5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

Published February 21
Updated February 21

1Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor festival and a beer garden. 5:30-10 p.m. Friday on the 400 Block of Cleveland Street.

2University Lecture Series: Ken Nwadike, bottom right, best known as the "Free Hugs Guy," will give a free talk at the University of South Florida about compassion and his efforts as a peace activist. He has embraced officers standing in front of protesters and along the route of the Boston Marathon on the first year of the race after the bombing of 2013. When he was confronted by protesters angered by his public sympathy for police officers in 2016 in Charlotte, N.C., Nwadike answered that, as a black man, he hurt as much as those who were protesting. "I’m just trying to help people understand," he said. "This uniform doesn’t make him a robot, just as your uniform, your skin color, doesn’t make you a criminal." The talk is at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Marshall Student Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa.

3Gulfport’s Get Rescued: The 14th annual animal rescue takes over Beach Boulevard with numerous rescue groups, vendors selling pet-related goods and services, animal training demonstrations, a "Bark-B-Que," food and music. Leashed, well behaved pets welcome. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Free.

4Eco Fun Festival: You wouldn’t think a day at the Pinellas County Solid Waste complex would be fun, but there’s loads of exhibits, a touch-a-truck to let kids climb all over the big equipment, facility tours, giveaways and food vendors. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. 11418 34th St. N, Clearwater. Free.

5Fiesta Day: They close down Seventh Avenue to traffic for this family-friendly street festival that celebrates the cuisine, culture and heritage of the Latin immigrants who settled in Ybor City at the turn of the 19th century. You’ll find ethnic food, arts and crafts and music
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Free.

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