Plan your weekend Nov. 17-19: Castle anniversary, Chillounge Night, Et Cultura, Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Courtesy of Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns this weekend.
Courtesy of Busch Gardens Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns this weekend.
Published November 9 2017
Updated November 15 2017

Plan your weekend


Castle anniversary: The multi-story, gothic Ybor nightclub, where itís not uncommon to see someone in a Batman cape or a leather corset, turned 25 this year, and the club is celebrating with a party this weekend. Features special guests DJ Danny Bled, DJ Tom Gold, DJ Mark Paradise, DJ Sean (Patio), VJ Jason Barco (Dungeon). Doors open at 10:30 p.m., Saturday at The Castle, 2994 N 16th St., Tampa. (813) 247-7547.

Big wheels

St. Pete Beach BikeFest: The new motorcycle expo and festival runs through Sunday at the Tradewinds resort, and the big draw will be the free concerts on the beach, including former Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil on Thursday, countryís Colt Ford (Friday) and prog-metal outfit Queensryche (Saturday). The concerts and expo are free, though itís $10 to park, and ride sharing is suggested since parking will be scarce. Concerts start at 8 p.m. each night, and are first-come, first-served at 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.

Date night

Chillounge Night: Straub Park will be outfitted with chic daybeds and outdoor furnishings for the 10th anniversary of the ultimate date night party in the park. There will be exotic entertainment, food, cash bars, live music and fireworks. The couches and daybeds are first come, first serve, but you can bring your own lawn chair. Tickets are $30 advance, $40 at the gate; $120 VIP at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-888-695-0888. 6 p.m. Saturday.


Christmas Town: Busch Gardens is bringing Sam the Snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to celebrate when Christmas Town opens on Sunday, turning the Tampa theme park festive at night with 2 million lights. Christmas Town will be open until 10 p.m. Sunday though next weekend and then will be open weekends in December. Included with admission. $99, $79 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. (888) 800-5447.


Et Cultura: Envisioned as St. Petersburgís answer to South by Southwest, this weeklong festival celebrates great music, art, films and technology. Thereís an intriguingly deep lineup to fill a half-dozen stages across the íBurg. Indie rockers Cloud Nothings, Waxahatchee and local alt-pop symphony the Florida Bjorkestra perform Friday, as will British shoegazers Slowdive and rapper Talib Kweli. That is on top of all the other movies, art projects and speakers all over town. A weekend ticket ($75 and up, with discounts for students and teachers) letís you sample a little bit of everything, but single-show tickets are expected to be available at the door. Check out the full, sprawling schedule at


Randy Newman: Touring behind his deeply resonant catalog and well-received new album, Dark Matter, the Oscar darling will play an "evening with" set at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39.25 and up. (727) 791-7400.

Read our interview with Randy Newman in Sundayís Latitudes or see

Take the kids

Sanding Ovations: The annual sand sculpting competition on Treasure Island brings master sand sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year, artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. Thereís live music daily and Saturday brings fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Saturday. Free. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. today-Sunday. Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.


Benji Brown: The comic, known for his work on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, is a Miami native who has worked with Chris Rock, Steve Harvey and Monique. He brings his national stand-up tour of observations and impressions to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Saturday. $25-$29.50. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.


St. Pete Run Fest: The new running festival brings a half marathon to downtown St. Pete after a three-year absence, as well as a 5K, half marathon, kids runs and a health and wellness expo. $20 (youth), $40 (5K), $95-$110 for half marathon or relay. Albert Whitted Park, 107 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg. (727) 592-8108. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The half marathon starts at 7 a.m. Sunday and the 5K starts at 10:30 a.m. There will be an after party from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Albert Whitted Park. 7 a.m. Sunday.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

FORECAST: Check the weekendís weather forecast while making your plans.


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