1Dragon Boat races and Asia Fest: Dragons will be lurking in Garrison Channel this weekend. Dragon boats that are the stuff of legend will be zipping through Channelside-area waters as paddlers from across the U.S. and Canada compete to be Tampa's top team. It's free for spectators to cheer on their favorite teams as they aim to paddle in synch in what is essentially a long canoe with a dragon head. This race is 450 meters with a fully buoyed five-lane course. Each team races three times, and heats run every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the Asia Fest will run from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at nearby Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. Enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of 15 Asian countries. There will be colorful dance performances, traditional music and a Miss Asia Fest competition. The park is at 601 Old Water St., and the dragon boats will be cruising down Garrison Channel starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday behind the Marriott Tampa Waterside, 700 S Florida Ave., Tampa.
2Blast Friday: The family-friendly street celebration in downtown Clearwater this month includes a free concert by '70s radio kings Firefall (You Are The Woman, Just Remember I Love You, Strange Way). There will also be unique vendors, fun foods, family activities and contests. Free. It runs 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday in the Cleveland Street District, Clearwater. (888) 532-5278.
3Cook Your Butt Off Barbecue Challenge: A $5 wrist band gets you a taste of all the time-honored family pork butt recipes entered for this contest. There will also be tractor hayrides through the forest ($1 additional charge) and kids games. Free parking and admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, 2900 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. ($25 contest entry fee.) (727) 893-7326.
4Bikini Blues Bash: Treasure Island's beach will stage 10 hours of dancing in the sand to live music by Paul Anthony (noon), Charlie Morris Band (1:15 p.m.), Betty Fox (3 p.m.), Little Jake Mitchell and the Soul Searchers (5:30 p.m.), Sarasota Slim (7 p.m.) and Lucky Peterson (8-10 p.m.). Other activities include a children's area, arts and craft vendors, food and beverage concessions, from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday at Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. (727) 547-4575. Free.
5Bark in the Park: Come Saturday, Freedom Lake Park will look like a doggie singles cruise — we hope someone has ordered a few thousand plastic baggies to contain all the ... umm, excitement. A whole pack of dogs will be on hand from Pekingese to police dogs. Activities include pet adoptions, craft and pet vendors and a K-9 police dog demonstration. Starts at 8 a.m. at 7770 52nd St., Pinellas Park. (727) 488-6321. Free, with contest entry fees benefitting the care for active duty and retired K-9 police dogs.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer