Plan your weekend
97X Craft Beer Experience Sample from more than 100 varieties of craft beers and food from area restaurants with Drew and Shark from 97X, while listening to live music. Admission includes a commemorative cup and chances for prizes. $25 advance, $30 at the door. 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7832. And now for our shameless plug: If that only whets your whistle, check out tbt*'s 2012 Ultimate Bar Guide on Friday. We checked out dozens of bars, including some of the best ones for imported beer and the best places to sample local brews.
Avenue Q The hottest ticket in town is for a community theater production of a glorified puppet show. M.A.D. Theatre's production of this raunchy musical that uses puppets to tell the story of a recent college grad who moves into a shabby New York apartment is getting great reviews and ticket sales. It runs through Sunday. $20. Shimberg Playhouse at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Blessing and a Curse Folk Music Festival This warm and welcoming music festival in Carrollwood takes its name from Have Gun, Will Travel's track Blessing and a Curse, possibly the most infectious anthem to ever come out of Bradenton (and one that might just dislodge that 800-588-2300 Empire jingle from your head, finally). The tune has appeared on PBS's Roadtrip Nation, NPR's Second Stage, GTE Federal Credit Union commercials and Chevy ads, and is a must on Saturday's setlist. Fresh from their Bonnaroo performance, the Applebutter Express will bring ukulele funk and Dean Johanesen offers Americana. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. $13-$18. (813) 269-1310. carrollwoodcenter.org
Poison Pens: A Century of American Political Cartoons It's ink that makes you think, and just in time for the Republican National Convention's Tampa invasion. The exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art, 120 Gasparilla Blvd. (Ashley Drive south of Cass Street), continues through Sept. 16. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10 adults, $7.50 seniors and military, and $5 students. Children 6 and younger free. Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. is pay what you will. (813) 274-8130 or tampamuseum.org.
Taste of the Cuban Sandwich Maybe making the world's largest Cuban sandwich will settle things with Miami over who makes the best Cuban. Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Tampa's signature sandwich will be the center of an attempt to make the world's largest pressed sandwich with shredded pork, ham, salami, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on white Cuban bread. (That Genoa salami on there is what Miami considers subversive.) Elsewhere at Taste of the Cuban Sandwich, restaurants will be selling their sandwiches, and there will be music, a kids zone and a cigar area. Free admission, charge for food, at the Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica De Cuba, Ybor City.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne email@example.com