6th annual Fall Festival draws crowds from across the Bay area

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

PETERSBURG – More than 3,000 people came out to the sixth annual Fall Festival and free turkey giveaway Sunday, Nov. 18 in the parking lot of Tropicana Field. This year’s festival featured free food, entertainment and a whole bunch of turkeys–1,500 give or take a bird–were given away to families who attended the festival.

The kids enjoyed riding the train, streaking down the fun slide, horseback riding, acrobatic high-jump and, of course, the rock climbing wall.

“We’ve been doing this event six years now for the city of St. Petersburg,” said Jeff Copeland, one of the major sponsors and host of the festival.

Copeland works with several contributors to put on the yearly event that attracts people from all across the Bay area from Palm Harbor to Tampa.

Every year, Copeland said, title sponsor James Flynn (Your Southside Lawyer) starts getting ready earlier and earlier for the festival. “He really believes in helping people.”

Copeland also sang the praises of Leisure Services Administrator Mike Jeffries for helping the event go off without a hitch.

“This is all about giving back,” said Jeffries. “The holiday doesn’t start until we’re out here passing out turkeys and making an impact on everybody’s life to make it a little bit better.”

Both kids and adults chomped down on free hot dogs, hamburgers and even blue crabs while DJ Chill, DJ Spank and DJ Worm kept the crowd moving. And for the dads who couldn’t miss the football game, there were 10 televisions set up for their football viewing pleasures.

Flynn and Copeland will team up again this Christmas holiday with Police Chief Anthony Holloway and the St. Petersburg Police Department to give out $100 gift cards to needy families for Christmas.

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