Michael Connelly: Leave it to an Irish yarn-spinner like Michael Connelly to hold a book talk at a pub. The Fifth Witness author appears at 7 tonight at Four Green Fields in Tampa. Tickets are free with purchase of the book from Inkwood Books. Reserve books and tickets at (813) 253-2638. (Organizers are advising those who want to see the talk to get there early.)
Cheesy goodness: Who knew today is National Cheese Fondue Day? Melting Pot restaurants are celebrating with free cheese fondue at its bay area locations today through Thursday. Reservations required at www.411iscoming.com.
Freedom Riders: See a free screening of the documentary based on USF professor Ray Arsenault's book that has now caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey. It's at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tampa Theatre; panel discussion follows. (813) 274-8982.
Big music: With Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett and Iron Maiden in Tampa, that could mean some 50,000 concert tickets in one weekend. Get out your Bedazzler for Gaga's extravaganza at 8 p.m. Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tickets start at $49.50; (813) 301-2500. The same night, all eyes will be on Buffett in his first concert after conking his head when he fell off stage. Show is 8 p.m. at 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre. $30-$130; (813) 740-2446. On Sunday, metal legends Iron Maiden will rock the Forum in one of only two U.S. stops on their world tour, at 7 p.m. $32.25-$55.
Rent: American Stage's blockbuster in the park this year explores AIDS and the bohemian lifestyle in the 1990s. Previews start at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Demens Landing in St. Petersburg, opening Friday. $11-$27. (727) 823-7529.
Comedy: Alternative comic and actor Brian Posehn celebrates all things geek at an unusual venue for comedy, Crowbar in Ybor City, at 9 p.m. Friday. $16. Then Ralphie May brings his edgy wit to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater at 8 p.m. Saturday. $29.50. (727) 791-7400.
Kids and family
Mainsail Arts Festival: The two-day fest fills Vinoy Park on St. Petersburg's waterfront with 250 juried artists vying for $50,000 in awards. Also kids' art, music and food from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. mainsailartsfestival.org.
Underwater Egg Hunt: Easter is not until April 24, but the Easter Bunny is busy already. At the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center, kids can hop into the pool to grab eggs and prizes at 10 a.m. Saturday. Open swimming and water slides open afterward. $3. (727) 363-9264.
more to explore
Map out summer camps for the kids at tampabay.com/things-to-do.