Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: The streets of downtown St. Petersburg turn into a racetrack Friday-Sunday when the opening race returns along the waterfront’s 1.8 mile course. Other activities include the Speed Zone, IndyCar Series Fan Village, beer gardens, driver autograph sessions, interactive games and exhibits. Visit gpstpete.com for ticket options including IndyCar Paddock Passes. $20 Friday; $35 Saturday; $50 for Sunday; three days $55.
Mardi Gras: New Orleans can’t have all the fun! Fat Tuesday celebrations happen tomorrow around Tampa Bay. The Grand James E. Rooster Parade and Fat Tuesday Bar Crawl happens in Ybor City, with a funeral wake to honor the beloved fowl James E. Rooster at The Dirty Shame (1929 E Seventh Ave.). A New Orleans-style jazz Memorial Procession with a colorful procession of “mourners” follows, then it’s the Chicken Parade along Seventh Avenue with stops at several bars. bit.ly/2NAc4Xe. Dunedin gets down with their Mardi Gras Parade and Festival, where more than 30,000 people are expected to attend the largest Fat Tuesday event in the area. The party begins with a procession of floats begins in front of the Dunedin Stadium and runs along Douglas Avenue. Food trucks and other vendors will line Main Street. It’s free to attend, or $107 for VIP which includes unlimited beer, wine, appetizers, viewing area and swag. at liveeventsaccess.com.
Music: Guitar greats including Joe Satriani, Dave Mustaine and Zakk Wylde pay tribute to the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix with Experience Hendrix at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight ($56.75-$132.75). Friday, country superstar Blake Shelton brings friends including Lauren Alaina and Trace Adkins to Tampa’s Amalie Arena ($45-$125).
Gasparilla Music Festival: Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park will be alive with music Saturday-Sunday, with the folksy North Carolina foot stompers Avett Brothers headlining Saturday and Texas guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. on Sunday ($40 and up for Saturday, $30 and up for Sunday, $60 weekend). gasparillamusic.com.
Kids and Family
USF Game Convention: Casual and competitive gamers play new games and retro ones at Tampa’s Yuengling Center on Saturday. Free to attend, $5 to play. yuenglingcenter.com.
Florida Strawberry Festival: It continues in Plant City all this week through Sunday with rides, games, exhibits and that fabulous food. Concerts with headliners take the stage at 7:30 p.m. every night. See the lineup at flstrawberryfestival.com. $10, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. (813) 752-9194.
MORE TO EXPLORE
Find more fun family events at tampabay.com/thingstodo.