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Things to do in Tampa Bay the week of Dec. 31

Happy New Year! Where will you be for a big smooch at midnight tonight? Well, at least we can help with the venue. It's the 20th year for First Night St. Petersburg in Straub Park, with fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight ($10 for activities). In Tampa, it's the 10th year for Channelside's free party, with fireworks set off simultaneously to the ball drop in New York. See details on these and a list of more events on Etc., Page 2B, and at

Outback Bowl: A free parade winds through Ybor City at 5:30 tonight, and the big game matches up South Carolina and Michigan in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on New Year's Day. $75. (813) 874-2695.

Shakespeare Festival: Local music, theater and arts groups team up to honor William Shakespeare. First up is Symphonic Shakespeare, with the Florida Orchestra playing Merry Wives of Windsor Overture, A Midsummer Night's Dream and more at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. (727) 892-3337. See for upcoming events.

Florida's Largest Home Show: More than 900 exhibits should make quick work of even the largest honey-do list, Friday through Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center. $8, $7 seniors, 12 and younger free.

Kids and family

Circus: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's theme is Built to Amaze, with elephants, tigers and acrobats from around the world. Shows run Wednesday through Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa. $16-$85. (813) 301-2500.

Roosevelt Rowing Regatta: See rowing, paddleboard, kayaking and dragon boats, along with a seafood competition, shrimp and stone crab boil, food trucks and cash bar Saturday and Sunday at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa. Free admission.

Date night

Jump, Jive and Wail: The Florida Orchestra revs up big band, boogie-woogie, blues and more, along with swing dancers. Shows are Friday at the Straz in Tampa, Saturday at the Mahaffey in St. Petersburg and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337.

B.B. King: At age 87, who knows how much longer the legendary bluesman can tour? He brings hits like The Thrill is Gone and 3 O'Clock Blues to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday. $39.50-$79.50. (727) 791-7400.

The Wilson Van: The band, formerly known as Van Wilson, includes actor Patrick Wilson and his locally based brothers. They play a show to benefit Hope for Warriors on Saturday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. Free, but donations suggested. (813) 627-7625.

Things to do in Tampa Bay the week of Dec. 31 12/30/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 6:59pm]
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