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Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things To Do, but also veers off into stories of parenting on the Whoa, Momma! blog, as well as cool gadgets or whatever captures her short attention span. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595


Twitter: @SharonKWynne

Blog: Whoa, Momma!

  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 28


    Ballroom With a Twist: Professional dancers from Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance join for a family-friendly production choreographed by Dancing with the Stars' Emmy-nominated Louis van Amstel. Performers include DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani, Anna Trebunskaya, Dmitry Chaplin and Lacey Schwimmer as well as SYTYCD's Serge Olnik, Jonathan Platero, Randi Lynn Strong and Legacy. American Idol finalists Gina Glocksen and Von Smith provide the soundtrack. 7 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $39.50-$65.50. (727) 893-7832;

  2. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5, Jan. 29-Feb. 4


    1 Young Eagles Flight Rally: Let the kids get behind the controls of a plane? Why not? Kids ages 8 to 17 can actually take flight and explore the world of aviation for free. Volunteer pilots will take children on a 15-minute flight. Each young "pilot" gets one-on-one time with pilots to learn how airplanes work and how safety comes first. Young Eagle certificates are awarded on completion of the program and each child's name is entered into the "World's Largest Logbook" at the Experimental Aircraft Association Air Adventure Museum. Weather will be monitored. Check for possible cancellation. Free, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Albert Whitted Airport, 540 First St. SE, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-1532. ...

    This year’s Kumquat Festival is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Dade City. The event celebrates the distant Asian relative of the citrus family
  3. At Busch Gardens, baby gorilla's new name is ...


    Since "totes cutie" and "adorbs" weren't among the choices, Busch Gardens' Facebook fans have picked Enzi as the name of the baby mle gorilla born a month ago at the Tampa theme park. Enzi means "power" in Swahili, which beat out Birungi, meaning "bringer of good things," and Bem, meaning "peace." The baby gorilla was born on Dec. 16 at Busch Gardens to 12-year old endangered western lowland gorilla, Pele. Both Pele and the baby, along with Busch Gardens' other gorillas, can be seen in the Myombe Reserve habitat at select times throughout the day. ...

    Fans voted on a name for this baby male gorilla: Enzi.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 27


    Merle Haggard: The legendary singer celebrates 50 years in show business with his longtime country band the Strangers. Show is 7:30 p.m. at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $39.50-$69.50. (727) 893-7832.

    Brass in Blue: The U.S. Air Force Band of the West combines brass, percussion and vocals to present marches, symphonic pieces, jazz and Broadway show tunes. The 7:30 p.m. show is free, but tickets are required at Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982....

  5. Disney World adds pixie dust, interactive play to Peter Pan ride queue


    Peter Pan's Flight, one of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, also had one of the longest, most monotonous, snaking lines in the searing Florida heat. But this week, the crowds got a look at upgrades that take the line indoors for sweet air-conditioned relief and add some interactive playtime. You will now see Tinker Bell fly around as you pass through the Darling house and see your shadow come alive on the wall and interact with it, including let a butterfly land on your finger. Plus, Tinker Bell will drop a sprinkle of pixie dust on visitors. Folks who choose the FastPass+ system for Peter Pan's flight do not travel through the new queue, which is still in a soft opening stage of testing now. The official opening date has not been announced but it has been operating most of the time in the last few days, Disney World visitors have reported. Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

  6. Epcot seeds Flower & Garden Festival with new features


    Like a topiary in need of shaping up, Epcot is branching out with some new music and garden features for its springtime series, the International Flower & Garden Festival.

    The fest, running March 4 through May 17, will include 10 new mini-gardens including a pepper garden, Shakespeare garden and a health garden. And no shocker here: Frozen will make its first appearance at the festival in topiary form. ...

  7. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Jan. 22-28


    1 Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza: A kids parade is part of this more-sedate version of Gasparilla, held since 1947 the weekend before the boozy bead-dazzled bacchanal on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Things start off at 11 a.m. Saturday with a bicycle and safety rodeo, followed by the Preschooler's Stroll at 1:30 p.m. at Bayshore Boulevard and Rome Avenue and then dozens of floats and bands will march along Bayshore from Bay to Bay to Edison Avenue throwing beads and candy. The day ends with sky ablaze in a "Piratechnic Extravaganza Fireworks" starting at 7 p.m. The alchohol-free event is free but you can get reserved seating for $33-$48 at (813) 251-8844 or at

  8. Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, George Lopez lead A-list of comedians coming to Tampa


    With six major comedy talents in this one-night show at Amalie Arena, the Black and Brown Comedy Get Down is a blockbuster comedy lineup with Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez, D.L. Hughley and Charlie Murphy. Talk about a star-studded lineup. You have a couple of talk show hosts (Lopez and Hughley), two of the four Original Kings of Comedy (Cedric and Hughley) and stars of films and TV shows (Griffin and Epps). Comedians are rarely booked into a venue this large but when you have the A-list of comedians of color, you need to make some room. Tickets are $46.50-$62.50 for the 8 p.m. Friday show at 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Actor Mike Epps arrives at the Premiere Of Starz "Survivor's Remorse" at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on September 23, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  9. Cuteness alert! Adorable baby gorilla at Busch Gardens needs a name


    Fans on Facebook will get to pick the name of the new baby gorilla at Busch Gardens. The adorable babe, a male, was born Dec. 16 at the Tampa theme park to 12-year-old endangered western lowland gorilla Pele. Potential names for the 1-month-old baby boy on the park's Facebook page are Birungi, meaning "bringer of good things;" Bem, meaning "peace;" and Enzi, meaning "power." Both Pele and baby, along with Busch Gardens' other gorillas, can be seen in the Myombe Reserve habitat at select times throughout the day. The naming poll is taking place now through Monday. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    Fans on Facebook will get to vote on a name for this baby gorilla born on Dec. 16 at Busch Gardens to 12-year old endangered western lowland gorilla, Pele.  [Busch Gardens Tampa]
  10. 'World's Worst Mom' show aims to bring helicopter parents in for a landing

    The Feed

    Publicists for the Discovery Life Channel's new show World's Worst Mom should send a thank you note to the Maryland authorities investigating the parents who allowed their school-aged children to walk home alone from a nearby park — because that case brought the theme of the show and its star into sharp focus.

    Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are facing an investigation for neglect after allowing their children, ages 6 and 10, to walk home by themselves for about a mile. Someone called the police when they saw the kids and officers met them at the house and called child services to investigate. ...

    World’s Worst Mom host Lenore Skenazy, left, makes a list of what each child of the Alarcon family can’t do before working with the family to give the kids more freedom.
  11. No meat? No problem: Vegetarian recipes the whole family will love


    Meatless Monday is not a new concept, but it is becoming an increasingly common one in even the most bacon-loving family kitchen as people look to save money, calories and maybe even the planet.

    While we are still eating more meat than nearly any other country, per capita meat intake in the United States has dropped 12 percent in the past five years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates....

    The key to making a good marinara sauce is to cook it vigorously in a skillet for about 20 minutes.
  12. Straz Center to hold nightly lottery of cheaper 'Book of Mormon' tickets


    If you have some flexibility in your schedule, you could snag some lower-priced tickets to see The Book of Mormon during its two-week run at the Straz Center starting Tuesday. The winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, it's a popular show with tickets ranging from $38.50 to $163.59. The producers have announced they will conduct a preshow lottery at the ticket office two and a half hours before each performance. Print your name and whether you want one or two tickets, and two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for $31 tickets (cash only). Only one entry is allowed per person, and winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show identification to purchase tickets. The show runs through Feb. 1 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827; ...

    JOAN MARCUS   |   Special to the Times.
  13. Plan your weekend Jan. 16-18


    Plan your weekend

    MLK holiday

    Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival In part of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration, this weekend celebration features music by Atlantic Starr (Always, Secret Lovers) and Grammy-nominated R&B artist Ledisi (I Blame You, Best Friend) as well as showcases for authors, artists, a children's play zone, health and wellness seminars, cultural activities and vendors. Free. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. The Florida Holocaust Museum will record civil-rights testimonies Saturday and Sunday at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park; for more information, go to For more information about the festival, which continues at various venues throughout the venue through Jan. 25, see

    Richie Homie Quan is bringing some company to the USF Sun Dome on Sunday.
  14. Turning 40, Disney's Space Mountain still evokes 'thrill of the unknown'


    Compared to today's mega thrill rides, Walt Disney World's Space Mountain is a simple spin.

    No upside-down loops. No 3D effects synchronized to the movement of the cars. It doesn't even reach 30 mph — half the speed of Busch Garden's Kumba. Yet as Florida's oldest roller coaster turns 40 on Thursday, it has one enduring advantage: the thrill of the unknown in pitch-darkness.

    Strapped into a retro rocket ship, you blast through space for 2 1/2 minutes with no idea when the next drop or sharp turn is coming. You never do see the ride in full. Like the ambiguity of a Stanley Kubrick film, the less you see, the more the tension builds....

    Space Mountain opened in the Magic Kingdom in 1975. (Times file photo)
  15. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Jan. 15-21


    1Soledad O'Brien: The former CNN anchor who has launched her own documentary film production company will give a free talk at the University of South Florida on Tuesday as part of USF's Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Week. She will be speaking about "Igniting Hope." Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Arrive early to get a seat at the USF Marshall Student Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. ...

    This photo by acclaimed Florida nature photographer Clyde Butcher is “Loxahatchee River State Park Ð 1991” will be included in the exhibit opening Jan. 8-29 at the Pasco-Hernando State art gallery. The exhibit Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher is part of the Museum of Florida HistoryÕs Traveling Exhibit (TREX) program. Butcher will will discuss his work in a special presentation, followed by a Q&A and book signing, on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the college’s West Campus in New Port Richey.