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Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Jan. 1-7.

By Maggie Duffy, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA,FL.-LING- Jahja Ling, conducts the rehearsal with the orchestra. Ling,music director of The Florida Orchestra, is leaving after 14 seasons.(staff/scott iskowitz)

Outback Bowl: The Michigan Wolverines and the South Carolina Gamecocks go head to head today for the New Year’s Day tradition at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa ($80). Fans can warm up for the big game with a giant free tailgate party outside the stadium that includes live music, a pep rally, food and refreshments.

Epiphany celebration: Tarpon Springs is the site of the largest celebration of the baptism of Christ in the Western Hemisphere on Saturday. Follow a procession of children, choir members and Greek folk dancers from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral to witness the tossing of the Holy Cross into Spring Bayou by the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church. Teenage boys dive into the water to find the sunken cross and score a year of good luck. The Glendi celebration follows from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Free. (727) 937-3540.

Date night

Florida Orchestra: Jahja Ling, the former longtime TFO music director, returns to conduct Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by his wife, Jessie Chang, a noted Beethoven interpreter, at Tampa’s Straz Center on Friday ($42.75 and up) and at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater on Saturday and Sunday ($15-$45).

School of Rock — The Musical: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway smash based on the hit Jack Black movie runs Tuesday-Sunday at the Straz Center ($45-$130).

Sleeping Beauty: The classic ballet is presented by the State Ballet Theatre of Russia on Friday at the Mahaffey Theater ($35-$65).

Henry Rollins Travel Slideshow: The legendary punk singer, writer and activist presents his photos and stories from his travels across the world at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre on Tuesday ($29.50-$49.50).

Peter Funt: 8 Decades of Smiles: He started co-hosting Candid Camera in the 1980s, then took over hosting in 1993 after his father, Allen Funt, had a stroke. He brings a blend of clips, quips and behind-the-scenes tales from the show’s funniest moments to Largo’s Central Park Performing Arts Center on Sunday ($19.50-$34.50).

Kids and family

Marvel Universe Live: Watch a live battle to defend the universe at Tampa’s Amalie Arena from Friday through Sunday, as the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange join forces against the evil Loki ($20-$150).

More to explore

Find new restaurants to enjoy in the new year at