Plan your weekend
Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls The '90s alt-rock kings are bringing along the other boy band that formed in Orlando, Matchbox Twenty. Expect Rob Thomas and company to have hits (3 AM, If You're Gone), but their bag of tricks also contains a new album (North, their first LP of original material in a decade) that finds the band sounding as good as they ever have. The show is at 7 p.m. Sunday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32 and up. (813) 740-2446.
Shark Week The Discovery Channel marathon, now in its 26th year, begins at 8 p.m. Sunday, and Tampa Bay's own aquariums with shark residents are not missing an opportunity to salute the (mostly misunderstood) great whites. Saturday there are shark-themed events at the Florida Aquarium and MOSI — and did we mention Sharknado is coming to a big screen near you on Friday? The campy SyFy movie about a waterspout that lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them in Los Angeles will be at Regal Cinemas for midnight shows on Friday, complete with ironic tweeting and Mystery Science Theater 3000-style derision. In the Tampa Bay area, you can catch the feeding frenzy at Tampa's Regal Citrus Park Stadium 20, Pinellas Park's Regal Park Place Stadium 16.
Tax Free Weekend It's a sales tax holiday so naturally the shopping malls are doing their best to lure kids to the stores for back to school shopping, with special teen fashion tips at Tyrone Square on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. and extended shopping hours this weekend. In the market for a computer, tablet or e-reader? For the first time, electronics up to $750 are on the list of tax-free goodies. That covers items bought in stores as well as those purchased online. In preparation for big crowds, local Best Buy stores are opening two hours earlier — 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Like last year, clothing and shoes up to $75 will be tax exempt, along with basic school supplies up to $15. Seven percent off a $1.99 pack of pencils won't pay for a trip to Hawaii, but 7 percent off a $750 computer will buy you a few Mai Tais.
WaZoo The Lowry Park Zoo's beer festival is returning Saturday to let the party animals take over while the zoo denizens are tucked away for the night. They will be pouring more than 275 types of beer from 70 breweries worldwide. Expect rain, so dress accordingly, and get a designated driver or make use of the many cabs that will be there offering a discount or flat rate. Among the food stations dishing out small bites: Tijuana Flats, BJ's Brewhouse, Kona Grill, Papa John's Pizza, James Joyce Irish Pub, Reilly's Westshore Taphouse, Whole Foods Market. The event runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave. Tickets are $70 ($80 day of event), $25 for the designated driver. VIP tickets, which almost always sell out in advance, include early admission, access to an air conditioned lounge and animal encounters, are $100, or $50 for designated drivers. Tickets are available online at lowryparkzoo.com or by phone at (813) 935-8552, ext. 276 in advance, or at the door the night of the event.
Fanboy Expo New to Tampa Bay, the FanBoy Expo brings a hard-hitting list of special guests including Chandler Riggs (AMC's The Walking Dead), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, Adrian Paul (the Highlander series), Doug Jones (Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army), Sid Haig (Rob Zombies House of 1000 Corpses) and many more. $20, $35 weekend; 10 and younger free. Autographs additional. Grand Hyatt Tampa, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa. (865) 280-2023. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]