Plan your weekend
Food on a stick
Florida State Fair: The fair returns today and runs through Feb. 15 with rides, exhibits, entertainment, animals and of course lots of deep-fried food on a stick. Admission is $11-$13 at the gate at 4802 U.S. 301 N in Tampa. You can save money if you buy tickets in advance for $9, $5 ages 6-11 at FloridaStateFair.com. Concerts this weekend include Lazy Bonez, 3 p.m. Feb. 6 and 1 p.m. Feb. 7 on the Coca-Cola Headline Stage. An '80s rock tribute band. and Beatlemania, 7 p.m. Feb. 6 on the Coca-Cola Headline Stage. Included with admission.
Bay Area Renaissance Festival: The weekend brings the opening of the 38th annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival, which runs through March 20 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. This weekend's theme is "Pillage the Village" with arm wrestling, tattoo and pirate costume competitions. $17.95 advance, $20.95 day of; $9.95 advance, $12.95 day of for ages 5-12; $16.95 seniors/students; $10 dogs. It's held on the grounds next to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. bayarearenfest.com.
Take the kids
Monster Jam: Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium to run the specially built track. Trucks coming to Tampa this time around include Grave Digger, Madusa, Dragon, Son-uva Digger and Scooby Doo. In the show, monster trucks crush lesser cars and even school buses in competition. Come early to tailgate and get pictures with the trucks and drivers in the Party in the Pits. $15-$125. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000. 7 p.m. Saturday.
Florida Orchestra: Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy: Under the direction of Grammy-winning conductor Arnie Roth, the orchestra presents music from the Final Fantasy role-playing video game series. Giant video screens will display scenes from one of the most successful games on the Nintendo system. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st Street S, St. Petersburg. $25-$95. (727) 892-5798, themahaffey.com
Katt Williams: The actor, rapper and comedian brings his Conspiracy Theory tour to the University of South Florida Sun Dome on Saturday. $50.75-$102.75. It's probably a good bet for the comedian, who drew 4,000 fans to the Sun Dome in 2014 despite being a no-show a year earlier over "travel issues." Williams has landed in jail several times, charged in 2014 (with Suge Knight) with robbery of a celebrity photographer's camera; as well as other charges over the years of burglary, assault and child endangerment. The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa. $47-$57. (813) 974-3004. sundomearena.com.
Localtopia: In its third year, nearly 200 St. Petersburg area independent businesses will present "A Community Celebration of All Things Local." Expect a representation of local arts, culture, shopping, food, drinks, health, wellness and sports. T-shirt lovers can watch live screen printing of Keep St. Pete Local and Localtopia tops. Popular Burg-centric T-shirt designers Chad Mize/CHIZZY & Wide Sky will be on hand as well. Swing by the arts village to pick up some one-of-a-kind decor, or eat and drink your way down Third Street, which will feature some of St. Pete's best brews and bites. The event includes live music, a skate village, raffles, photo ops and family fun (featuring the Rowdies!). Admission is free at Williams Park, Fourth Street and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. (St. Pete Indie Market pops up here this week.) (813) 500-7708. localtopia.squarespace.com
St. Pete Indie Market: The monthly fair will pop up as its own village at Williams Park during Localtopia. Artists, indie designers, vintage sellers, horticulturists and crafters will gather to show off their handmade jewelry, letterpress cards, screen-printed tees, vintage treasures, upcycled home goods, succulent gardens, artisanal jams and much more. stpeteindiemarket.com
The Abduction from the Seraglio: The St. Petersburg Opera Company opens its season with Mozart's homage to the Turkish craze of the early 19th century. Mozart debuted the opera in 1782 in Vienna as Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The piece, which centers on two men rescuing their girlfriends from a harem, has been admired for its complexity and emotional subtlety. Soprano Alexandria Batsios, as Konstanze, has starred at the Palm Beach Opera and Sarasota Opera. Bass Baritone David Salsbery Fry won rave reviews in 2013 after playing the lead in Rossini's Mose in Egitto with the New York City Opera. The Abduction from the Seraglio will be sung in German with English surtitles and English dialogue. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theatre, 253 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg. $22-$67. (727) 823-2040, stpeteopera.org.