Monday, February 19, 2018
Events

Will 'Today' show's Harry Potter contest be theme park news?

Careful watchers of news about the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort take note: NBC's Today show, which is also owned by Universal and is frequently the place for big theme park announcements, has announced a contest for next week to win a trip to see the new Diagon Alley opening soon at the Orlando theme park. There will be a mysterious "Harry Potter Clue" featured of the show each day Tuesday through Friday. A spokeswoman for the theme park would offer no official confirmation from Universal that this will lead to an announcement any day now of when the expansion will officially open. The CEO of parent company Comcast said last month that he expected revenues to jump in June when the park opens, but we don't yet know when in June that will be. Muggles have been eager to see what the park has done with Diagon Alley, estimated by industry analysts at $400 million. It will link London and its wizarding shopping district of Diagon Alley with Harry's school town of Hogsmeade. The park is also adding a new thrill ride, called Escape from Gringotts, and lots of Potter-themed shopping and dining experiences, all straight out of the J.K. Rowling's books.

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Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Highland Fling: The 2018 festival runs weekends through March 25 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and ...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Mutt Derby: Bring your non-aggressive dog for a day of dog races and other doggie games. Races will be done in weight divisions. All dogs racing must have proof of vaccinations. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound ...
Published: 02/16/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

The election is fraught with wild allegations and vicious character assassination, accusations of corruption and kickbacks, misspelled messages and outrageous debates — and of course the Russians have their hands all over it.The 2016 presidential rac...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 16

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 16

Kelsea Ballerini: Grammy-nominated country music star on tour with special guest Walter Hayes. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $38.25-$125. (727) 791-7400. Volta: The bendy people of Cirque du Soleil. Through Mar...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Pasco County Fair kicks off with parade and plenty of family fun

Pasco County Fair kicks off with parade and plenty of family fun

DADE CITY — Everyone loves a parade, it turns out. To the delight of many, after a one-year hiatus, the Pasco County Fair will once again kick off Monday morning with the traditional parade in downtown Dade City. "We are very excited to have the para...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Bar review: Valenty’s Lounge, part of Pasadena Liquors in St. Pete — who knew?

Bar review: Valenty’s Lounge, part of Pasadena Liquors in St. Pete — who knew?

Once, if I’d received a recommendation to check out a lounge attached to a liquor store near the beach, I wouldn’t have been in much of a hurry to check it out. But I’ve learned that there’s frequently magic in these places. ...
Published: 02/15/18
Local craft beer of the week: Process IPA, Calusa Brewing

Local craft beer of the week: Process IPA, Calusa Brewing

Not long ago, it was all about the West Coast IPA. California breweries like Stone, Russian River and Bear Republic built empires on the style, favoring a dry IPA base and mountains of resiny, intensely bitter hops to craft aggressive brews that laug...
Published: 02/15/18