St. Petersburg block party provided food, fun, camaraderie and a pop-up shop

PETERSBURG – Did you go to the “Summer Solstice” neighborhood party on Saturday? It was five hours of fun, food, shopping and fellowship.

“We’ve shut down the block and brought back the old-school block party vibes,” said Chaz Denise, owner of House of Beverly Vintage Apparel, CEO.

The event took place outside Gillfield Baptist Church and inside the Cameron Building Gallery. Entertainment at the free event included music from DJ Mockingbird, giveaways, food trucks and a kids’ zone.

Sometimes it pays to be an early riser. The first 50 guests received popsicles. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase fried fish, funnel cakes, lemonade, ribs, smoked brisket, BBQ pulled pork and more.

"summer solstice" block party at Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg on Saturday, July 30.

Over 20 vendors were in attendance selling a variety of items like vintage and modern clothing, jewelry, skin and body care, crystals, homemade crafts and artwork.

“We brought the community out in full force to celebrate with diverse and amazing vendors,” said Howard Myers, Director of Cameron Building.

The pop-up shop inside the gallery was buzzing with activity. I spotted Rasheedah Farid doing her thing: “Positively promoting Petersburg”.

The Gillfield Deacons Ministry donated hot dogs, chips, drinks and a huge gift basket to one lucky person.

Artist Gina Net's mural at ArtistSpace Lofts honors Toni Knight who was killed in Petersburg on Saturday, July 2.

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“There’s so much going on in Petersburg today. Next I’m heading to the ‘Regional STOP the Violence’ event,” Farid said. “So, I’m coming back here for the unveiling of the mural.”

During the “Summer Solstice” event, a mural was unveiled at ArtistSpace Lofts. Artist Georgia Net created it where 19-year-old Toni Knight was shot and killed on July 2 as she entered the apartments.

See the mural honoring Knight at the entrance to ArtistSpace Lofts at 120 Perry St. in Petersburg, next to the gallery at 325 Brown St. and the church at 209 Perry St.

“Summer Solstice” was sponsored by W Howard Myers Enterprises and presented by House of Beverly Vintage.

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– Kristi K. Higgins, aka The Social Butterfly columnist, is the food news and Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Do you have a current tip on local trends or businesses? Contact Kristi (her, her) at [email protected], follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter @socialbutterflykristi on Instagram.

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