TAMPA RIVERFEST: Rolling on the Riverwalk
For its second year, RiverFest will highlight the Tampa Riverwalk with loads of activities along the 1.8 mile path by the Hillsborough River. The scenic stretch, completed last March, took four decades, six mayors and millions of dollars. See the full lineup at tampariverfest.com, but here are some highlights:
• Tampa's first Balloon Glow will light up Curtis Hixon Park as the finale to Saturday's festivities. Hot air balloons anchored to the ground will surround the park, illuminating the Riverwalk while the electronic elements and turntables from Spam Allstars mix Latin, funk, hip hop and dub.
• The third annual Mayor's Mac and Cheese Throwdown is free to attend 4-7 p.m. Saturday in Curtis Hixon Park. Tasting tickets are $13 for five tastings and free water taxi rides; $30 VIP.
• Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park will have dragon boat races 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and the Gasparilla Stand Up Paddleboard Invasion 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday with paddleboards, kayaks, outrigger canoes and more floating competitions. It's free for spectators with food, music, exhibits and a raffle at 601 Old Water St.
• The Plank, a waterfront popup bar, returns, and thanks to a new law you can buy a drink and keep on walking without violating open container laws. Bar hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. both days at MacDill Park, 100 N Ashley Drive.
• In We Built This City, kids can build and tear down a giant cardboard city outside the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Thousands of boxes will be rolled out at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Free.
STAR WARS: May the Fourth be with you
Wednesday is Star Wars Day in nerdland, when you will be greeted with "May the Fourth be you." The Red Star Rock Bar in Seminole Heights is getting into the Jedi mindset early with a family-friendly party at noon Sunday with a Star Wars-themed art show, pet costume contest, face painting, a pinata and food trucks. Costumes are encouraged, of course. Then at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Red Star hosts "the ultimate Star Wars Day party" with screenings of the series, a themed burlesque performance by Vita DeVoid, face and body painting, a costume contest, live DJ, food trucks and drink specials through 1 a.m. Both parties are free at Red Star Rock Bar, 5210 N Florida Ave., Tampa.
FUNNY GUYS: Chris Kattan and Frank Caliendo
Versatile comedian Chris Kattan, top right, of Saturday Night Live and NFL fans' favorite impressionist Frank Caliendo, bottom right, will be cracking wise on Tampa Bay stages this weekend. Kattan, an SNL cast member from 1996 to 2003, was one of the head-bobbing Butabi Brothers with Will Ferrell and did wicked impersonations of Clay Aiken, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and gymnast Kerri Strug (and her fictional brother, Kippy). Kattan performs Thursday through Sunday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $22. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com. Expect to hear from Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and broadcasters John Madden and Charles Barkley when just Caliendo takes the stage Saturday at 8 p.m. at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. $35-$48.50. (727) 791-7400. 8 p.m. Saturday. rutheckerdhall.com.