Plan your weekend
New Year's Eve: There are loads of parties and fireworks shows to choose from this year. Check our list at tampabay.com/holiday. New this year is Tampa Theatre's Animal House-inspired NYE Wrap Party. Togas or movie-inspired costumes are encouraged. $99, Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday night there will be fireworks at Busch Gardens, a park-wide count down and fireworks in Gwazi Park, bubble wrap "fireworks" at the Glazer Children's Museum's countdown to noon, and fireworks in downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa's Channelside and Clearwater Beach.
Outback Bowl: Before the Florida Gators and the Iowa Hawkeyes face off at Raymond James Stadium on Monday, there is some fun to be had around town. Friday brings an Outback Bowl Beach Day with players, their marching bands and cheerleaders hitting the beach adjacent to Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach for a day of live music, skydivers, a tug-of-war and other contests from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. It's free for spectators. Saturday brings the Outback Bowl Parade to Ybor City, with marching bands and cheerleaders combining forces for this New Year's Eve parade and pep rally with floats, walking units and more. The parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. and runs along Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Free. Ybor City, 1700 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. For game day on Monday, there will be a giant tailgate party outside the stadium starting at 10 a.m. that includes live music, a pep rally and food. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $80 and up at outbackbowl.com.
Reverend Horton Heat: Rockabilly is the name of the game Saturday at the State Theatre, as rip-roaring hellions the Reverend Horton Heat and the Legendary Shack Shakers take the stage at 7 p.m. at 687 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $27 and up. But the night's big draw might be a solo set from Jello Biafra, the iconic punk poet and cofounder of the Dead Kennedys. He hasn't performed here in ages, so his set is a rare treat for punk lovers.
Dancing with the Stars: Live! We Came to Dance: We love our spangles around here. By popular demand, Ruth Eckerd Hall added a second show Friday to see some of the TV show's best dance performers including Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Hayley Erbert, Jenna Johnson and Keo Motsepe. $38.75-$78.75 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. Shows are 3 and 8 p.m. Friday.
Swan Lake: The State Ballet Theatre of Russia brings the classic story to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater on Friday. See the ballet of a young prince as he tries to free a swan maiden from an evil spell. $32.50-$65.50. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7832. mahaffeytheater.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Ralphie May and Christian Finnegan: Two popular comics will be working clubs in the Tampa Bay area this weekend and even help us ring in the new year. Ralphie May, at Side Splitters today through Saturday. Not for the squeamish, the raw and uncensored comedy of this Last Comic Standing alum has earned him a cult following. Tickets start at $35 at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com. Christian Finnegan, left, is a fixture on Comedy Central between his own standup specials and comedy panel shows. He has shows today through Saturday for $15-$17 and plays the club's New Year's Eve dinner at 5:30 p.m. ($25-$45) and its later party starting at 9:30 p.m. ($35). Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.
Take the kids
Snow Days at the Aquarium: Florida kids get to play in a snow play area at the aquarium starting at noon today through Saturday. Included with admission. $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Prices are generally about $2 cheaper if you buy them online at the aquarium's site. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000. flaquarium.org.