available for $6 per person between Central Avenue and Second Avenue N on Bayshore Drive.

  • BEST VIEW: Spectators are encouraged to sit or stand along Central Avenue east of Sixth Street or on Bayshore Drive in north or south Straub Park.

  • WEATHER: Slightly cooler with a chance of thunderstorms as a cool front moves through the Tampa Bay area.

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