Fourth of July: If you're kicking off a long weekend Thursday, start with a blast. The two main fireworks displays will be along St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront and in Tampa's Channel District. The Tampa Bay History Center in Tampa has free admission and extended hours, and you can watch fireworks from nearby Cotanchobee Park. At the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, there's a party with live jazz, a barbecue buffet and a prime seat for the fireworks ($45, reservations required, (727) 896-2667). Lots of communities have free celebrations and fireworks, including Tarpon Springs, Madeira Beach and Gulfport, which has an all-day event with a kids fishing derby and sand sculpting contest before fireworks. For more Fourth of July events, go to tampabay.com/things-to-do.
Jay and Silent Bob: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes bring their new animated film, Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, to the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. A Q&A with Smith and Mewes follows the movie. $25-$59. (727) 822-3590.
Red Bull Wake Open: Representing nine countries, 36 of the world's top wakeboarders will splash, fly and flip from 3-8 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday near the Convention Center in Tampa. Free.
Alabama: The last time Alabama came to town, it was 2003 and the legendary country group was in the middle of its "Farewell Tour." So much for that. The band will bring its 40th anniversary "Back to the Bowery Tour" to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater at 8 p.m. Saturday. $69-$125. (727) 791-7400.
Gucci Mane: Hey, y'all, one of the stars of Spring Breakers is back in town for a concert Saturday at Onyx Premium Night Club in St. Petersburg. Doors open at 10 p.m. $40; $80 for VIP passes. (727) 258-4813
Kids & Family
Dunedin Orange Festival: It's an old-fashioned charmer 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in downtown Dunedin, with green market, family fun zone, mojo cook-off competition, Miss Dunedin Orange Queen Pageant, a bonnet auction and live entertainment. Free admission; $10 tasting ticket (727) 298-3278.
Bark at the Ballpark: Fetch tickets for you and Rover to see the Clearwater Threshers take on the Lakeland Flying Tigers at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Bright House Field in Clearwater. Enter a pet-owner look-a-like contest, meet the team mascots and run the bases. $7-$9.50 humans, $5 dogs. (727) 467-4457.
more to explore
We're working hard on our annual list of favorite bars. If you like a place or a cocktail, use the tag #tampabaydrinks and share it!