Plan your weekend
Jason Aldean: One of the few A-listers who can still turn Nashville upside down with a new single, whether he's howling in harmony with Kelly Clarkson on Don't You Wanna Stay, half-rapping with Ludacris on Dirt Road Anthem, or sizzling through the record-breaking, sheet-steaming single Burnin' It Down. And when he hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday, expect pyrotechnics not seen since WrestleMania. Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr and Dee Jay Silver open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.50 and up at livenation.com.
Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading Judy Blume, loved by young readers worldwide, brings her fourth novel for adults to the 23rd annual festival of author talks and signings. Other authors include Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first female four-star general, a panel of Pulitzer Prize winning newswomen, and actor Amber Tamblyn of Joan of Arcadia and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Best of all, it's free. Look at the lineup at FestivalofReading.com. It's held at the USF St. Petersburg campus, 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
Beats By the Bay: It's Tyrese time! The inaugural 95.7 Beats by the Bay certainly qualifies as a must-see new music fest. New-millennium soul man Anthony Hamilton (Charlene) is no slouch, either, but let's be real: This gig is all about Tyrese, the mononymous multihyphenate who's having a banner 2015. In April, he returned as Dom and Brian's pal Roman in Furious 7, and in July he dropped Black Rose, his first career No. 1 album and a smooth collection of grownup R&B, particularly jazz-tinged hit single Shame. Doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday and the show begins at 4 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $45.50 and up. 957thebeat.com.
Party time: Better get that costume ready because this is the big weekend for Halloween parties before the big day comes next week, and we have a full list at tampabay.com/holiday. Partygoers have choices. There's a Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic Guavaween in Ybor City on Saturday at the Cuban Club. It's now a ticketed party instead of a raucous street parade: $12-$25 general; $65-$85 VIP at guavaweentampa.com. Or indulge in a decadent 13 Ugly Men: 13 Ugly Sins party on Friday with the pretty people who party with the Ugly Men raising money for charity. Admission is $25 women, $35 men at District 3, 802 E Whiting St., Tampa, at 8 p.m. Friday.
Take the kids
Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Oktoberfest One of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations of the season is coming to Tampa Bay Downs, featuring a full midway carnival with rides. Organizers expect 10,000 people to head to the giant Munich-style tent set up at the horse track, with music, German-style food and beer, games for kids, and competitions including stein holding, log sawing, barrel rolling and keg tossing. Admission is $5, 12 and younger free at Tampa Bay Downs, 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. It runs 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon-7 p.m. Sunday.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: A sleeper hit on Broadway, it runs through Sunday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. The genuinely funny show with an antihero serial killer is both clever and charming. Monty Navarro is the son of a dispossessed heiress, and he is only trying to get back what is rightfully his. The problem is, his blue-blood family wants nothing to do with him. Eight of them stand between Monty and the family's wealth. It may seem dark, but the family is so hideous, you really root for him. At the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40-$95. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Pig Jig and Seafood Fest: We love to eat around here and these food festivals this weekend prove it. The Tampa Pig Jig: With 50 barbecue teams, local celebrity judging and music by the Grammy-winning Eli Young Band and Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, this festival on Saturday in Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park will be pork central. Tickets are $25, 11 and younger free. In its 34th year, the John's Pass Seafood Festival from Friday to Sunday in Madeira Beach has more than 100 seafood options, a fishing tournament, Halloween block party, crab races, and best of all, the World's Largest Bloody Mary Toast attempt. We'll drink to that and free admission. If you forgot stone crab season started last week, the Palm Pavilion Stone Crab Festival is here to remind you Friday to Sunday with festivities on the beach, stone crab claws, and live music in Clearwater (free admission; food tickets extra ).
Florida Orchestra: This week, the orchestra, along with guest violinist Lara St. John, takes on one of classical music's most recognizable works, Vivaldi's Four Seasons. $15-$45. Performances are Friday at the Straz Center, Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. (727) 892-3337.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, email@example.com. Follow @SharonKWn.