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Date Night

  1. Labor Day sandbar concerts might be nearing the end of an era

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first time Hal Hammer Jr. and his salt-washed buddies played the blues on a barge in Riviera Bay, some 40 curious neighbors floated out to watch — not many more than your average Labor Day block party.

     Every Labor Day and Memorial Day, Hal Hammer Jr. and his Cross Creek Blues Band load up a pontoon with musical gear and perform a floating concert for thousands of boaters and swimmers on a sandbar in Riviera Bay, between Weedon Island and St. Petersburg's Tanglewood neighborhood.  Photo: Hal Hammer Jr.
  2. Dining Planner: Changes for Sea Sea Riders and Grill 131, info on the St. Pete Wine & Food Festival

    Food & Dining


    Sea Sea Riders

    Sea Sea Riders in Dunedin, in its distinctive 1903 Key West-inspired old Florida cracker house, has been a stalwart in the town’s dining scene for 27 years.
  3. Things to do planner: Labor Day weekend fun with the Rowdies, Busch Gardens and Gecko Fest



    Jeff Greene of Tampa steadies himself on stilts as he tosses beads during the parade at Gulfport’s annual Gecko Fest, a wacky end-of-summer celebration where it’s perfectly normal to dress up like a giant green reptile and sashay through the streets. This year’s festival starts Saturday morning.
  4. Stage Planner: Local theater founders listened to an inner voice


    What is the cost of not acting on your dreams? The two people featured here, each of whom founded Tampa theater companies, don't have to ask themselves that question.

    Rory Lawrence is founder of the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival.
  5. Music Planner: Chris Brown (and Fetty Wap!), Lady Antebellum (and Sam Hunt!), Labor Day on the water and more

    Music & Concerts


    Here's one way to look at the supernova career of Chris Brown, who performs at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.

    Chris Brown, shown here at a show in Champ de Mars, Haiti on June 26, comes to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.
  6. Art Planner: New shows in Sarasota and a Chad Mize project at The Bends

    Visual Arts


    So much is happening in the Tampa Bay regional arts scene we forget that farther south, Sarasota remains the matriarch of the arts on Florida's west coast where the Ringling complex of museums and performing arts stages rules.

  7. Movie Planner: Persall's at the Telluride Film Festival, 'The Transporter Refueled' opens




    By now I'm in heaven, at least as close as I wish to be for a while.

    Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo investigate child abuse in the Catholic church in the fact-based Spotlight.
  8. Tampa Bay area art museums offer a rich 2015-16 season

    Visual Arts

    Today we bring you the 13th annual preview of exhibitions at our regional museums. These are shows that make appearances for a limited time, unlike permanent collections that are on view all the time. Each of the museums listed here has a unique mission, and the special exhibitions are designed to reinforce and enhance …

    At the Ringling Museum, gilded bronze statue of the Lord of Nine Stars, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), from the Hubei Provincial Muaeum

credit: Johansen Krause
  9. Review: 'A Walk in the Woods' has charming stars, and that's about it


    A Walk in the Woods isn't always the wilderness hijinks comedy that trailers are selling, with pratfalls by stunt men hiding their faces so maybe we'll believe that's really Robert Redford and Nick Nolte taking lumps.

    Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte) and Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) hide from fellow hiker(Kristen Schaal, who may as well be animated) along the Appalachian Trail in A Walk in the Woods. The movie plays like a season preview of a sitcom set along the Appalachian Trail, each week a new wacky neighbor, romantic distraction and calamity. 
Broad Green Pictures
  10. Review: 'Mistress America' shines with great writing and Greta Gerwig


    Meet our nation's girl on the side, as she describes the title of Mistress America, a fictional short story that perhaps shouldn't be written, in a movie that gloriously is.

    Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke in "Mistress America." (David Feeney-Mosier/Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures/TNS)