1Pepper Fest: This annual festival of food that hurts will turn up the heat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday with spicy sauces, salsas and hot pepper foods. There will also be pepper plants for sale, live music, a car show, a pepper eating contest and hot sauce competitions. Benefits Elizabeth's Animal Rescue Sanctuary. Admission is $3, 12 and younger free at the England Brothers Bandshell Park, 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 423-8433.
2 Beach Goes Pops: Now in its 26th year, the annual weekend of music on Pass-a-Grille Beach brings free shows Friday and Saturday night, as well as an arts and crafts show and food and drinks from numerous local restaurants. Bring a blanket or a chair for Friday's retro soul music by Wendy Rich and the Soulshakers (5-7:30 p.m.) and the Grateful Dead cover band the Dead Ichs (8-10:30 p.m.). Saturday brings the jazz swing Paramount Band featuring Michele James-Pruyn (7-10 p.m.). On-street parking fills up fast, so there is a free shuttle at the county park at 4700 Gulf Blvd. across the street from the Dolphin Village complex.
3 Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade: This is the second weekend for New Port Richey's biggest festival, with music and carnival rides continuing in Sims Park. Saturday brings the popular boat parade, said to be the oldest in the state, along the Pithlachascotee River with decorated boats blasting out songs. The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the U.S. 19 bridge in Millers Bayou, travels to downtown New Port Richey and returns to Sims Park, 5547 Main St. The Chasco Fiesta carnival continues 5-11 p.m. through Saturday. It's free to attend, and wristbands for rides are $15-$25.
4USF Spring Plant Festival: Time to renew the garden for spring. You can get help and find succulents, bonsai, bougainvillea, tropical fruit trees, butterfly plants and 70 local vendors, plus there's a new craft area for kids. A talk on organic vegetable gardening is at 11 a.m. Saturday and there will be a workshop on using native plants at noon that day. You can learn beekeeping basics with a tour at noon Sunday. Admission is $5, 12 and younger free at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. It's open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
5Screen on the Green: This outdoor movie series returns to Tampa's Water Works Park on three Saturdays in April, starting with Disney's Big Hero 6 this week, followed by Jumanji (April 16) and the Clearwater-filmed Dolphin Tale 2 (April 23). The free movies are shown on a large screen under the stars at 8 p.m., weather permitting. There will be food trucks on site and the park has a splash pad for the kids to play in until 10 p.m. at 1710 N Highland Ave., Tampa.