Plan your weekend
Florida Strawberry Festival The down-home Plant City tradition returns with another stellar music lineup and pure Americana with a slate of midway rides and deep-fried wonders. This weekend includes Alan Jackson ($45) on Sunday. It opens at 10 a.m. daily through March 10. Admission is $8, $4 ages 6-12 advance at Sweetbay throughout the fest. $10, $5 ages 6-12 at the gate. Kids 5 and younger free. Concert tickets vary by performer, but for each of the headliners at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., there will be 3,000 free seats available on a first-come, first-seated basis in the grandstand. Find special days for midway armbands at the website at flstrawberryfestival.com or call (813) 752-9194 for information.
Tampa Bay Beer Week The beer worship is back, with an event list that is intimidatingly long — a testament to the success of last year's inaugural Beer Week, and to how high expectations are this year. A good place to start might be one of the major festivals, such as the Florida Brewer's Guild Beer Fest (2 to 6 p.m. Saturday; $30 in advance), featuring beer from more than 40 Florida breweries in Ybor City's Centennial Park; or check out the mayor of Tampa tapping the ceremonial keg on the patio at Tampa Bay Brewing Company, followed by free beer until it's gone. It starts at noon Saturday at Tampa Bay Brewing Co., 1600 E Eighth Ave. Check out more Beer Week happenings at tampabaybeerweek.com/events.
Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park will be transformed into the bustling bazaar known as the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. People will come from near and far with tents to display and sell their wares. There will be plenty of pottery (formally called ceramics), jewelry, wood, metal works and fiber, just like the old days, as well as paintings, prints, glass and photography along Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Food vendors, free live entertainment and children's activities. No pets, alcoholic beverages, skates, bikes or skateboards. Parking is available in several nearby garages and on the street. The festival is free. gasparilla-arts.com.
Gasparilla's Outbound Voyage: Because two weekends of pirates just weren't enough, this epilogue to the epic party known as Gasparilla puts a finishing touch on the festivities. The captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will meet with the mayor of Tampa on Saturday, seeking the return of the key to the city. After a brief interaction, the captain and his mates board the Jose Gasparilla and push off with a final cannon salute launched toward downtown Tampa. And then guess what? Party! It starts at noon Saturday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. Free admission.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]