Bret Michaels concert, 5K on the racetrack highlight the many Firestone Grand Prix events

Photo courtesy Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Via I Love the Burg

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding is always one of the biggest events of the year in the Sunshine City, and as we always say: it’s much more than a race. Over the course of the four days of events taking over downtown, it’s a veritable festival, offering much more than just the spectacle of elite speedsters racing through the streets of St. Pete.

Celebrating its 20th annual running, the 2024 Grand Prix has an absolute wealth of events surrounding the races, highlighted by a Bret Michaels concert literally in the middle of the action on Saturday night, as well as the annual 5K taking place along the track the day before races begin. You can see the weekend’s full event schedule here (and get tickets while you’re there), including all race times. Highlights of the non-race events are below.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Kickoff Party hosted by Nikita Johnson

When: Wednesday, March 6, 5-11 pm

Where: O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille (5405 Shore Blvd S.)

What: Nikita Johnson – a Gulfport native and USF Pro 2000 Presented by Continental Tire driver – will be joined by fellow drivers on site at select times to sign autographs and mingle with fans. Attendees can also enjoy live music, plus food and beverages from O’Maddy’s. PSTA will have a bus on site and Routes 15 and 23 will drop attendees off one block away from the party.

INDYCAR Party in the Park

When: Thursday, March 7, 5-7:30 pm

Where: North Straub Park

What: The FREE community event is an opportunity for fans to see race cars up close from all series, get driver autographs and more.

5K Run on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Track

When: Thursday, March 7, 5:30 pm

Where: Begins adjacent to North Straub Park

What: Runners and walkers will have the unique opportunity to “race on track.” All proceeds benefit the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg (PAL). Since 2017, $271,265 has been donated to PAL via contributions from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and proceeds from this 5K. Race owners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree were recently awarded the Ed Schatzman Circle of Excellence Award for their commitment to PAL’s mission of empowering local youth. Fee: $40 in advance, $50 on race day

A Grand Prix Evening – Celebrating 20 Years of Champions

When: Friday, March 8, 7-10 pm

Where: Duke Energy Center for the Arts (The Mahaffey Theater)

What: Past INDYCAR SERIES race winners, series and race officials, St. Petersburg community leaders, Mayor Ken Welch and past mayors, and race fans will gather to commemorate two decades of success for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. Limited quantity of public tickets available at, $250 per person. All proceeds benefit four local St. Petersburg youth organizations and programs: Pinellas Technical College, Youth Sports, Cultured Books Literacy Foundation and AKA Akademy.

Bret Michaels Concert

When: Saturday, March 9, 5:30 pm

Where: Duke Energy Center for the Arts Plaza

What: Multi-platinum music icon Bret Michaels will perform a live concert as part of the race weekend festivities. The show will commence shortly after the racing ends on Saturday within the festival grounds on the plaza south of the Duke Energy Center for the Arts (Mahaffey Theater). All Saturday ticket holders will have access to the show. No additional ticket is required.

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