Plan your weekend
Oktoberfest: It's time to hoist a stein and yell, "Prost!" (cheers) for Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay. Tampa's competition-heavy party this weekend in Curtis Hixon Park expects some 10,000 people for the largest Oktoberfest gathering in the area. There will be a giant beer garden set up and tons of competitions and interactive games, such as stein hoisting and the Carry the Wench race. $10, $25 weekend; 12 and younger free. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 397-8722. oktoberfesttampa.com.
Florida Georgia Line, Nelly: This was supposed to be one of the great pop-country escapes of fall 2017: a tour pairing Florida Georgia Line with Nelly for a night of hip-hop and bro-country hits, including their 2012 joint smash Cruise. And it may still be that. But the good times turned sour over the weekend when Nelly was arrested after an allegation of rape following a concert outside Tacoma, Wash. He was not charged, and has adamantly argued his innocence. At press time, Nelly was still scheduled to perform at FGL's concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. If Nelly drops off the bill, we'll let you know this week at tampabay.com/soundcheck. $49 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
Florida Birding and Nature Festival: The second year of the Florida Birding and Nature Festival arrives during Central Florida's peak bird migration period. More than 180 species travel in Florida during the fall, and this festival will have workshops in bird identification, nature photography, speakers, plus exhibits of birds, butterflies, reptiles and mammals, field trips, kids' Camp Bayou sessions on Saturday, nature-related products, art, bird boxes and more for sale. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Hillsborough Community College SouthShore, 551 24th St. NE, Ruskin. Free admission, but extra charges for seminars ($20), field trips ($30-$65) and other events. (813) 444-0115. See fbnfestival.com for a complete schedule.
Lisa Unger, Rhonda Shear:
Two Tampa Bay residents who also have bestselling books will be giving talks this weekend. New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger will talk about her inventive character-driven thrillers in a fundraiser for Tampa library programming at noon Friday at the University Club, 1 Tampa City Center, 38th floor, Tampa. To reserve your seat, go to foltampa.org/events. $40 includes lunch. On Saturday, you can meet comedian and author Rhonda Shear at the signing of her new book Up All Night: From Hollywood Bombshell to Lingerie Model, Life Lessons From an Accidental Feminist. She will give a free talk at 2 p.m. Saturday at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-8616.
Take the kids
Shopkins Live! You don't often see a touring production for a toy line, but Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Shopkins Live! to the stage. The 90-minute show based on the popular toy line takes Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint and friends to Shopville's annual Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair. The tiny collectibles are based on common household items, each with a cute face and unique name. The toy line only began in 2014 but by 2015 a 12-pack of assorted Shopkins was the single bestselling toy, edging out Star Wars and Barbie. 4 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $33.25-$43.25. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Friday the 13th and a birthday: This Friday falls on the 13th, so Tampa Theatre's Halloween series Nightmare on Franklin Street is taking advantage. Then on Sunday, the historic movie house celebrates its birthday with free movies and tours. But first, on Friday you can see the original Friday the 13th at 7:30 p.m. and the last, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter at 10:30 p.m. The movies are $7. For its 91st birthday on Sunday, you can get a free tour (11 a.m.) and screenings of Tampa Theatre: The Mighty Overture (1 p.m.), Citizen Kane (3 p.m.) and Oscar winner Hidden Figures (7 p.m.). 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. tampatheatre.org.
Capitol Cult Film Series: Hurricane Irma postponed the free showing of the cult classic Dr. Strangelove at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, so Friday brings a cheap date night. See an insane general (Peter Sellers) trigger a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. Snacks and refreshments will be for sale. Free. 7 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.
Lightning Anniversary Celebration: Saturday's game will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the team by inviting players from the 1992-93 Tampa Bay Lightning. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, meet them at a free celebration at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall. The event includes games for kids, giveaways and autograph sessions. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 301-6600.
Swing is the Thing: The Florida Orchestra opens its pops season with some of the most ebullient tunes from the swing era. With Swing Is the Thing, conductor and arranger Jeff Tyzik will lead the orchestra in the danceable tunes. The production revs up with dancers, singers and clarinet virtuoso Dave Bennett. Though Bennett is just 33 and swing peaked in the mid 1940s, he's considered one of the foremost interpreters of Benny Goodman, et al. The concert will allow the genre to pay it forward, tracing swing's influence into the 1950s and 1960s with tunes from Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to Tuxedo Junction to Rock Around the Clock. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
Brews by the Bay: Dive into the beer and food festival to benefit for the Florida Aquarium's education, animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. Enjoy the aquarium's exhibits as you nibble dishes from restaurants like Ciccio Water and Bavaro's Pizza, sip coffee from Buddy Brew and try treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes and beers from local and regional craft breweries. There is also live entertainment. 8 to 11 p.m. Friday. $50 advance, $60 day of; $45 members. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.