ORANGE CRUSHIN' IT: Carrot Top
Music fans love to hate Nickelback, and comedy fans love to hate Carrot Top. This, Carrot Top does not understand. "You go to a Nickelback concert, and it's packed, and they're killing it, and you get done, and you're like, 'How could people make fun of Nickelback?' It's an awesome show," he said during a recent phone call from Las Vegas. "A lot of it has to do with animosity and whatnot, which is always understandable in this business." Few understand it better than Carrot Top, a.k.a. Scott Thompson, the 50-year-old Florida native (and part-time resident) who over the past 25 years has ridden silly prop comedy to entertainment superstardom, currently paying off in a lucrative residency at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Carrot Top is comedy's perpetual punch line, but that won't stop fans from coming to his first Tampa Bay show in at least a decade, Sunday at the Capitol Theatre. He'll bring trucks and trunks of props, for sure, but his act these days also features a lot of multimedia work and even straight standup. "There's a chunk in the middle where I don't really pick up anything for a good 30 minutes," he said. "I can't do an hour and a half show, just prop, prop, prop, prop, prop. It'd just be insane." The show is at 7:30 p.m. at the Cap, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. For more of our interview with Carrot Top, visit tampabay.com/soundcheck.
Jay Cridlin, Times pop music/culture critic
ELF YOURSELF: Winter Wonder Ride brings DJ Jazzy Jeff
It's one of the biggest organized bike rides in the Tampa Bay area. The fifth annual Winter Wonder Ride will attract thousands of do-gooders to put on pointy ears, slip on a pair of curly shoes and elf up for a bike ride through downtown Tampa before returning to Curtis Hixon Park for a postride celebration featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff. Proceeds will help buy bikes and helmets for at-risk and foster kids. But you don't have to ride a bike to take part in the celebration afterward. DJ Jazzy Jeff made news recently when Oscar nominee Will Smith announced last month that he will tour in 2016 with his longtime friend and collaborator. It's $50 for bike registration; $10 for postride at o nbikes.org. A limited number of bikes are available for rent. There will be food from local restaurants including Ducky's, Bavaro's, Square 1 Burger, Buddy Brew, Fitlife and Louis Pappas at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. 2-10:30 p.m. Saturday.
PARADES: Down Santa Claus lane
While boat parades are washing ashore, there also are some popular holiday parades on land this weekend that don't require Rudolph to wear water wings. The 43rd annual Pinellas Park Holiday Parade shuts down Park Boulevard and steps off from 58th Street to head to the Shoppes at Park Place at 6 p.m. Saturday. (The road closures begin at 1 p.m., so plan accordingly.) Filled with bands, floats, soldiers, dancers and equestrian groups, prime spots for viewing begin filling in around 4:30. While it may still be flip-flop weather, there will be at least the illusion of a chill at the Snow on 7th Holiday Parade in Ybor City on Saturday. With nearly 20 marching bands, plenty of floats and, of course, Santa himself available for pictures in Centro Ybor, the parade makes for a pretty sight thanks to the special effects of snowflakes falling on the parade route. Preparade activities start at 6 p.m., and the parade steps off at 7 between 15th and 18th streets in Tampa. Other holiday parades this weekend include St. Pete Beach, Tarpon Springs, Brooksville, Palm Harbor and Dunedin. You can find those and more holiday events on Page 7 and online at tampabay.com/holiday.