Plan your weekend
BBQ and music
Ribfest: Get the napkins ready, Ribfest returns Friday through Sunday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. In addition to more than a dozen ribbers hawking their wares, Poison frontman and reality-TV yeoman Bret Michaels headlines Friday at 8:30 p.m., with classic rockers Three Dog Night on Saturday and country stars Kip Moore and Chase Rice on Sunday. There's kettle corn, lemonade, funnel cakes, corn on the cob and, of course, barbecue. Tickets are $16 Friday and $20 Saturday and Sunday, with discounts available through Circle K and MetroPCS stores; otherwise it's $20/$25 at the gate. Paid parking ($10) is available in downtown lots and garages, including the Mahaffey Theater, Al Lang Field and the Sundial garage, with shuttles to and from the festival every 15 minutes. ribfest.org.
Tampa Am at Skatepark of Tampa: This is considered a premier amateur event, one that more than a few pro skateboarders point to as the place where they first came under the spotlight. The park itself is iconic in the skateboarding world and gets visits from fans like Lil Wayne and Tony Hawk. The weekend brings parties, bowl jams, concrete jams, tricks, a moat race and plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Competition begins Friday and doors open at 9 a.m. daily, with live coverage on Streetleague.com. The finals will be at 3 p.m. Sunday with 12 skaters doing three one-minute runs. See skateparkoftampa.com for the lineup and after parties. Admission is $10 daily, $25 weekend at Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive.
Take the kids
Greater Pinellas Country Fair: A country-themed fair in a pretty urban area? You're darn tootin'. Learn the benefits of urban agriculture with animal shows, 4-H group activities, pig racing, pony rides, midway rides, woodworking, a quilt show, baked goods and fair food. The live music lineup at Pinellas Park's England Brothers Bandshell includes the Bellamy Brothers, who hailed from Pasco County before the rest of the world knew them for Let Your Love Flow. They perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and local favorites Black Honkeys play R&B funk at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free at the park at 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Open noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
Joel and Victoria Osteen: Looking for some inspiration? Joel and Victoria Osteen leave their Texas megachurch for Tampa's Amalie Arena on Friday to host "A Night of Hope." Admission is $15 at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. at 7:30 p.m. Friday. (813) 301-2500.
Newsies: The hit Broadway show centers on the New York newsboy strike of 1899. The villain is unbridled commerce exemplified by child labor and maximum exploitation for profit. Its spokesman is Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World (and a buddy of William Randolph Hearst, owner of the New York Journal). The ragamuffin newsboys, mostly children to teenagers, are tough kids and the show hits every angle for fans of musicals — story, writing, acting, visual representation, music, and lots of great dancing. The show runs through Sunday at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35-$115. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Tampa's Holiday Gift Market: Find sweet deals at the Junior League of Tampa's gift market with more than 135 specialty merchants offering jewelry, clothing, handbags, home goods and much more. Proceeds benefit the Junior League. $8. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 254-1734. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. jltampa.org.
Bring the dog
Dunedin Dogtoberfest: Anything that features the "Running of the Wieners" as a highlight has got to be good. This annual dog-themed Oktoberfest party draws so many wiener dogs for the races that they have to run them in heats, releasing the long-bodied pooches to their owners at the end of the racetrack. There's also a doggie costume contest, photos with Santa, agility demonstrations and a "My Pet's Got Talent" competition. It's free, with $5 parking at Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin, from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
Chowder Challenge: Sunday marks the third annual Chowder Challenge competition benefiting the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum. Local restaurants compete for the cherished "Golden Ladle" awards, with the crowd voting for their top chowders and a panel of celebrity judges weighing in as well. Music from the Boat of Us and the Stowaways, with libations available for purchase, plus raffle prizes. Tickets available at the museum (115 10th Ave.), Paradiso (104 Eighth Ave.), Paradise Gifts, (371 Corey Ave.), all in St. Pete Beach. $15 advance; $20 day of; 11 and younger free with adult ticket purchase. The challenge is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Pete Beach Community Center and Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9245.
Second Saturday Artwalk: Each month, find new art and fine craft on view and for sale in dozens of galleries and studios in St. Pete. The historic train station in the Warehouse District is home to the Morean Center for Clay and has a refurbished "great room" for special events such as "Exposure: The Intimacy of Art," a collaborative project with photographers shooting artists as they work. Opening reception at the center, 420 22nd St. S , St. Petersburg, is from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. It's open from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday for the art walk. Also, Art Lofts, studios perched on the second floor of Florida CraftArts with their own entrance at 10 Fifth St. N, open up to participants so you can peek into the creative digs of artists and chat with them. In addition to the paintings and drawings, you'll also find mixed media, photography and jewelry on display. "Art'N We Thankful" opens Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. For information about Second Saturday Artwalk, go to stpeteartsalliance.org.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] or (727) 893-8595. Follow @SharonKWn.