Plan your weekend
Gasparilla Music Festival For its second year, Saturday's festival promises to be even bigger than in 2012, when more than 6,000 fans packed Curtis Hixon Park — a number that surprised all involved. This year has a promising lineup, which includes hot indie groups Best Coast, Dr. Dog and Dawes; genre-hopping collective Ozomatli performing sets for both children and adults; and headliners The Meter Men, a supergroup featuring members of New Orleans funk legends the Meters and Phish keyboardist Page McConnell. On the food side, The Refinery, home to James Beard Award-nominated chef Greg Baker, will serve Thai Pulled Pork Tacos. The gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 day of show; children younger than 12 free before 2 p.m. For full details, see gasparillamusicfestival.com.
Wild Splash Phillly rapper Meek Mill, a member of Rick Ross' Maybach Music family, headlines this year's annual spring-break hip-hop fest when it returns to Coachman Park in Clearwater on Saturday. Rap veterans Juvenile (Back Dat Azz Up ) and Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia (It's Hard Out There For a Pimp) are this year's other big names. It all starts Saturday at 3 p.m. at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $25 and up. wild941.com.
Take the kids
Sea Monsters Revealed This new exhibit of some 200 sea creatures given a Hollywood treatment opens Saturday at MOSI. The exhibit is a collaboration between the creative team behind the blockbuster Bodies show and the museum, and it will travel the country and possibly the globe for years. MOSI is at 4801 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa. Admission is $18.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and $12.95 for ages 2-12. For $5 more, you get admission to all MOSI exhibits. Reservations suggested at (813) 987-6000 or visiting mosi.org.
Take a picnic
Victorian Picnic in the Park Like a scene out of Sunday in the Park with George, the annual picnic in the park at the Henry B. Plant Museum gets you into a low-key Victorian mindset with a barber shop quartet and community bands, a live theater performance, Victorian games including horseshoes and badminton and free ice cream. Bring lunch, coolers, chairs and blankets for a picnic under the shade of the stately DeSoto oak tree. It runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but you need to get there early to stake out a good spot. A theater performance from the Museum's Upstairs/Downstairs series will be at 2 p.m. Admission is free, and $1 admission will be offered at the museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. on the campus of the University of Tampa.
Music and munchies
Florida Strawberry Festival The berry good time continues through this weekend. Besides the strawberry goodies, there are some musical treats this weekend, too. On Friday night, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery ($25-$30) bellows out his baritone with the best of 'em. Two hitmakers from the '70s and '80s, T.G. Sheppard and Janie Fricke ($15-$20), take the stage at 3:30. Saturday brings Bret Michaels ($25-$30), the Poison frontman and Sunday puts the cream on top of the shortcake with the festival's top dog, Blake Shelton, a man whose outsized personality (The Voice) and industry respect (he was the Country Music Association's 2012 Entertainer of the Year) have made him Nashville's reigning king of country. This show is sold out, but you can always try for one of those 3,000 or so free seats on the day of the show. As it turns out, Sunday's early show is also a hot one: Teenyboppin' country prodigy Hunter Hayes ($15-$20), who scored a Best New Artist nomination at this year's Grammys. (813) 752-9194 or flstrawberryfestival.com. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]