Plan your weekend
Take the kids
Gasparilla Children's Parade: Pint-sized pirates welcome Tampa's pirate season on Saturday. Kids 5 and younger can join the Preschooler's Stroll half-mile strut (1:30-2:30 p.m.). There's also a bicycle safety rodeo (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and an air invasion at 2:45 and 6:15 p.m. The parade steps off at 3:30 p.m. with more than 100 units, krewes and dance groups, and the day ends with a pyrotechnic show at 7 p.m. Free, beacher seats $35. The parade starting point is Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa. gasparillapiratefest.com.
Tampa Bay Black Heritage Music Festival: This celebration in Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday features funk greats the Dazz Band, Grammy winners for 1982's Let It Whip. Neo-soul artist Anthony David opens. Sunday brings jazz legend David Sanborn. The festival is free and gets under way 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. tampablackheritage.org.
St. Pete Beer and Bacon Festival: Local chefs and restaurants will cook up their best bacon creations for tasting ($2-$4 plate charge), and more than 80 beers from local and regional breweries will be pouring at Vinoy Park. General admission: $20 day of (food/drink additional); beer tasting admission: $40 day of (includes beer only); VIP: $75; 10 and younger free. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. stpetebeerandbacon.com.
Comedy shows: Not only do we have "Queen of Mean" Lisa Lampanelli and whip-smart Margaret Cho performing in the Tampa Bay area this weekend, but the Comedy Get Down at Amalie Arena on Friday brings a blockbuster lineup of comics. George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy all team up at 8 p.m. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $46.50-$86.50. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com. Margaret Cho has four shows Friday and Saturday at the Improv in Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com. Lisa Lampanelli performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. $45-$55. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.
FRYDay: The McDonald's Fry Truck tour makes a stop at Amalie Arena on Friday to give away fries, hash browns and McCafe coffee on the Plaza before the Comedy Get Down. Follow @McDTampaBay on Twitter to find out other locations starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday and running throughout the day and again on Jan. 21. Free. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.
Tour de Shine: Thanks to the Shine Mural Festival, St. Petersburg is loaded with murals. Since it's a challenge to view them all by foot or car, why not go by bicycle on the Tour de Shine? For $20, you'll see and learn about 30 murals. The only one this month happens at 10 a.m. Sunday, launching from the St. Pete Bike Co-op, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N. (813) 263-8600. shineonstpete.com/tours.
Romeo and Juliet: The leading man in Opera Tampa's production is riding a wave of critical acclaim. Richard Troxell has wowed crowds with dashing looks, dramatic fervor and an effortless high D. But the tenor is perhaps best known in recent years for his thought-provoking rendition of the Meow Mix jingle on The Tonight Show. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $66.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.