97X Backyard BBQ Sometimes sand, surf and cover charges aren't exactly on the agenda for a holiday weekend. Enter 97X, which hosts its annual Backyard BBQ within the confines of Vinoy Park. Modern prog-rock kings Coheed and Cambria hold top billing, but the rest of the ticket — alt hip-hop duo Twenty One Pilots, Danish indie rock darlings New Politics and English exports The Virginmarys — are well worth coming out early for. General admission requires a free ticket, but VIPs can fork over $50 for special bathrooms, food and drink. It starts at noon at 701 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. See 97xonline.com for ticket drop locations.
The lime king
Margarita Festival Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and what better time to kick off lazy days by the pool than a toast to that favorite summer cocktail, the margarita. Saturday's Margarita Festival in Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park comes complete with its own beach volleyball court and a lineup of traditional lime-agave-tequila drinks as well as some creative varieties: Grand Mango Jalapeno Margarita anyone? A range of bands will play, including Tribal Style, Riders of the Easy Posse, Southern Train and headliner Daniel B. Marshall at 8:15 p.m. The night ends with a fireworks show at 9:45 p.m. A lineup of food trucks will be on hand and margaritas are $4 to $8 per cup. The first 2,500 margarita lovers to arrive get free Cayman Jack premium margaritas, while supplies last. The party starts at 2 p.m. and is for 21 and older only; no pets or coolers. Advance tickets are $15, $20 at the door. VIP with unlimited food and drinks is $85-$100 at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 421-3527. See tampamargaritafest.com.
The Sunset Music Festival Running noon to midnight Saturday in the North Lot of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, this festival is in its second year, bringing some of the biggest names in electronic dance music (EDM). The two biggest names on the bill are French uber-producer David Guetta and influential party person Steve Aoki, so maybe that gives them confidence. Tickets are $89-$149. For full details and a complete schedule of set times, see smftampa.com.
Circus! The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier A marvelous show of circus photographs that debuted at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is coming the Tampa Bay History Center beginning Saturday. Frederick W. Glasier (1866-1950) created a remarkable body of work during the early 20th century when traveling circuses were in their heyday. The exhibit opens Saturday at the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa, and continues through Aug. 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $12.95 adults, $10.95 seniors and youths 13 to 17 and students with ID, and $7.95 kids 4 to 12. tampabayhistorycenter.org or (813) 228-0097.
SeaWorld's Antarctica The marine theme park on Friday opens Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, an expansion that covers 4 acres that are built to look like the icy continent, with a high-tech ride starring a gentoo penguin named Puck. It's the largest expansion in SeaWorld's history, taking visitors on a high-tech ride across an ice floe, then sending them into a chilly colony of 250 penguins playing just inches away behind a low rock wall — no glass partition. Single-day tickets are $89, $81 for kids 3-9. There are discounts online and for Florida residents, including the Fun Card promotion where residents can buy a single-day pass and get unlimited admission for the remainder of 2013. Park hours vary. seaworldparks.com. For more on what's new in the theme parks this summer, see Friday's tbt* and online at TampaBay.com/things-to-do.
Take the kids
Florida Aquarium The Tampa aquarium has expanded its wetlands trail so that it feels like you are walking through a Florida state park and past the alligator-infested Suwannee River while using old wooden signs to guide you. The Stingray Beach debuts this weekend, where visitors can stroll the boardwalk, touch multiple species of stingrays and sharks as well as get up close to local shore birds. The Florida Wetlands Trail dome's architectural design is made up of 1,100 glass panels and mimics the outer spirals of a nautilus shell, a theme continued as visitors follow a continuing spiral back to the lobby and touch tank.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]