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On your radar: the Times Festival of Reading, the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Food Truck Wars and Oktoberfest

Times Festival of Reading: The book fest celebrates 20 years with dozens of authors, including Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane. It's all free Saturday at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. See the schedule at

Food Truck Wars: The hot trend hits the big time when 40 food trucks from Tampa Bay and throughout Florida square off in different categories Saturday at Channelside Bay Plaza in Tampa. Visit

Date night

Clearwater Jazz Holiday: For the first time, the iconic four-day jazz festival on the waterfront in Coachman Park is not free. The closing night headliner is the Avett Brothers on Sunday, with Bonnie Raitt on Thursday, Mindi Abair on Friday and Esperanza Spalding on Saturday. $10 for a one-day pass, $15 pass for Saturday and Sunday, and $30 buys a four-day pass. (727) 461-5200.

Florida Orchestra: Busy weekend kicks off Friday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg with the Music of Simon and Garfunkel, with vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle doing Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Sound of Silence. $35–$75; (727) 892-5798. Saturday is a free Pops in the Park concert at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg and again at River Tower Park in Tampa on Sunday.

Kids and family

Pumpkin Toss: It's a hoot to watch the animals, stomp, chomp and pounce on their treat at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa at 11 a.m. Friday. Included with admission.

Tampa Bay Comic Con: Chandler Riggs, who portrays Carl Grimes in AMC's hit zombie show The Walking Dead, will meet and greet fans Saturday and Sunday at Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Tampa Airport. $10, 12 and younger free. (407) 619-2128.

SPCA Pet Walk: The 22nd annual walk Saturday along the St. Petersburg waterfront has a pet costume contest. $25, additional donations for SPCA appreciated; (727) 586-3591. Also Saturday, the Pet Masquerade Contest is in Hyde Park Village in Tampa. $5.

On your radar: the Times Festival of Reading, the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Food Truck Wars and Oktoberfest 10/14/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 8:47am]
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