The EDGE District of St. Petersburg is an eclectic mix of gay-owned and gay-friendly shops, restaurants, and other businesses that line Central Avenue between 9th Street (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street) and 16th Street. Inspired by the city’s First Friday entertainment event Edge-District_copy4and the Second Saturday Art Walk, both held in downtown, the EDGE District (EDGE being an acronym standing for Entertainment, Dining, Galleries, Etc.) decided to put together an evening of fun dedicated to driving visitors to their local businesses.

From those roots, Third Thursdays was born. The inaugural event occurred on November 20 between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., with over 30 businesses participating in extended hours catering to Third Thursday shoppers and participants. Roger Curlin, EDGE District Business Association member, told Hotspots that over 400 cars were parked across the District, which is very robust business for a Thursday.

Edge-District_copy2We attended the first Third Thursday and were impressed by the turnout at local businesses such as Plain Jane, Milagros, Enigma, Mis en Chic, Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill, Everything Dolce, McB’s Men’s Clothing, and Rick’s Home Theatre, among other places.

Third Thursdays opens up every third Thursday of the month starting at 4 p.m. Go to the small market area where Central Avenue meets 11th Street on the right side of the roundabout. There, in the area with tents, music and food trucks, you can pick up a ticket for free. Your ticket might win a prize at any one of the participating businesses, so be sure to visit all of them to find out if you’ve won anything!

Edge-District_copy3There is also a bar crawl for people interested in visiting all of the bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the EDGE District. If you want more of a Happy Hour vibe, or perhaps more of a late night adventure, there are different places you can visit; see for a map with recommendations. Bar crawl bracelets are sold at all participating bars and restaurants and they entitle you to various discounts as advertised.

The next Third Thursday in St. Petersburg’s EDGE District is December 18. Businesses will be open through to 9 p.m. To find out who is participating, visit “Like” the District on facebook to get real-time updates: