THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN TAMPA BAY
The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times entertainment and events reporter Sharon Wynne. Click Here to check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete: The opening of the IndyCar Series is Friday-Sunday in downtown St. Pete. It's a 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit along the downtown waterfront. There’s much more to see and do than root for St. Pete resident Sebastien Bourdais in Sunday’s main event, however. There are races in other series as well as activities that include the Speed Zone, IndyCar Series Village, beer gardens, driver autograph sessions, interactive games and exhibits. Visit gpstpete.com for ticket options. $20 Friday; $35 Saturday; $50 for Sunday; three days $55.
- Gasparilla Music Festival: One of Tampa's best multi-day music events, the Gasparilla Music Festival serves up more than 40 local and national artists in Curtis Hixon Park. This year's highlights: Americana all-stars the Avett Brothers (9 p.m. Saturday) and guitar-slinging alt-bluesman Gary Clark Jr. (7 p.m. Sunday). It also has some of the best food trucks and vendors you’ll ever see at a music festival! Opens at noon both days. $40 Saturday, $30 Sunday, $60 for the weekend. gasparillamusic.com
- Blake Shelton: God bless ‘em he’s compiled the best country tour lineup of the year by hitting the road with Trace Adkins (Honky Tonk Badonkadonk), John Anderson (Seminole Wind), Pasco County's own Bellamy Brothers (Let Your Love Flow) and ACM-winning American Idol alum Lauren Alaina (What Ifs). 7 p.m. Friday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.25 and up. (813) 301-2500. Amaliearena.com
- Florida Strawberry Festival: It's the last weekend of the Florida Strawberry Festival, which means only a couple more days to stuff up on shortcake and Amish donuts. Oh, and there's music, too! Thursday brings Christian stars For King and Country (7:30 p.m., $30) and oldie acts the Lettermen (3:30 p.m., $20) and the Kingston Trio (10:30 a.m. free). Friday brings harmonica-honkin' Chris Janson (7:30 p.m., $30) and country queen Tanya Tucker (3:30 p.m., $30). Saturday gets hot 'n' heavy with R&B star Keith Sweat (7:30 p.m., $30). On Sunday, one of the biggest new country groups in recent years, Old Dominion (7:30 p.m., $40). Gates open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. (813) 752-9194. flstrawberryfestival.com
- Lorrie Morgan: Busch Gardens’ longest-running concert series Real Music Real Masters is winding down, and this week brings platinum-selling country artist Lorrie Morgan (Five Minutes, What Part of No) today through Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., daily at the Stanleyville stage. Included with admission; $89 online. 2 and younger free. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. (813) 884-4386. buschgardens.com
FESTIVALS & CONVENTIONS
- USF Game Con: The Video Game Club at the University of South Florida is hosting its largest event of the year: the Florida Collegiate Gaming Convention in the Corral Gymnasium at the Yuengling Center. In addition to Jackbox, Mario Kart and themed areas with retro and tabletop gaming, there will be a foam fighting arena set up by the college’s Foam Fighting Club, an Xbox gaming and virtual reality section run by the Microsoft Store and a variety of anime and video game-themed cars from Anime Cars Of The World. Free, $5-$10 to compete in tournaments. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Register at smash.gg/FLGameCon
- Epcot Flower and Garden Festival: Opens this week. It's got amazing topiaries, gardens and a record 23 unique food destinations and outdoor kitchens. Among the favorites: the retro Florida Bird from the old Anita Bryant commercials is in a souvenir cup with a delicious creamsicle shake inside. There's also a large number of surprisingly tasty vegan options.
- Tampa Taco Festival: Saturday at Al Lopez Park. There will be a serious superabundance of tacos, from traditional Mexican to Asian-inspired, with live music and other festival staples. More than 30 Tampa restaurants and food trucks will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4810 N Himes Ave, Tampa. Free (food/drink additional). (813) 274-8184.
- Tampa Bay Beer Week: It continues with lots of beer-soaked events. (Check tampabaybeerweek.com for the full lineup) The madness of Hunahpu’s Day returns Saturday and this year Cigar City Brewing is offering two variants of the award-winning Imperial Stout (the 15th highest-rated beer in the world by ratebeer.com). All tickets include unlimited samples of beer during the event, tapas-sized bites from area food trucks, a collectible acrylic sample glass and free general admission entry into the Gasparilla Music Festival on Sunday. $210-$420. hunahpusday.com. It runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium, Lots 5 and 7, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.
- CatVideoFest 2019: Each year, the geniuses at Oscilloscope Laboratories put together CatVideoFest, a curated compilation reel of the latest cat videos culled from countless hours of animations and videos that end up as classic internet meme material. Instead of squinting at your phone, you can see them at Tampa Theatre, which will donate 10 percent of proceeds to kittens in need at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. $8-$11 for screenings at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $8-$11. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org
- Legally Blonde: The Musical comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sunday. This production has a local connection in cast member Megan Hoxie, a 2013 graduate of Mitchell High School in New Port Richey. She plays Brooke, a woman accused of murder. 3 and 8 p.m. $35-$150. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. (737) 791-7400. Rutheckerdhall.com
- Love Letters: We all love Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie and Hal Linden from Barney Miller. In Love Letters, they love each other and express it through the dying art of handwritten correspondence. The stars bring this sweet play about a celebration of love and the written word to Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday. $35-$150. 405 Cleveland St. atthecap.com
- Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along: Tampa Theatre is not only screening the story of world-famous rock band Queen, it’s a Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along. Fresh off winning four Oscars, including Best Actor Rami Malek, all of the seminal songs of Queen will be shown with lyrics — and the audience is encouraged to belt them out right along with the movie Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $13; $10 members. (813) 274-8286.
FREE AND CHEAP
- Laurie Berkner at Kids Fest: A rock star for the preschool set, award-winning children’s music performer Laurie Berkner is a regular on Nick Jr. and will have two free family shows at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the Kids Fest portion of the Gasparilla Music Festival. The museum is free and open to the public on Sunday.
- Seminole Pow Wow: Seminole’s oldest and largest event begins at 5 p.m. Friday with more than 20 rides and a host of food vendors. Saturday brings a movie-themed parade at 10 a.m. and a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
- DeRay Davis: He has stand-up specials on Showtime and Comedy Central, was a cast member of Wild n’ Out, has appeared in numerous films including Barbershop and Barbershop 2, had a recurring role on The Boondocks and performed the skits on Kanye West’s albums Late Registration and the College Dropout. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $30. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com
- Tom Segura - Take It Down Tour: Actor, comedian and writer best known for his three Netflix specials and the movie Instant Family opposite Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. What sets him apart is his podcast’s popularity. Your Mom’s House, hosted with wife and fellow comic Christina Pazsitzky, is a no-limits forum on all things relationships, sex and bodily functions. It’s boosted Segura’s popularity everywhere, leading to weekends like this one in Tampa. Segura sold out shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday so quickly that he added one more at 7 Thursday at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $35 and up. (813) 247-8286.
THIS WEEK IN DRESS-UP
I’m stretching the definition since it’s not a costume, but lace up your running shoes for the Grand Prix 5K! You can run on the route of the IndyCar race, entering and exiting the circuit’s layout at Turn 9 near Central Avenue and Pioneer Park. Register online at gpstpete5k.com. The proceeds benefit the Police Athletic League a 6 p.m. Friday. North Straub Park.