HOT WHEELS: Tampa Am at Skatepark of Tampa
This weekend's Tampa Am at the Skatepark of Tampa is considered the premier amateur event in skateboarding that more than a few pro skateboarders point to as the place they were first brought into the spotlight. The park itself is iconic in the skateboarding world and gets visits from skate fans like Lil Wayne and Tony Hawk when they are in town. The weekend brings parties, bowl jams, concrete jams, tricks, a moat race and plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon. The kickoff party Thurdsday will have a collaborative art show by Michael Sieben and Travis Millard of Big Whoop art magazine, who will be doing live T-shirt printing. It's $5 admission at 6 p.m. with free PBR and Monster Energy, and an open bowl jam at 9 p.m., so bring your board to the Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive. Competition begins Friday and the doors open at 9 a.m. daily, with live coverage on Streetleague.com. The finals will be at 3 p.m. Sunday with 12 skaters doing three one-minute runs. See s kateparkoftampa.com for the lineup of events and after parties. Admission is $10 daily, $25 weekend. (813) 621-6793.
FARM LIVIN': Greater Pinellas Country Fair
A country-themed fair in a pretty urban area? You're darn tootin'. The Greater Pinellas Country Fair this weekend aims to learn you a thing or two about the benefits of urban agriculture with animal shows, 4-H group activities, pig racing, pony rides, midway rides, woodworking, a quilt show, baked goods and fair food. The live music lineup at Pinellas Park's England Brothers Bandshell includes the Bellamy Brothers, who hailed from nearby Pasco County before the rest of the world knew them for Let Your Love Flow. They perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and local favorites Black Honkeys play R&B funk at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free at the park at 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Open noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
ALL TALK: Politico, pastor take the mic
Political junkies get a chance to hear David Axelrod dish on running Barack Obama's presidential campaigns on Friday. And for those looking for some inspiration, Joel and Victoria Osteen leave their Texas megachurch for Tampa's Amalie Arena, also on Friday. Axelrod, the familiar face of political punditry, takes the podium for the Poynter Institute, which is also the owner of the Tampa Bay Times, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. (Dinner is sold out, but $40 tickets to the talk remained at press time). The Osteens host "A Night of Hope" at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $15 at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.