Plan your weekend
Macklemore His hit single Thrift Shop is the first song in two decades to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 without major label support, and he used that freedom to release a follow-up single (Same Love) powered by sparse piano and lyrics that completely bash the homophobia and small-mindedness he saw in a lot of today's rap music and the world at large. His positive message is making his current tour a hot ticket, and new fans are in for a treat when rap elder statesman Talib Kweli and up-and-comer Big K.R.I.T. open the show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $35-$45. (813) 974-3002.
"Christmas Story" stars We triple-dog dare you to miss this. Four stars of the holiday TV staple A Christmas Story visit Robert's Christmas Wonderland in Clearwater, marking the movie's 30th anniversary. If you love the movie — and who doesn't? — this is like winning a major award from a sweepstakes, and you know how happy that made Ralphie Parker's old man. Fans can meet actor Zack Ward and confirm whether neighborhood bully Scut Farkas actually does have yellow eyes and wears a silly coonskin cap. They can ask Scut's toady Grover Dill (Yano Anaya) why he hung around such a jerk, and Flick (Scott Schwartz) exactly how he got his tongue unstuck from that frozen flagpole. Temperatures will be warm enough that Ralphie's little brother Randy (Ian Petrella) won't be bundled like a mummy. Autographs and photo ops are available Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m, until 4 p.m., along with A Christmas Story memorabilia, ornaments and collectibles. Robert's Christmas Wonderland is located at 2951 Gulf to Bay Blvd. Visitrobertscw.com or facebook.com/robertschristmas for information.
Jim Beam Bourbon & Brew Festival There's some whisky business going on this weekend. As in Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Knob Creek, among the 40-plus bourbons featured for sale (at $5 per drink) at the Jim Beam Bourbon & Brew Festival, 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Heights, 1910 Ola Ave., Tampa. Also look for craft beers, a mechanical bull, a fireworks show and music from Locash Cowboys and others. It's $20 general admission (drinks extra), $85 VIP. See bourbonandbrewfest.com.
Tampa Bay International Auto Show That "new car smell" will be hanging heavy in the convention center air this weekend. Browse hundreds of new cars, ultra high-end exotics, electric cars, hot rods, muscle cars and concept vehicles at the show, which runs noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. You can even test-drive a few models. It's $9 adults, $5 seniors/military/children, 6 and younger free. See motortrendautoshows.com/tampa.
Small Business Saturday This should be a big day for small businesses. A week before the Black Friday, the alternative known as Small Business Saturday offers lots of bonuses, including an American Express perk. Check out more than 100 local, independent vendors offering Black Friday-type specials, food, entertainment, raffles and more at Shopapalooza. The free event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Straub Park, Beach Drive and Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 635-5586.
Rick Ross There aren't even 10 stops on Rick Ross' tour supporting his new album Mastermind, but Ricky Rozay is clearly going for quality over quantity this time around. The 37-year-old hip-hop star is bringing a live band with him to some of the country's prettiest performance halls, and if a recent show in front of a packed house at Detroit's Masonic Temple is any indication, then fans are in for a treat. The set — devoid of any special appearances or encores — reportedly bred a house-party atmosphere and repaired Ross' recent slip-ups at shows marred by shoddy video screens and thin crowds. See him Friday at 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $42-$72. (727) 892-5767.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]