SKATER BOYS: Tampa Pro
The Skatepark of Tampa's premier event, Tampa Pro, has always been a big deal in the skateboarding world. SPoT, as it's known to skaters, appears in a Tony Hawk video game, and rapper Lil Wayne often stops by. Nike made a splash this month with a themed sneaker release with SPoT called the SB Dunk High Gasparilla, a $110 sneaker with pirate details and a multi-colored ankle collar inspired by a parrot feather.
Thursday through Sunday, there will skating action with top professional skateboarders, but the surrounding parties are just as interesting. They will include a show by rapper Yelawolf, right, at Saturday's after-party (included with admission or $16 for the concert only). On Friday, you can head to the Bricks, 1327 E Seventh Ave. in Ybor City, after the skatepark closes and see selected works by Spike Jonze, director of Being John Malkovich and Her. His first movie was a cult skateboarding short called Video Days starring a young Jason Lee. See images of skateboarding past and present, as well as photos of bands like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Bjork and the Beastie Boys. The skatepark opens at 9 a.m. Thursday through Sunday where you can watch tricks and see qualifying and semi-final rounds. Admission is $15, $30 weekend pass at Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 621-6793.
POSH PARTY: 'Downton Abbey' finale
Pass the smelling salts. The end is finally at hand for the aristocrats of the Crawley family and their household staff, and fans will have to comport themselves at a Downton Abbey viewing party on Sunday at Tampa Theatre. Season 6 and the series will come to an end Sunday at 9 p.m. on PBS, but you can see it a few hours earlier at this WEDU-sponsored party at 6 p.m. at the historic movie house, 711 Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. Dress as the lords and ladies of the much-loved British drama about life on a posh estate during the early 20th century. There will be tea, of course, as well as a costume contest, photo opportunities, door prizes and giveaways. Tickets are $25 at wedu.org/downtonabbey. (813) 739-2949.
ON TAP: Tampa Bay Beer Week
The annual celebration of Tampa Bay's craft and specialty beer culture, Tampa Bay Beer Week starts Friday with 7venth Sun brews poured at the free official kickoff party at 10 p.m. at the Pour House at Grand Central, 1208 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. But Beer Week, which is actually longer than a week and more like three, features multiple events, from large-scale festivals to beer tastings and beer dinners. The Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival on Saturday in Tampa's Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park lets you sample more than 200 beers handcrafted by more than 50 Florida breweries. Tickets are $48.50-$69.50 at floridabrewersguild.org, and it runs 2-5 p.m. Saturday. Or head to Dunedin's Edgewater Park starting at noon Saturday for Dunedin House of Beer's sixth annual Craft Beer Fest, with live music all day, local food, arts and crafts and vendors. Free admission. Find the complete Beer Week lineup at tampabaybeerweek.com.