New Year's Eve: There are loads of parties and fireworks on Saturday. Check out our list at tampabay.com/holiday. Tampa Theatre has an Animal House-inspired NYE Wrap Party, where togas or movie-inspired costumes are encouraged. It's $99 to attend from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 711 Franklin St. ; tampa theatre.org. St. Petersburg rings in the new year with its First Night, a family-oriented celebration of the arts that includes entertainment at more than 25 venues. You'll need a button to take part in activities and enter venues ($5-$15). (727) 823-8906; firstnightstpete.com.
Outback Bowl: The big game doesn't happen till next Monday, but there are fun events leading up to it this weekend. Friday is the Outback Bowl Beach Day, when players, marching bands and cheerleaders hit the beach adjacent to Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's free for spectators. Saturday brings the Outback Bowl Parade to Ybor City, with marching bands and cheerleaders combining forces for this event, which steps off at 5:30 p.m. and runs along Seventh Avenue. Free. 1700 E Seventh Ave.
Music: Former Poison frontman Bret Michaels rocks Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday in Clearwater ($45-$103.75). Friday, Allman Brothers founding member/ drummer Butch Trucks performs with his new Freight Train Band at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre ($39-$49). Saturday, it's a rockabilly riot at St. Petersburg's State Theatre, with Reverend Horton Heat and the Legendary Shack Shakers, and a special solo set by Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys ($27 and up).
Comedy: Thursday brings Michael Carbonaro and his blend of magic, antics, audience interaction and funny videos to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. From Thursday-Saturday, Last Comic Standing alum Ralphie May takes Tampa's Side Splitters ($25 and up), while Comedy Central fixture Christian Finnegan works the Tampa Improv ($15-$45). Both will help you ring in the new year in with special performances Saturday.
Dancing With the Stars: Live! We Came to Dance: Friday, watch some of the hit show's best dancers, including Lindsay Arnold, Artem Chigvintsev and Keo Motsepe at 3 and 8 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall ($38.75-$78.75).
Kids and family
Snow Days: Enjoy the snow play area at the Florida Aquarium through Saturday. With admission. (19.95-$24.95); flaquarium.org.