Hug it out in St. Pete this Saturday

Celebrate National Hugging Day and show some local love.

click to enlarge Khalid Hameed kicks it old school for a fond embrace. - Enchanted Forest Photography
Enchanted Forest Photography
Khalid Hameed kicks it old school for a fond embrace.

Are you in the mood for a sweet embrace?

Then head to Downtown St. Pete on Sat., Jan. 21, where National Hugging Day is brought to a local level with the Free Hugs Fest.

Independent Business Alliance Keep Saint Petersburg Local (founded Nov. 19) hosts the warm and fuzzy event, with hopes of spreading the love, bringing together the community, and highlighting local businesses and residents.

Sheri Kendrick, Keep Saint Petersburg Local board member and owner of Enchanted Forest Photography, has waited months to witness this contagious celebration; so it’s only appropriate that it kicks off in front of her photography studio at 10 a.m. with Mayor Bill Foster as the key hugger.

Hugging stations will be set up along Central Avenue, Beach Drive, and at the Saturday Morning Market, where volunteer huggers dressed in Keep Saint Petersburg Local shirts will wrap their arms around anyone who’s looking for a lil’ cheer.

Many local businesses are also giving away free hugs, so show some gratitude in the form of a squeeze to your favorite waiters, bartenders, baristas and cashiers.

Free Hugs Fest, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Downtown St. Pete; Enchanted Forest Photography: 529 Central Ave.; Saturday Morning Market: 100 First St. SE. :

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