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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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....

    Dunedin Fine Art Center (2012)
  5. 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 celebrates his victory over John Cena at the WWE SummerSlam 2015.
  6. 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. ...

    Universal Orlando will open a new ride based on the popular Fast & Furious movies, the theme park announced.  Fast & Furious: Supercharged is slated to open some time in 2017. The seventh film in the Furious franchise made $1.5 billion at the box office worldwide this year. And Universal Studios Hollywood debuted a ride tied to the franchise in June.
  7. 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
  8. '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
  9. 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.)...

    California got the first Star Wars Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland in January. Now, the California run will channel “the Light Side of the Force,” while Orlando gets the Dark Side.
  10. Cheeky mural imagines Pier in St. Petersburg as an alien invader

    Events

    Local mural artists the Vitale Brothers have painted their mural Pier Pressure on the side of the Blue Goose bar, an image that makes the upside down pyramid Pier in St. Petersburg look like an alien invader from War of the Worlds. You can buy a T-shirt with the image at a release party Friday.

    Johnny and Paul Vitale, otherwise known as the Vitale Brothers, came up with the Pier Pressure mural five years ago when the long embattled Pier renovation project first bubbled to the surface. ...

  11. Plan your weekend Aug. 21-23

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Brew

    Beerfest at MOSI: Attention beer snobs! Craft beer enthusiasts will have more than 70 varieties to sample from 35 breweries, and food trucks, entertainment and MOSI exhibits to peruse. It runs 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $55, $15 designated driver at xorbia.com or $65 at the door at Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 739-4800....

    NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06:  Rob Thomas performs at The Beacon Theatre on August 6, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
  12. Things to Do Planner: Beer fests, last blast before school, fun at a new water park

    Events

    CHEERS FOR BEER: BREWS AT MOSI AND MAHAFFEY

    Our Ultimate Bar Guide lets you know where to imbibe all year long. But this is an extra-special weekend to be a beer snob. Beerfest at MOSI will give craft beer enthusiasts more than 70 varieties to sample from 35 breweries, with food trucks, entertainment and MOSI exhibits to peruse. It runs 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $55, $15 designated driver at xorbia.com or $65 at the door at Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 739-4800. ...

    BRENDAN FITTERER   |   Times Austin Runman tries the Wibit Aqua Park, which is like a floating obstacle course, during a media preview of SunWest Park in Aripeka.
  13. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 20-27

    Events

    1 TIA welcomes Lufthansa: Tampa International Airport is welcoming its new nonstop service to Frankfurt on Lufthansa Airlines with a German village square set up at the airport starting Friday. Constructed in the main terminal between Airsides E and F, the oompah bands and the smell of strudel and schnitzel will be part of a monthlong celebration of German music, food, beer, wine tasting and other entertainment. The airport gallery also will exhibit the work of Otto Neumann, a German expressionist painter and printmaker. The five-day-a-week nonstop air service on Lufthansa begins Sept. 25....

    On Friday, Mein Heimatland Musikanten, pictured at Tampa International Airport’s 2014 Oktoberfest, will kick off a monthlong celebration of all things German to welcome Lufthansa to TIA.
  14. 'Sesame Street' will be brought to you by the letters HBO

    Blog

    Sesame Street is getting an infusion of cash and a longer season thanks to a a deal announced Thursday between Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, and HBO, the premium cable network better known for gory vampire tales and sexually charged detective dramas. Will Kermit learn the true value of friendship as he overcomes his heroin addiction?...

  15. Universal will hold its third Harry Potter fan fest at its theme parks in January

    Florida

    Universal Orlando Resort announced Wednesday that it will hold its third Celebration of Harry Potter, a three-day fan fest at the theme park with actors and production designers from the films, interactive exhibits and the return of the Harry Potter Expo. The special gathering will take place Jan. 29-31 and vacation packages go on sale at noon Aug. 19 starting at $129 per adult per night at universalorlando.com/celebration. These packages sold out quickly the last two years because they include special access to the Potter Expo, admission to a private evening reception in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and special access to panels and demonstrations. Even if you don't buy a special package, all visitors can see most of the events and panels in the park, like the Q&A sessions with movie actors or the Potter Expo, which brings in collectible items to buy, movie props to pose with, a Sorting Hat section and other activities and demonstrations. The talent lineup hasn't been announced yet, but last year's panel brought the actors who played Dumbledore, Luna and the Weasley twins. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne,Times staff writer...

    Alex McKay, left, dressed as Luna Lovegood, Pan Chan, center, dressed as Hermoine, and Julie Clark, second from right, dressed as Snape, walk the halls and meet people during the The first academic symposium, and fan convention, for Harry Potter fans in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, July 17, 2003. (AP Photo/The Orlando Sentinel, Julie Fletcher)