Martin Luther King Jr. Day: School's out, so head to one of two parades today. The raucous, huge National MLK Jr. Drum Major for Justice Parade steps off a 11 a.m. in downtown St. Petersburg and goes on for hours, so plan accordingly. In Tampa, a parade starts at noon at 15th Street and MLK Boulevard. Both are free.
Gasparilla: The outrageous pirate party gets warmed up with the street festival starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa. Then thousands will line the waterfront about 11:30 a.m. to watch the Jose Gasparilla ship sail in with cannons booming, surrounded by a sprawling flotilla. This year watch for a second tall ship, the schooner Lynx, in town to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner. At 2 p.m. is the Parade of Pirates along Bayshore Boulevard, where you'll get just what you need: beads! Free; reserved seating $35. (813) 251-8844. gasparillapiratefest.com.
Kris Allen: The American Idol winner from Season 8 is sporting a broken arm after a car crash, but he'll still perform Tuesday at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. $15 and up. (727) 89 5-3045.
My Girlfriend's Boyfriend: In this comedic solo show, Mike Birbiglia stumbles through a lifetime of romantic blunders Thursday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Tickets start at $25.50. (813) 229-7827.
Ron White: A stogie, a tumbler of scotch and lots of raunchy laughs Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. The early show is sold out, but tickets might still be available for the 9:30 show. $48.75-$58.75. (727) 791-7400.
Florida Orchestra: They will play Tchaikovsky's fantasy overtures to Hamlet, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet, with actors presenting scenes from the plays as part of the Shakespeare Festival. Concerts are 10 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337.
An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf: The new play at Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg celebrates food and the works of Ernest Hemingway, opening Friday. $37-$44. (727) 498-5205.
kids and family
Kumquat Festival: Discover the charm of "Old Florida" at this quirky festival devoted to all things kumquat Saturday in Dade City. Free admission. (352) 567-3769. kumquatfestival.org.
more to explore
Check out our annual dining guide of 25 new dining spots that won't break the bank at tampabay.com/things-to-do.