Nathan Letzring shows off his tattoo of the St. Pete Pier on May 30.
A closeup of Nathan Letzring's St. Pete Pier tattoo.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Andrew Hagberg was born in St. Pete, but when his family moved to Minneapolis years ago, he was left with only childhood memories of the St. Petersburg Pier.
"Oh it's home," said Hagberg. "The pelicans, I always loved the pelicans, probably one of my favorite things."
When Andrew found out the landmark would be closing forever he made an instant decision.
"I wanted to get down one last time, so we bought our tickets and came down from Minneapolis," said Hagberg. "It's sad to think something that's been here my entire life is getting knocked down."
For families across Tampa Bay, the Pier has always been a symbol of the city.
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On this historic landmark's final hours everyone seemed eager to share their memories.
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"There's a little bait shop back over there and they'd let you feed the pelicans," recalled USF grad Katie Consell. "It was so much fun."
"Coming out, feeling the cool breeze and stuff, seeing all them waves coming out there, yeah... I like to see that," said another longtime Pier fan with a smile.
Many people had say their best Pier memories came when they were kids.
"Going to the top and looking out, and going, 'oh my God what's out there?' It just takes you back to being a kid," said Courtney Hancock, who brought her son down for one last visit Thursday afternoon. "I literally got choked up talking about it. I just said we have to go!"
Soon even youngsters will only be able to reminisce.
"My best memory would be my first fish with my dad," said Michael Sokolosky. "I was two years old and my first fish here was actually on that corner. I have a picture of it! I was so young but I will always remember it."
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Beau Zimmer, 10 News