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The planner (things to do)

Daniel Wallace/tbt* (2011)

Daniel Wallace/tbt* (2011)


G-rated parade hits the streets

Pint-sized pirates will take to Bayshore Boulevard on Saturday for the Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade. They will be wowed by the pirate Jose Gaspar himself (shown on video screens on the pirate ship's sails and heard over loudspeakers on the street) before a huge fireworks show at night. The alcohol-free parade is an appetizer for the more raucous big Gasparilla parade, which is the following Saturday. Expected to draw 75,000 people, the krewes at the children's parade tend to be more creative with the loot. Beyond the bounty of beads, people on floats throw candy, cloth flying discs, rubber balls, soft footballs, pirates' "gold" and other keepsakes. It's a daylong affair, as vendors and children's activities begin along Bayshore Boulevard at 11 a.m. and the parade kicks off at 3 p.m. with a parachute jump taking part in an "air invasion" before the parade. It's free but you can get reserved seating $26-$35 at The parade starts at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa, on Saturday.


Big wheels keep on turning

Dealers from across Florida show and sell tons of RV units at the Florida RV SuperShow running through Sunday with booths representing campgrounds, finance companies and insurance agencies. It runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N. $10, 15 and younger free. Call (813) 741-0488.


Bring it in for a hug

If St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster runs up and hugs you in the middle of the Saturday Morning Market, it's not what you think. He's kicking off the Free Hugs Fest, along with Raymond, the Rays mascot. Volunteer huggers wearing Keep Saint Petersburg Local T-shirts and holding "Free Hugs" signs will be dotted along Central Avenue, Beach Drive and at the market. Give them some love.

Back to the future in the sky

The force is with the Science Center for a retro Sci-Fi and Sky Night featuring telescope viewings, planetarium shows, a screening of the original Star Wars: A New Hope: Episode IV, a costume contest and Eckerd College's Brian Southworth discussing the Higgs Boson, also known at "the God Particle." $5. Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 384-0027. 5:30-10:30 p.m.

Hand-in-hand with Haiti

tbt*'s pop music critic Sean Daly serves as MC for an inspirational evening to raise funds for St. Gabriel Parish, Holy Family's sister parish in Beau Sejour, Haiti. The night includes cocktails, a Haitian dinner, a children's choir performance and testimony from doctors conducting life-saving missions in Haiti. Admission is free, but donations for food and drink benefit St. Gabriel Parish. Free. Holy Family Catholic Church, 200 78th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 504-4206. 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Be a friend for Dan

Get your picture taken in the photo booth at the Our Friend Dan Bash and grab something to eat from Michael Faedo's On the Go food truck while jamming to live music by Geri X, Wolf Face, Rob Pereira, Simply Abigail and the Red Hot Hornets. Benefits Dan Soyka and his fight against Lou Gehrig's disease. Free. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 Broadway, Dunedin. (727) 216-6318. 6 p.m.

You can totally crawl, '80s style

Dress like your favorite rock or film star from the 1980s for the Crazy '80s Pub Crawl, a four-stop pub crawl with free admission to participating venues, one complimentary cocktail at each stop, drink specials and '80s dance music. Stops include Barbarella, the Green Iguana and Czar. $12 advance, $15 at the door. The Honey Pot, 1507 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (407) 808-6371. 9 p.m.


Bully for the Bard

Local arts organizations continue the Shakespeare Festival this week, teaming up another series of events honoring the words and ideas of William Shakespeare. On Saturday, bring the kids for a screening of Disney's classic film the Lion King, inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet. Lion King-inspired activities take place before and after the film (1 p.m). Stick around Saturday afternoon for a screening of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In the film, two minor characters from Hamlet stumble around unaware of their scripted lives in this farcical film (3 p.m.). That's all at the Dalí Museum, One Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive SE and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg, and both are free. Then Wednesday at 7 p.m. features "An Intimate Collaboration: All The World's A Stage." The Studio@620 partners with the Florida Orchestra to explore Shakespeare's influence on music, spoken word and more in this multifaceted artistic collaboration. Vocalists from the USF School of Music's Chamber Singers highlight Shakespeare's words in song. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-6620.


For inauguration, go big

You can see the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony on the big screen at the Tampa Theatre. The ceremony will include performances by Beyonce, James Taylor and poet Richard Blanco. It's free to watch 10 a.m. at Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St.

5 under $5

FREE Treasure Island Kite Fest: The sky behind the Thunderbird will be a rainbow of colors as kites of all shapes and sizes take flight in a weekend-long show. See tricks set to music, precision flying, huge themed kites and amateur fliers. Bring your own kite to join the fun or vendors will be on site selling kites and supplies. It's free Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. behind the Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.

$3 Florida Manatee Festival: Downtown Crystal River pays homage to the sea cow that draws divers and tourists to this little fishing town with the clear spring water. There's a fine-arts show, craft show, manatee education, manatee boat tours, entertainment, vendors, food, children's activities and tours of Three Sisters Springs, a major wintertime habitat for the Florida manatee. It runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in downtown Crystal River at U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue. $3, 12 and younger free. See

FREE Tampa Bay Lightning's Rolling Thunder Tour: With the hockey season finally back on, Thunderbug and his troops will pull up outside Dinosaur World in Plant City on the Rolling Thunder Truck to bring street hockey games, Lightning gear and visits with the Lightning girls at 11 a.m. Sunday at 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City. Free. Park admission not included.

FREE See Monster trucks: With Monster Jam making the first of two visits to Tampa on Saturday (see Page 30) you can get up close to the ginormous trucks on Friday for free. Several Advance Auto Parts stores and Ford dealers around the bay area are hosting meet and greets with the 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound trucks. Get pictures in front of Grinder at 2 p.m. Friday at the store at 4010 N Nebraska Ave. in Tampa or Gunslinger at 3 p.m. at Elder Ford of Tampa, 9545 N Florida Ave. Get all six locations and times at

FREE Suncoast Arts Fest: This fundraiser for Arts for Kids in Pasco County keeps growing every year at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. Now in its eighth year, the event is expected to draw more than 120 fine artists and crafters, as well as entertainment, chalk artists, a Kids Art Garden and more. Adults will also have the opportunity for hands-on art experiences in the tents set up outside the mall at 28211 Paseo Drive, Suite 100, Wesley Chapel. It runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. See Free.

The planner (things to do) 01/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:18pm]
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