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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap family fun for the weekend



Can this really be the last weekend of February? This year is already flying by. Before we know it we'll be figuring out summer camps for our kids and then getting ready for school in the fall. Put the brakes on this slippery slope and head out to have some fun with the entire family this weekend.

Mom_josegaspar Looks like Gasparilla is finally over — but not without one more night of partying with Gasparilla's Outbound Voyage. Bid the pirate ship Jose Gasparilla a fond farewell when it weighs anchor and heads home from the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., where there will be live bands and Mayor Pam Iorio gets the key to the city returned. It starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the final cannon blast about 6:30 p.m. as the ship shoves off. It's free for you and the family to get your final beads and your last bit of pirate action.

Sherry has woefully told you about here dismal track record with Oscar-nominated movies. So here's where you can get all the information on where to see half of the best film nominees this Saturday and next.

If you are feeling in the culture festival mood, there are plenty to whet your appetite this weekend. At Ybor City Fiesta Day, Tampa’s Latin quarter commemorates more than cuisine. Look for an arts marketplace, exhibits and multicultural entertainment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, Flan Fest — with recipe contest and the infamous flan-eating competition — begins at 11 a.m. at Centennial Park, 1800 E Eighth Ave. Both events are free, with charges for food purchases. You can also check out the Asian Cultural Festival at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota on Saturday and Sunday and the Florida African-American Heritage Celebration at Heritage Village in Largo on Saturday. For a little different look at the Jewish holiday Purim, head over to the Chabad Jewish Center in Valrico on Sunday for Cirque Du Purim. Click here for links to all the festivals.

St. Petersburg may have sown up the “first Friday,” but Clearwater is putting its money down on the 4th Friday Street Party in the Cleveland Street area at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Suite Caroline and Kenny McGee and other family entertainment. Food, beer and wine available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Miles for Hope. Find more information at It's free to join the fun.

If you love your pet, we hope you grabbed a copy of Thursday's Weekend section or today's TBT Mom_dogplay because there is lots of information in there about keeping your four-legged family members happy. There are also several pet friendly events this weekend. Pet-A-Paloosa is an adoptathon by rescue groups from across Florida to raise awareness of pets in need, educate pet owners and promote animal food donations to animal charities. It's from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. at the University of South Florida Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call toll-free 1-877-799-7387. Get Rescued in Gulfport will feature more than 60 rescue groups showcasing adoptable animals from10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in Gulfport's Beach Boulevard area. Call (727) 323-3892 for details. And the Ruskin Pet Fest will let you party with your pet off the chain at Ott's Off Leash Dog Sanctuary, Third Avenue Se and 21st Street off State Road 674 in Ruskin. It's from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Best part is admission is free at all three events.

At MOSI, bigger always seems better. The huge Leonardo da Vinci exhibit contains more than 200 items. There is the larger than life IMAX theater. And when visitors want to look at the
night sky, they can use the museum’s ginormous telescopes. In fact, from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday  you can take a gander at Mars through the telescopes for free in MOSI’s Butterfly Garden during SkyWatch! You can also glimpse the moon’s craters and star clusters. But call before you go because if it’s raining or cloudy, the show will not go on. It’s free at MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 987-6000 for more information.

The creative team from Cirque Dreams will be holding a casting call Saturday at Westshore Plaza, inviting aspiring performers, acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, dancers, singers and anyone else with a special talent to show off at 11 a.m. Even if you can’t bend your leg behind your ear, you can still have some fun since performers from Cirque Dreams Illumination will be on hand to give a sneak peek of the show, and there will be giveaways and kids’ activities. The winner of the competition will be trained locally by the Cirque Dreams design team for their performance at the Straz Center in March and will receive six free tickets to their debut performance. For information, call (813) 286-0790.

Go out and have some fun this weekend before the year passes you by.

-- Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:05am]


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