Friday, February 23, 2018
Features and More

St. Pete Pride parade poised for epic 10th year

With the unfurling and parading of a 900-foot rainbow flag, the St. Pete Pride Promenade will make its 10th trek through St. Petersburg on Saturday, bringing tens of thousands of people to the city's Grand Central district for the Southeast's biggest gay pride parade. A sign of the parade and street festival's growing prestige: R&B singer and Broadway star Deborah Cox (Aida and the upcoming Jekyll & Hyde) brings her pipes to headline the day's entertainment, and comic Christine O'Leary is this year's "Mistress of Ceremonies."

Here's the schedule for the day as well as the many spinoff events this week:

St. Pete Pride Promenade

More than 100 floats decked out in rainbow colors begin rolling at 9 a.m. on the streets of St. Petersburg between 21st and 28th streets along Central Avenue. Afterward at the street festival, a sweaty crowd will pack some 10 city blocks as nearly 200 vendors from across the state line Central Avenue. R&B singer Deborah Cox (Nobody's Supposed to Be Here) will headline the Jagermeister PLAY 98.7 main stage at 21st Street and Central Avenue.

An Evening with Christine O'Leary

After the parade and street festival, spend an evening with the comic nominated one of America's 50 Funniest Lesbians by Curve magazine. The activist and comic is known for off-the-cuff improv and storytelling. Proceeds benefit the Metro Wellness and Community Center. $10 at the community center, 3251 Third Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 279-5428. 8 p.m. Saturday.

Stonewall Commemorative Reception

St. Pete Pride's sponsors' and friends' reception at the Museum of Fine Arts features entertainment by Una Voce and comic Christine O'Leary. All galleries are open, with catered food and full bar service. Proceeds benefit St. Pete Pride's Community Grant Program. $25 advance, $30 at the door. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 279-5428. 7 p.m. today.

Pride in Fashion

Macy's holds a pre-Pride fashion show with celebrity guests, including television host and Broadway singer-performer Jai Rodriguez, comic Christine O'Leary and award-winning actor, playwright and journalist Alec Mapa as headliners. Free hors d'oeuvres and Champagne, and Macy's will replace your $10 admission with a $10 gift card. Benefits St. Pete Pride. Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 Tyrone Square, St. Petersburg. (727) 279-5428. 6 p.m. Friday.

Prelude to Pride: A Wizard of Oz

Dorothy and her friends stroll down the yellow brick road in this naughty adaptation of the fabled classic by L. Frank Baum. Proceeds from this Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project benefit local charities. Pay what you can at the door, $15 advance. American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org. 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Miss Gay Florida America Pageant

Monica Moore, Miss Gay Florida America 2010, hosts the state preliminary to the 2013 Miss Gay America Pageant, a three-hour female impersonation extravaganza. Scheduled performers include 2011 Miss Gay Florida Zhane' Kennedy, Miss Gay Florida 2009 Crystle Chambers and 2012 Miss Gay America Kirby Kolby. $28-$35. Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 498-5205. 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Queens of Drag

Host and emcee Daphne Ferraro presides over this drag show with drink specials, bottle specials and performances by Chi Chi LaLique and Amy Demilo. Jackson's Bistro Bar and Sushi, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. (813) 265-1234. 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Updated: 11 hours ago
The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

ST. PETERSBURG — The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.T...
Published: 02/23/18
A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

What’s new in cruising for 2018? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes u...
Published: 02/23/18
New play focuses on the dangers of seniors falling

New play focuses on the dangers of seniors falling

CLEARWATER — The actor is playing out a common moment. She is an elderly woman, one who cherishes simple possessions — her cat, a favorite rug, her own home. She loses her balance while leaning over. She tumbles to the ground. The stage fades to blac...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Published: 02/22/18
Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Spring break kicked off this week with a program offering free rides on the Jolley Trolley between downtown and Clearwater Beach until April 29.The Park N Ride service will pick up riders at two lots downtown every 15 minutes and drop th...
Published: 02/22/18
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Published: 02/22/18
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FEST On Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18