CLEARWATER — The city's 10-day Fun 'n Sun Celebration starts Friday with a roster of events expected to attract more than 100,000 people.
Fun 'n Sun began in 1954 as a way to extend the spring tourist season and has survived to become one of the best-known multiday events in the Tampa Bay area.
The first event is Blast Friday, a recurring event in the 400 block of Cleveland Street downtown. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and will include a free concert by Mark Farner with Stormbringer, and vendors selling food and beverages. Farner was lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad, a 1960s and '70s blues rock band.
Saturday and Sunday brings the Fun 'n Sun Celebration concert weekend to Coachman Park on the downtown waterfront. Saturday's concert is all classic rock, with the Kirk McEwen Band at 1:30 p.m., Orleans at 3 p.m., the Atlanta Rhythm Section at 4:45 p.m., the Romantics at 6:35 p.m. and headliner Eddie Money at 8:25 p.m. Gates open at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday is for country music fans. The schedule includes the LoCash Cowboys at 3:40 p.m., the Swon Brothers at 4:55 p.m., Cole Swindell at 6 p.m. and Rodney Atkins at 7:15 p.m. Gates open Sunday at noon.
Concert admission each day is $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. A two-day admission ticket is $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at etix.com, and a full schedule is available at funnsunclearwater.com.
Tuesday, music lovers will have to choose between Boz Scaggs at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. downtown at 7:30 p.m. or Santana at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at RuthEckerdHall.com.
April 30, will be full of activities at Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, starting with the Fun 'n Sun Health Expo. There will be a Wellness Walk around the stadium at 11 a.m. and health screenings by BayCare until 12:30 p.m. A Clearwater Threshers baseball game will begin at 1 p.m. for an admission price of $5. The game will be followed by a Home Run Happy Hour at 5 p.m. at Frenchy's Tiki Bar in the stadium.
May 2 is drive-in movie night. The city will set up a four-story inflatable screen in the Joe DiMaggio Complex parking lot, 2450 Drew St., to show Disney's Frozen at 8:15 p.m. Participants can tune in to the movie on their car radio and watch from their car, or seating will be available near the screen with speakers. The event is free but a $5 donation is suggested for the volunteer group putting the show together.
On May 3, the Laughs & Draughts Comedy & Beer Tasting event will be held at Coachman Park at 6 p.m., with the comedy show starting at 8:30 p.m. Shawn Wayans will headline the comedy show. This event is only for adults 21 and over. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate and will include four beer-tasting tickets and admission to the comedy show. Advanced tickets can be purchased at funnsunclearwater.com.
The Fun 'n Sun celebration concludes the night of May 4, with a fireworks show at 9 p.m. at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. Artisans, street performers and musicians will entertain crowds there starting at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, visit funnsunclearwater.com.