Top things to do this week: Val Kilmer as Mark Twain, Ukulele Festival, Florida ‘snow’ and boat parades


WARMEST WISHES: Snow, boat parades

Christmas is an odd time in a place that doesn’t get cold, so this weekend brings the oh-so-Florida traditions of letting kids play in fake snow and decorating boats with over-the-top lights for a floating parade. The options this week include:

• Snowfest and Santa Parade: There will be 65 tons of snow blown into St. Petersburg’s North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive. Free, $5 wristband for activities. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

• There’s Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs: Historic downtown Tarpon Springs welcomes Christmas with a giant party with snow slides and an illuminated boat parade (8:15 p.m.). Free. 1 N Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs. 5-10 p.m. Friday.

• Miracle on Cleveland Street: Clearwater hosts a free concert by the Atlanta Rhythm Section and falling "snow," a skating rink, carriage rides and Santa. Free; some activities require a wristband $8. 400 Block of Cleveland Street. 5 p.m. Saturday.

• Four boat parades all starting about 5:30 p.m. Saturday: Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade and Tree Lighting at the Dunedin Marina; Cotee River Christmas Boat Parade in Sims Park, New Port Richey; Alafia Lighted Boat Parade at the Riverview Civic Center; and the Pass-a-Grille and Vina Del Mar Lighted Boat Parade at the Merry Pier.


Can we give Val Kilmer another chance, Tampa Bay? The onetime Batman was scheduled to screen the film version of Citizen Twain, his one-man show on Mark Twain, for a sold-out gig at Tampa’s Improv on July 11 but canceled. And then he backed out of Tampa Bay Comic Con just a few days before the July 29 geek fest, tweeting, "I’ve got family stuff that’s got to be my priority." Word soon got out that Kilmer was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. He’s back on the road with Citizen Twain and returns to Tampa on Wednesday. In a recent email interview, he wrote to Deadline that the one-man show took off. "I was touring the play but my tongue swelled up and I had to take a break," he wrote. Improv managers said there are still tickets left for Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. show where Kilmer will take questions. 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $30 and up; $70 for VIP that includes a meet and greet. (813) 864-4000.

THINK PLINK: Ukulele Fest

More than a dozen performers will perform for more than seven hours during the Ukulele Fest at Cage Brewing on Saturday. Featuring everything from ukulele reggae and bluegrass sounds to Americana and rock, this is the third such festival at the brewery, which will also have a one-day special beer, the Surfin’ Ukulele IPA. (Last year’s was an IPA called UkuAleLe.) The show begins with a ukulele tribute to the Beatles, and there will be a Peter Townshend-style contest called "Who Are Uke?" to see who has the best windmill strum. Professionals, amateurs and audience members are encouraged to join in. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. Cage Brewing, 2001 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $12 advance, $15 door; kids 12 and younger free. (813)238-8001.

FORECAST: Check the weekend’s weather forecast while making your plans.


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