The planner: Things to do this weekend

Sunday in the park with Pam

Join Mayor Pam Iorio and Tampa leaders for the grand opening of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and a new segment of the Riverwalk at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at 600 N Ashley Drive. The ceremony, with live entertainment and kids' activities, begins at 2 p.m. Free parking at the William F. Poe Garage, 800 N Ashley Drive. (813) 274-8615.

FRIDAY

It's fight night in Tampa

Tampa fight fans will dress to the nines for Professional Boxing at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W Cypress St. in Tampa. Local cruiserweight Nick "The Showstopper" Iannuzzi will fight Orlando's Rommel Rene, and Sarasota light-heavyweight Adam Jaco will take on Marcus "The Barber" Hall of Savannah, Ga. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the first bell sounds at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$100 through Ticketmaster. onepunch.net.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

Bookworms, dig in

It's easy to lure writers to Florida in January, and Eckerd College's Writers in Paradise conference always draws a good collection. Those of us who didn't sign up for the seminars can still benefit from the free readings by popular authors. On Friday, it's Michael Koryta (Envy the Night) and Laura Lippman (creator of the Tess Monaghan series) and on Saturday, Eckerd alum and Hollywood favorite Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) will wrap things up. Readings begin at 8 p.m., followed by author signings in Miller Auditorium at Eckerd in St. Pete. Free. writersinparadise.eckerd.edu.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

Inside Indian cinema

Channelside Cinemas in Tampa swaps Hollywood for Bollywood this weekend, when the first-ever India International Film Festival debuts. Friday's opening-night film is 7 Days in Slow Motion, the story of a boy who finds a filmmaker's lost camera and begins to chronicle events in his Hyderabad neighborhood. Showtime is 7 p.m, followed by a VIP reception at Channelside Cinemas' Dolce Vita. The festival continues through Sunday, showcasing more than 20 feature films, short films and documentaries from around the world. Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers are planned after some screenings. For details, see iifftampa.com.

SATURDAY

Open your flappers

Think flappers, speakeasies and jazz if you're going to Bayfront On Vine — Grape Gatsby on Saturday. Two floors of gourmet food and wine, featuring top Tampa Bay restaurants and a silent auction, are a part of this annual soiree to benefit the new Bayfront Baby Place. It's at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bayfront Medical Plaza, 603 Seventh St. S, St. Petersburg. $100 per person (main event); $150 per person (VIP reception, plus main event). (727) 893-6148.

It's a gay old time

Evgeny Afineevsky, writer and director of Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay will attend a screening of his film at Muvico Baywalk 20 in St. Pete, then host a Q&A. Part of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival series, it starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9.50, $7 students. See tiglff.com.

SUNDAY

Here come the brides

Shed that Bridezilla image at the Engaged for the Cure bridal show on Sunday at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S. The cancer fundraiser will have at least 40 wedding vendors showing off their wares, and attendees will be showered with gift bags, vacation drawings, cake and champagne. You can even drag along the fiance, because the event will include a "Man Cave," with games on a flat-screen TV. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m., with a full bridal-party fashion show scheduled during the last hour. Pay $7 at the door, or register online for $5 at engagedforthecure.org.

Two minutes for giving

Glitz and Sticks, the annual Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation celebrity casino night, will have dancing, entertainment, gaming and appearances by Lightning players. It benefits the Tampa General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Lightning Foundation's Annual Grant Program. The event is 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Tampa, 211 N Tampa St., Tampa. $150 includes chips. (813) 301-6712. lightning.nhl.com/glitz.

SATURDAY-Jan.30

Dabble in some arts

The Patel Conservatory makes it easier to see if you have talent worth exploring with its Try a Class for Free Week, running Saturday through Jan. 30. There's a lot to choose from: beginning guitar, hip-hop dance, ballet, acting and lots of play time for adults. See patelconservatory.org for full schedule. Patel Conservatory is part of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place in Tampa.

5 under $5

Looking for some cheap things to do that don't make you look cheap? Here's a start:

Free You don't have to bend over backward on Saturday to take advantage of free or low-cost introductory lessons being offered for Yoga USA Day. There are free classes and clinics starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Tree House Yoga Center (Tampa), Living Room Yoga (St. Petersburg), Longhouse (Gulfport), Southwest Recreation Center (Largo), Yoga on the Beach (Indian Rocks Beach), Yoga 4 All (Seminole) and Yoga Village (Clearwater). See yogadayusa.org for locations and details.

Free The Suncoast Association of Chinese Americans will be at Pioneer Park in Dunedin for a Chinese New Year Celebration, with folk dancers, songs, martial-arts exhibits, musical instrument demonstrations, ethnic foods and a traditional fashion show. They will even have Dragon Dancers for the big finish. It's 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the park at Main Street and Douglas Avenue. It's free, with fees for food. sacatampabay.org.

Free Small pet-rescue organization get a boost at Saturday's Rally to Rescue, where more than 20 area rescue groups will offer a variety of adoptable dogs and cats. Pet Supplies "Plus," 7331 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park is hosting and offering 10 percent off the first purchase for anyone who adopts a pet at this event. There will also be free T-shirts, drawings for gift cards, pet portraits, an outdoor grooming station, and a $5 self-service dog wash (regularly $8) in the store's dog-wash room. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (727) 541-1199.

Free The monthly 4th Fridays in Clearwater party in the downtown Cleveland Street area brings live music by Kenny McGee, food, beer, wine, magicians and other family fun from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday. Proceeds from beer and wine sales benefits Greyhound Pets of America Tampa Bay. 4thfridayclearwater.com.

$5 If you find yourself glued to the TV every year to see the latest poodle haircuts at the Westminster Kennel Club, the Florida Classic Clusters Dog Show is Florida's version, billed as the largest AKC-sanctioned show in the state. It runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, Brooksville. Free admission; $5 parking. (813) 480-3975; florida­classicpark.com.

The planner: Things to do this weekend 01/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 3:11pm]

    

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