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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

Email: wynne@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SharonKWynne

Blog: Whoa, Momma!

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  1. Lowry Park Zoo to tame Halloween scares this year with daytime ZooBoo

    Events

    ZooBoo, the Lowry Park Zoo's annual not-so-scary Halloween event, will be even gentler this year as a daytime activity.

    "RIP haunted houses and screams," the zoo announced in a news release on Thursday. "We're focusing on fun (not fear) this Halloween."

    Now called ZooBoo KIDS, presented by Florida Central Credit Union on select days in October, the event will be designed for ages 11 and younger and be a daytime Halloween celebration with candy, bats and "fright-free" festivities....

  2. Plan your Labor Day weekend: Sept. 4-6

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Concert

    Chris Brown Rapper French Montana has been added to Chris Brown's One Hell of a Nite Tour, which hits the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Also on the bill are Migos, Fetty Wap, Omarion, Kid Ink and Teyana Taylor. A slate like that will persuade a lot of conflicted fans to overlook their Chris Brown misgivings, making this a festival-grade affair. The show is at 7 p.m. at 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com. Tickets are ($18-$92.50). ...

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 22: DJ Nick van de Wall aka Afrojack performs onstage during 97.1 AMP RADIO's Amplify 2014 concert at the Hollywood Palladium on March 22, 2014 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio, Inc.)
  3. Things to do planner: Labor Day weekend fun with the Rowdies, Busch Gardens and Gecko Fest

    Events

    WEEKEND STRETCH: LABOR DAY IDEAS

    GeckoFest: This whimsical family street festival is just so Gulfport. The funky, artsy town ends every summer with its largest street party dedicated to its unofficial mascot and favorite reptile. This year the theme is GeckoGras with a "Zyde-Geck-O" second line parade done in New Orleans-style that anyone can join. Arrive in costume with your Mardi Gras finest, or grab items to "geckofy" yourself. The wacky walking parade starts moving at 6 p.m., and there will be a costume contest for kids and adults after the parade. The streets on the waterfront will be filled with live music on two stages, hundreds of food, art and craft vendors, kids' activities, a bevy of acrobats, magicians, daredevils, dancers, aerialists, escape artists, fire eaters, balloon artists and costumed characters. Costumes are strongly encouraged. Because Gulfport. The party runs 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday along Beach Boulevard. Free....

    Jeff Greene of Tampa steadies himself on stilts as he tosses beads during the parade at Gulfport’s annual Gecko Fest, a wacky end-of-summer celebration where it’s perfectly normal to dress up like a giant green reptile and sashay through the streets. This year’s festival starts Saturday morning.
  4. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Sept. 3-9

    Events

    1 Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale: It's free admission Saturday at the USF Botanical Gardens when the Central Florida Cactus and Succulent Society holds its 21st annual show and sale of easy-to-grow cactus and succulent varieties, with experts to help choose the right plant for the landscape, and tips on how to care for your plant. Free parking across the street. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2329. ...

    You can learn Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller dance at a free workshop, then show off your moves during Thrill St. Pete on Oct. 24, the day people across the world will unite to try to break the record for most dancers performing Thriller.
  5. Hulk Hogan begs for forgiveness, blames South Tampa 'culture' for racist rant (w/video)

    Celebrities

    It was the South Tampa environment he grew up in that made it second nature to use the n-word, Hulk Hogan said Monday in a tearful apology on Good Morning America in which he pleaded for forgiveness for a racist rant that was caught on videotape.

    Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, grew up in South Tampa and went to Robinson High School, one of the first integrated high schools in the Tampa Bay area. Bollea owns Hogan's Beach, a popular restaurant on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and other businesses in the area. ...

    Terry Bollea stands between attorneys David Houston, left, and Charles Harder after a 2012 press conference addressing the lawsuits he filed against Heather Clem and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, and Gawker Media. [Eve Edelheit, Times]
  6. Napoleon Wineamite to make Tampa Theatre fundraiser flippin' sweet

    Events

    Tampa Theatre's annual movie-themed wine festival this year is called Napoleon Wineamite, so the five-day series of events Sept. 10-17 will be flippin' sweet.

    While tickets range from $50 wine tastings to an elegant $250 multi-course gourmet meal, a new feature this year is an event for those of us on a tater tot budget. A special $10 showing of the campy 2004 classic Napoleon Dynamite will allow the audience to bring blankets and lawn chairs to spread out on the stage deck that will be extended over the downstairs seats in preparation for Friday evening's wine-tasting event....

    186915 Description Summer Movie Preview images. Cutlines and credits are attached to photos under file info. Napoleon Dynamite From left:Jon Gries, Jon Heder and Aaron Ruell in Napoleon Dynamite Photo Credit: Aaron Ruell Fox Searchlight Pictures
  7. Tampa Theatre will play 1925 'Phantom' with live organ music

    Events

    All summer long, Tampa Theatre has been showing classic Hollywood movies, and the season is going really old school for its finale. On Sunday, the series closes with the silent film Phantom of the Opera from 1925 — accompanied with a live organ.

    The historic movie house with its Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ was built in 1926, just a year after Phantom came out, as one of America's most elaborate movie palaces. ...

    Lon Chaney as Erik, the Phantom, and Mary Philbin as Christine Daae in the 1925 silent version of The Phantom of the Opera.
  8. Zoo deal gives free admission for kids on Saturdays in September

    Events

    Saturdays in September will be a deal for kids at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, where Hispanic Heritage Month means free admission for up to four kids for every adult admission on Saturdays.

    Once there, they will find a family-friendly Saturday celebration called Que PasZoo that will showcase Latin culture including a variety of Latin entertainers, local artisans, games of dominoes and character appearances by Nick Jr. favorites Dora the Explorer (Sept. 5), Pablo the penguin from the Backyardigans (Sept. 12), Diego (Sept. 19) and Team Umizoomi (Sept. 26). ...

    A child brushes the goats in the petting area of the Wallaroo Station at Lowry Park Zoo.
  9. Top 5 movie-based theme park attractions besides 'Fast & Furious’

    Blog

    With the news that the Fast & Furious franchise is getting its own theme park treatment as a ride at Universal Studios, let's take a look at the rest of the theme park attractions that we have thanks to Hollywood.  Film critic Matt Singer of ScreenCrush once smartly observed that theme park attractions are "a perfect microcosm of modern Hollywood, where family-friendly 3-D escapism and the potential for merchandise sales are the only things that matter."...

    Universal Orlando will open a new ride based on the popular Fast & Furious movies. The ride, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, is slated to open some time in 2017.
  10. Plan your weekend Aug. 28-30

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Comedy

    Patton Oswalt One of the most influential comics today, he will riff on obsessive-compulsive disorder one moment and comic book heroes the next, drawing on literature or video games with equal ease. He's the same way as an actor, moving seemlessly from indie films, The King of Queens, to the voice of Remy the rat in Disney's Ratatouille. Bask in his comedy smarts 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Straz Center's Carol Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets are $30-$50. (813) 229-7827, strazcenter.org....

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Actor Patton Oswalt arrives at the premiere of FX's "Justified" Season 4 at Paramount Studios on January 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
  11. Things To Do Planner: Beer Challenge, WWE Raw in Tampa, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    DRINKING GAMES: THE GREAT BEER CHALLENGE

    Lifting weights 12 ounces at a time will get you in shape for The Great Beer Challenge coming Saturday to the courts of the Mirror Lake St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. Beginning at 2 p.m., teams of four will compete in beer-centered games including corn hole, flip cup, a stein holding competition and even shuffleboard to honor the location for the inaugural event. Winners will be crowned at 5 p.m. Must be 21 or older to attend. Participant tickets include full access to the beer games, beer swag and craft SweetWater beer. Advance tickets are $30 per participant, $110 for team of four and spectators $20 at greatbeerchallenge.com. Tickets are $50 at the door per person, if available. 12:30-5 p.m. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at the club, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-2083....

    Seth Rollins and John Cena battle it out at the WWE SummerSlam 2015.
  12. Universal Orlando will add 'Fast & Furious' attraction to theme park

    Florida

    Universal Orlando will open a new ride based on the popular Fast & Furious movies, the theme park announced Wednesday.

    Fast & Furious: Supercharged is slated to open some time in 2017, and the news comes as little surprise. The seventh film in the Furious franchise barreled into theaters this spring and made $1.5 billion at the box office worldwide. And Universal Studios Hollywood in California debuted a ride tied to the franchise in June. ...

    A springtime opening is planned for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family-style coaster and the crown jewel of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Park. Walt Disney World Resort guests will be treated to an exciting, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine” as the lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey comes to life. One feature will be first-of-its-kind ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the vehicles to swing back and forth during the ride. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by beloved music from the Disney film classic. On their adventure, riders pass by animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters. The attraction will complete New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Walt Disney World Resort is in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Courtesy of Disney)
  13. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 27-Sept. 2

    Events

    1 Coffee with the Curator: The free monthly talk from the Dalí Museum's education team this month turns to math professor Kathryn Pantelis of Hillsborough Community College, who will explore the relationship between mathematics and M.C. Escher's visionary patterns. Some 135 works, mostly prints, by the master illusionist are on display through Jan. 3 at the Dalí Museum. Many of Escher's works employed repeated tilings called tessellations, making it artwork that is especially well liked by mathematicians and scientists because of his use of geometric distortions. The talk at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday is free, though you have to have admission to the museum to see the Escher exhibit, $24, $22 seniors, $17 students, $10 children ages 6-12 at the Dalí Museum, 1 Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive SE and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg. ...

    Drawing Hands is a famous work by M.C. Escher that will be in a show at the Dal? Museum.
Image copyright 2015, M.C. Escher Co. From the collection of the Herakleidon Museum, Athens
  14. 'Star Trek' foam finger comes with Rays ticket deal

    Events

    You can live long and prosper with a special ticket deal for Star Trek Night at the Tampa Bay Rays game Friday. Buy your $25 ticket online by midnight Thursday ( tbtim.es/ndy), and you'll get a Star Trek foam finger set in the split-fingered salute made famous by Mr. Spock. If you already have purchased tickets to the game, you can upgrade by calling (727) 825-3209....

    Another in a series of Tampa Bay Rays special events packages, this foam finger is the giveaway for Star Trek Night
  15. Disney will bring Star Wars half marathon to Orlando in April

    Events

    Star Wars fans, you have been heard.

    After grumping that California got the first Star Wars Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland this past January, Orlando fans weaponized their whining until Walt Disney World Resort announced Tuesday that Orlando will get a series of races for kids and ultra runners April 14-17.

    R2! Light speed to the finish line!

    Expect storm troopers and costumed characters to lace up like they did in California in loads of ingenious costumes. (The "Imperial Walker" two-woman costume of the four-legged All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker, was especially clever.)...

    Star Wars Half Marathon (January 18, 2015) - Jennifer Berry, 34, of Denver also seemingly runs at warp speed at Disney, streaking across the finish line Sunday as the female winner after doing the same thing last year at the Disneyland Half Marathon and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. This time she set a personal record (1:22:34) and easily beat out second-place finisher Carla McAlister of San Clemente, Ca. (1:25:32) and third-place finisher Kellie Nickerson of Albuquerque, NM (1:27:03). Courtesy of runDisney