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Things to do Wednesday, July 16

Tom Petty heads to the St. Pete Times Forum tonight.

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Tom Petty heads to the St. Pete Times Forum tonight.

To do today

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Gainesville's favorite son and perennial rocker takes the stage tonight with opening act Steve Winwood at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa; $29.50-$99.75. Call (813) 301-6600 or visit the Web site sptimesforum.com.

Brooke Waggoner The singer-songwriter with the sweet voice and classically trained piano skills is from Nashville, but she's not country. Citing Chopin, Simon and Garfunkel, and Electric Light Orchestra as strong influences, Waggoner works to connect the classical world with the modern one. See her tonight at the Orpheum with Paper Route at 7 p.m., 1902 Republica De Cuba Ave. in Ybor City. Tickets are $8-$10, but concert promoter Dave Hundley tells us that if you show up at the Orpheum and tell them you read about the concert in tbt*, they might just let you in for free.

Red The Christian alt-metal band, which scored a hit in 2006 with Breathe Into Me, plays with Spring Hill Christian rockers Providence tonight at the State Theatre at 7 p.m., 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14.

Author talk Writer Jeff Alt (A Walk for Sunshine) will tell how his trek along the Appalachian Trail (including sleeping with a skunk, being chased by a bull, charged by a bear, suffering painful blisters, dealing with swarms of insects and developing odd food cravings) became life lessons back in the real world. He will be talking tonight at 7 at Barnes & Noble in Carrollwood, 11802 N Dale Mabry; (813) 962-6446.

Wide Awoke Wednesday This popular discussion and debate series tonight tackles the topic: Are we ready for a black president? A panel of business leaders and educators will get things started and then the floor is open for comments. Meet at 6:30 p.m. for free refreshments and a business expo. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the USF Alumni Center's Traditions Hall, 4202 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa. $5 at the door.

Phil Perrier The comedian performs tonight at 9:30 at Coconuts Comedy Club Tradewinds Sandpiper Resort, 6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 360-5653. coconutscomedyclubs.com.

— Sharon Kennedy Wynne wynne@tampabay.com

Coming up

Set your alarm clock Go to bed early tonight, because Thursday morning is the popular Sunrise Sale in downtown St. Petersburg. Starting at sunrise (6:43 a.m.), look for the yellow banner in front of stores that will be giving out great discounts. If you show up in pajamas (or bring new PJs in children's sizes for the nonprofit Pajama Program), stores like RoCo Traders (2115 Central Ave.) will give you another 10 percent off your next purchase. In years past, we've found amazing deals on jewelry, housewares and fine linens, plus discounted gift cards for services including manicures, pedicures and massages. It's always a lively party so get your beauty rest.

Benefit concert The slow economy has put the future of the Country Legends Cafe in Dunedin jeopardy. Poison's drummer Rikki Rockett and his fiance Melanie Martel are attempting a rescue mission with a benefit concert on Monday. Show openers staring at 5 p.m. include Chad Montana, Jay Maddox, Kevin Stover and Suite Caroline. The venue is small, so advanced ticket purchase is strongly suggested. It's $25 at Country Legends Cafe, 1568 Main St. or (727) 736-4247.

— Sharon Kennedy Wynne wynne@tampabay.com

Things to do Wednesday, July 16 07/15/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 6:46am]

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