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5 things to do under $5 July 12-18

1Tropical Plant Fair Get a feel for what grows best in our tropical environment at this weekend gathering at the USF Botanical Gardens. Shop for rare and unusual fruit trees, plus hundreds of blooming tropical and colorful exotic plants and ferns to create your own backyard oasis that can withstand the summer heat. There will be garden advice from the Rare Fruit Council and Fern Rainforest. Plant sale proceeds support the gardens. It runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. Price: $5, kids under 12 and members free.

2Summer Fun Nights The Studio@620 aims to spice up the dog days of summer with a wide range of activities for a pay-what-you-can price ($5 suggested). Friday is a Christmas in July ugly sweater party and karaoke night, where you'll get two annoying trends wrapped into one celebration of awfulness starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at 7:30 is movie and popcorn night. Studio@620 is at 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

3Skate Jam: Starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, a half-dozen area skaters will compete all at one time for best trick, while local bands play live skater rock. It's free at the Brandon Skate Park, 5720 Providence Road, Riverview.

4Sunrise Sale and Pajama Party: Set your alarm clock on Wednesday because next Thursday there will be special deals and sales starting at 6:43 a.m. in the shops of downtown St. Petersburg. Wear your pajamas for extra deals, and donate new pajamas or new books for children in need for more discounts. Follow the trail of yellow flags and yellow and orange balloons to participating locations around Beach Drive and Second Avenue N.

5Gulf Maritime Festival: This event showcases Gulf Coast maritime folk life from Cortez to Apalachicola — with a special emphasis on the local sponge industry of Tarpon Springs. Demonstrations include sponge diving and processing, making diving helmets, sponging equipment, fishing, clam farming and boat building. The event also includes Greek-influenced music, dance and food associated with maritime cultures. Free. Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, 20 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-5605. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

5 things to do under $5 July 12-18 07/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:30am]
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