At this year’s Island Fest in Pass-A-Grille on March 4, there was a twist to the traditional event that celebrates the area’s colorful legacy. The city of St. Pete Beach and the Friends of the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum are having a year-long twin celebration to commemorate the city’s 60th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the museum building. The event began at 9 a.m. between 9th and 10th Avenues, and featured dozens of vendors, live music and entertainment sponsored by The Hurricane restaurant, an MG European car show, children’s activities and raffles held every twenty minutes.
In addition to all that was going on outside, the museum filled up as soon as the doors opened.
“There’s a great crowd already and it’s still early,” said museum greeter Connie Eitler, as visitors perused the historical displays.
The building that houses the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, located at 115 10th Ave. S. in the national historic district of Pass-A-Grille, was built in 1917. It was a church until 1959 when a new church was built. The building was sold to Joan Haley, who used it as her home until her death in 1989, when she left it to Pinellas County to be used as an island museum. The museum opened in March of 1993.
“This is a wonderful part of our city’s history,” said St. Pete Beach Mayor Deborah Schechner. “People are very enthusiastic about our museum.”