Pier's last weekend open draws crowds - FOX 13 News

Pier's last weekend open draws crowds

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

The Pier is a spot that means so much to so many in St. Petersburg -- a place where so many spent their formative years.

"This is really a cool place, it's always been a place of activity, a place of gathering," said St. Pete Native Doug Hill.

"I grew up here. I would ride my bike to The Pier, we'd watch the fireworks every 4th of July," said St. Pete native Corey Fuller.

Now after spending 40 years as the "upside down" pyramid in everyone's heart, The Pier has hit the end of the road. It will close for good Friday May 31, but Memorial Day weekend is full of events for everyone to say goodbye.

"The Pier is a fabulous icon in St. Pete and we wanted to celebrate her and really enjoy everything we can about it. And this weekend is the perfect weekend to do that," said Pier General Manager Carol Everson.

It's not just patrons saying so long, John McKinlay runs "Wheel Fun Rentals" on The Pier.

"I think it's bitter sweet obviously, you know but I'm looking forward to moving on and finding another location somewhere," McKinlay said.

There has been plenty of controversy surrounding the Lens design that is slated to take the Pier's place. But many say this week is less about the future and more about the memories.

"A lot of people are coming in here and reminiscing about when they were kids and their parents brought them to the Pier," said Christian Obenshain of Jonny Reno's on The Pier.

Memories like those made by Doug Hill. He lives in Switzerland now, but is from the St. Pete area.

"When I meet people over there and tell them where I'm from they say, oh have you ever been to the Pier?" Hill said.

He didn't plan his visit around the Pier's last stand, but he's glad he did.

"To be here for this weekend is really, really cool and we're really excited about it," Hill said.

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