1 Music and Movies in the Park: The month of May brings the return of live music followed by a free movie in North Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg every Thursday night, an increasingly popular spring ritual for a family outing or a romantic date. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the water view. The music starts at 7 p.m., and the movies start at dark. Families are encouraged to ride their bicycles to the films. Free and secure valet bicycle parking will be available. This week the movie is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with music by Rob Tyre. May 8 is Dial M for Murder with music by Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association.
2 $5 Day at Great Explorations: The hands-on children's museum was recently accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. To celebrate, it is offering $5 admission on Saturday and Sunday. Designed for children 10 and under, the 24,000-square-foot museum has exhibits to build magnetic sculptures, play in a fire station, crawl through on your hands and knees in a super-dark tunnel and play creatively. The museum is located at 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Open Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m.
3 Free Comic Book Day: Saturday is when participating shops around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes by. You can only pick from a select list, but it's still a fun day with lots of shops holding costume contests and other activities. Spider-Man is scheduled to appear in person from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. at Emerald City Comics in Pinellas Park, 4902 113th Ave N. And over at Coliseum of Comics in New Tampa, the grand opening of their new store will coincide with Free Comic Book Day at 19412 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa. Go to freecomicbookday.com to find a shop nearest you.
4 Madeira Beach Food Fest: This three-day festival kicks off today through Saturday with live music, food, all types of marine and art vendors and a boat show. Held in conjunction with the King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament, there will also be a free kids' fishing tournament at 8 a.m. Saturday, when kids of all ages can fish in three heats for anything except stingrays with prizes for most cumulative inches per age group. Bait and tackle are provided, but bring your own pole. The festival will be along the water at 565 150th Ave., Madeira Beach. It runs 6 to 10 p.m. today, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. To sign up for the adult fishing tournament see oldsaltfishing.org; it's $195.
5 Barnyard Bananza and Yard Sale: Mosey on down to the SPCA's barnyard-themed festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon with food, crafts and animal experiences and a special appearance by Twilight Sparkle the pygmy goat, and a sale of "gently used" items with proceeds to benefit the animals. It's free at SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo; spcatampabay.org.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer