Happy Birthday: Alpha Dog
Since 1926. That's a long time to be the top dog, but Coney Island Sandwich Shop is a local landmark and the oldest restaurant in St. Petersburg. Its Michigan-style chili dog continues to be the coin of the realm, especially when eaten atop a vinyl stool at the counter with an impossibly thick chocolate shake at your elbow. On Saturday, Coney Island celebrates its 90th birthday. Continuously owned and operated by the Barlas family, Coney Island will honor the milestone by selling original chili dogs and fountain drinks for 90 cents each plus tax. Yes, that's 90 cents. And at 11:30 a.m. it will host a hot dog eating contest. Word to the wise: Don't ask for ketchup on your dog. That stuff is frowned upon around here. 250 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-4493.
It's a thing. On the fourth Thursday of the month you can't choose your relatives, but later that night, or the day before, or the week after, you can choose the friends you surround yourself with for giving thanks. On Friday, St. Petersburg's FarmTable Kitchen and James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina host their second annual Friendsgiving community dining event. This year they have invited world-renowned vintner Jean-Charles Boisset as special guest (his Boisset Collection wines will be served for the evening's three-course, family style dinner), and a percentage of the evening's proceeds will help fight hunger and kick off a monthlong campaign to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in South Pinellas, a Feeding America Tampa Bay agency partner. Guests may also bring nonperishable food items to donate to the food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul. 6 p.m. $99 at farmtable.tocktix.com.
Chillax: Outdoor party
Chillounge Night was established in 2008 by Rainer Scheer. Since then, there have been 98,000 attendees in eight Florida cities. Saturday marks the eighth annual Chillounge in St. Petersburg. First off, two semi trucks of chic outdoor furniture pulls up. Then guests at the elegant outdoor party can dance under the 10-foot rotating disco ball with music by Smooth D and the Hunks from 6 to 11 p.m., enjoy laser technics, a fashion show, cuisine from Parkshore Grill and 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House for sale and culminating in fireworks. This year's event benefits Creative Clay and the Woodson Museum. VIP tickets includes complimentary food and beverage in the exclusive VIP Lounge area. Must be 21 or older. $25 advance, $35 day of event, $120 VIP. Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (941) 448-0995. chilloungenight.com.
Dig in: Charity dining
Calories don't count if you're eating for a cause. On Friday, indulge in one-of-a-kind dessert creations from local chefs made with Girl Scout cookies. The cocktail attire party includes a buffet dinner, cocktails and auctions. Benefits the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. 6:30 p.m. $100. Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Parkway, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg. (813) 262-1688.
On Saturday, choose between a celebrity waiter event benefiting underprivileged children or a pizza cook-off. For the former, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie and Pittsburgh Penguin 2009 Stanley Cup champion Mathieu Garon serves up burgers and drinks. Noon to 4 p.m. $10. Jack Willie's Bar, Grill and Tiki, 1011 St. Petersburg Drive, Oldsmar; (727) 439-6020. And for the latter, enjoy two slices of pizza, auctions and live music at Cage Brewing as celebrity judges select who makes the best pizza in the area. The event benefits area homeless and homeless veterans. 1 to 4 p.m. $10. 2001 First Ave. S St., St. Petersburg. (727) 954-7969.