1 Back to the '70s
Where were you when Boz Scaggs hit it big with his album (remember those round black discs?) Silk Degrees in 1976? I was a student at Ohio State and I can still conjure up the song Lowdown from the jukebox in my memory bank. You, too? Well, you can hear him again at 8 p.m. May 3 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Raised in Texas, Scaggs got his trademark sound by combining rock, jazz, R&B and blues. Opening for him is another act you may remember from way back when, Pablo Cruise. Tickets are $49-$85. For more information, visit rutheckerdhall.com or call (727) 791-7400.
2 Doggie Olympics
Athletic dogs from around the country will make their way to Spa Beach Park, 544 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, for the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regional. Dogs will compete in Olympic-style events, including high-flying disc routines, head to-head weave pole racing, agility courses, Jack Russell hurdle racing and the crowd favorite, dog diving, in which dogs take a running leap off a 40-foot dock into a 19,000-gallon pool of water. It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4. Get details at barknetwork.com.
3 Choo-Choo Party
National Train Day, which celebrates America's love of trains with events across the country, has a special meaning here this year. It not only marks 144 years of connecting travelers coast to coast and commemorates the day the first transcontinental railroad was created, it also marks the 15th anniversary of the restoration of Tampa Union Station. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11, the sixth annual celebration will be held at the Tampa Union (Amtrak) Station, 601 N Nebraska Ave. There will be telegraph demonstrations, model railroads, railroad artist Robert West, live music and food trucks. Free admission. For more information, visit tampaunionstation.com or call (813) 221-7601.
4 A Mother's Day to Remember
Unless you've spent the last year stranded on a desert island, you know our iconic Pier will soon be nothing but a pile of rubble in Tampa Bay. Before that happens — the Pier closes on Memorial Day — spend one last day enjoying the amazing views with your mom or the mom of your choice on her day eating Spanish/Cuban cuisine at the Columbia Restaurant. There will be Mother's Day specials along with a complete dinner menu throughout the day. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 12. Make reservations at columbiarestaurant.com or by calling (727) 822-8000.
5 Hallelujah for Mom
Taking Mom out to eat on Mother's Day is great but so prosaic. Looking for something different? How about something joyful, uplifting, inspiring and exuberant? A Mother's Day Gospel Celebration featuring Yolanda Adams, Deitrick Haddon and Leandria Johnson will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 11 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $32.75 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting local Breast Cancer Foundations for Women. Get details at strazcenter.org. (P.S. This is Saturday night. You can still take mom out for that traditional Mother's Day meal.)
Patti Ewald, LifeTimes editor