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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. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 6-12


    1 Meet artist Eddy Ochoa Guzman: The Cuban contemporary artist, whose work shown above is included in the Clyde Hensley Cuban Museum Exhibition on display at Tampa's Nuance Galleries through Aug. 30, will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the gallery at 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 875-0511.

    2 Second Screen Cult Cinema: Held in the Vault, the 1923 neo-classical building in downtown Tampa, this series features a swanky cocktail hour with eclectic music and themed drinks before a screening of a cult classic film for $5. On Wednesday it's Black Orpheus (PG), a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. In 1960 it won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film. The party starts at 6 p.m. at the Vault, 655 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 382-2976. ...

    The artwork of contemporary Cuban artist Eddy Ochoa Guzman is on display at Tampa’s Nuance Galleries through Aug. 30. The artist will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Nuance Galleries, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.
  2. WEATHER CLOSINGS: Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo and more closed today because of flooding


    The rain that will not end is ending the fun for a lot of us. Here's some venues and activities canceled today because of the record rainfall and flooding:

    • Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.

    • Lowry Park Zoo

    • Tampa Museum of Art

    • Hillsborough Community College has closed its Brandon and Dale Mabry Campuses and GWSC.

    • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Practice, which was open to the public, is canceled. ...

    Motorists attempt to navigate standing water on Decubellis Road near Starkey Boulevard in New Port Richey as heavy rain and flooding continues in Pasco County Monday morning. [BRENDAN FITTERER  |  Times]
  3. Director Kevin Smith coming to Tampa Improv for one-night show


    Clerks director Kevin Smith is coming to Tampa's Improv in Centro Ybor on Aug. 12 to put one of his famous free-wheeling talks in which he tells candid stories about working in Hollywood. The $30 tickets are likely to be snapped up fast for this one-night event, billed as a Q&A. A writer, director, podcaster and the ringleader of AMC's Comic Book Men, Smith is a proud nerd immersed in pop culture with strong opinions and able to spin wildly entertaining tales about famous directors, actors, comic book series — or pretty much anything. The guy likes to talk. So much so that his "Evening With" events have been known to go on for hours and have been sold as DVDs. He talks of how difficult of an actor Bruce Willis was to work with, how weird some Hollywood producers can be and being moved to tears when director J.J. Abrams let him visit the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. The show is at 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. See or call (813) 864-4000 for details. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    Kevin Smith poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Misery Loves Company", at the Eddie Bauer Adventure House during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)
  4. Weather prompts some weekend event cancellations


    The weather is putting a damper on some weekend fun, with some planned events getting canceled or moved. Among them:

    • Thursday night's ball game between the Dunedin Blue Jays and Palm Beach Cardinals was postponed due to inclement weather conditions, forcing the two teams to play a doubleheader tonight if the weather holds. The first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the second contest will begin following a half an hour intermission between ball games at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin....

  5. 11 things to do indoors on a rainy day in Tampa Bay


    The new Vertical Ventures indoor climbing gym picked a great week to open in St. Petersburg. With stir-crazy kids (and parents), the place has been packed this week with families desperate to find some rainy day fun. But they aren't the only indoor play zone in town.

    As you dodge puddles the rest of the rainy season, here are some indoor play areas around Tampa Bay to consider. But a word of advice: Call first to make sure they aren't closed for a summer camp and check if there's a long wait behind other families....

    The Boing Jump Center in Tampa has more than 11,000 square feet of jump space including for dodgeball and jump aerobics.
  6. Fundraising effort aims to save free floating sandbar concerts


    For eight years now, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people have turned out for the free floating sandbar concerts held every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend in Riviera Bay near the Tanglewood area of St. Petersburg.

    The only way to get there was by boat to the channel from Riviera Bay to Tampa Bay. But people showed up, bringing chairs, coolers, even the dog, to wade in the water and listen to live music from a stage on a pontoon boat anchored in the channel off Tanglewood Way. The concert planned for Sept. 6 may very well be the last in the series if a new Go Fund Me effort fails. ...

  7. Just announced: 'Walking Dead' will return to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights


    To the surprise of no one, Universal Orlando confirmed Thursday that The Walking Dead will return to Halloween Horror Nights for the fourth year in a row. The AMC zombie drama has been one of the most popular mazes at HHN, built in close collaboration with the creators of the series. This year's Walking Dead maze will use "first-ever tactics to bring the horror of Season 5 to life in this year's maze," a Universal news release said, "even placing guests in the iconic flooded food bank scene where they'll be surrounded by hundreds of gallons of water as flesh-hungry walkers attack." The theme park has previously announced that Freddy Krueger of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees will go scarred face to hockey mask in their own haunted house titled Freddy vs. Jason. Also the Insidious horror trilogy will be featured. Halloween Horror Nights will be on select nights Sept. 18-Nov. 1. Tickets are $49.99 to $79.99. See — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Follow @SharonKWn...

    Walkers in Season 5 of The Walking Dead. AMC
  8. Not dead yet: 'Walking Dead' will return to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights


    The undead are rising again at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Universal for the fourth year in a row will have a zombie maze in its hugely popular scare-fest based on AMC's Walking Dead.  You can read about that news here and find out out how much change you'll need to fork over for tickets and express line passes (Brace yourself, it's a lot)...

    Season 5 of 'The Walking Dead' will be brought to life in this year’s maze at Universal Orlandoo, “even placing guests in the iconic flooded food bank scene where they’ll be surrounded by hundreds of gallons of water as flesh-hungry walkers attack.”
  9. Ease into the school year with these happenings



    USO School Supply Drive

    The USO Central Florida is hosting its second annual Back to School Drive. Supplies collected will send more than 700 military children back to school ready with supplies. They are looking for the following: spiral notebooks, black and blue pens, composition notebooks, No. 2 pencils, wide-ruled paper, college-ruled paper, markers, crayons (24-pack), highlighters, colored pencils, pink cap erasers, glue sticks, lined index cards, 1.5-inch binders, tab dividers, 12-inch rulers, 3-inch sticky notes, blunt scissors, solid colored folders with pockets and prongs. Drop off supplies at any Walgreens in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon or the USO Welcome Center at Tampa International Airport. The USO is taking the supplies now through Aug. 7....

    Willow Shields, who plays Primrose Everdeen in the Hunger Games films, will be at Saturday’s event in Wesley Chapel.
  10. Plan your weekend July 31-Aug. 2


    Plan your weekend

    Nerds rising

    Tampa Bay Comic Con With Carrie Fisher — Princess Leia herself — in the house, we won't be surprised if this geektastic event once again breaks attendance records at the Tampa Convention Center. More than 40,000 are expected over the weekend, many in full costume, to check out some of sci-fi's top leading ladies: Star Wars' Fisher, Terminator's Linda Hamilton and Back to the Future's Lea Thompson. Plus vendors, panels and cosplay contests. Friday to Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. Check out the event schedule in advance at Expect to line up at least an hour early for the most popular celebrity panels. $30 daily, $60 for three days. Hours: Noon to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday....

    Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie.
  11. Things to Do Planner: Meet Grumpy Cat, the Bucs and Willow Shields



    Grumpy Cat, the Internet celebrity with the perpetual scowl, got an endorsement deal from PetSmart and Friskies and like all celebrities, she only hangs out with other famous people. So Grumpy Cat is coming to Tampa Theatre on Tuesday and bringing along DJ Kitty from the Tampa Bay Rays as well as other feline mascots including Sir Purr (Carolina Panthers), Stanley C. Panther (Florida Panthers), Kingston the Lion (Orlando City Soccer Club) and Aubie the Tiger (Auburn University). The first 150 fans get a wristband for a meet and greet with Grumpy Cat and her mascot friends, and the rest get free admission to watch a screening of Happiness Finds Grumpy Cat, in which an excitable dog named Happiness spots Grumpy Cat in PetSmart. He tries his best to meet her, while she tries her best to ignore him. The message is that PetSmart is a cat-friendly shopping space. But somehow "friendly" and Grumpy Cat don't usually share the same space. It's free and first come, first serve from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the historic movie house, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8286.

    Grumpy Cat, the Internet celebrity with the perpetual scowl, got an endorsement deal from PetSmart and Friskies.
  12. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 July 30-Aug. 5


    1 Tampa Bay Club Sports 20th Anniversary: The area's largest organizer of adult sports leagues and social events is having its 20th anniversary party Friday at the Getaway on Gandy Boulevard, and both current and former Club Sports players are invited to the free party. There will be boat rides with free Blue Moon beer samples, plus beach games and drink specials. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at 13090 Gandy Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. RSVP on the club's Facebook page. Toll-free 1-877-820-2582. ...

    You can catch Tampa Bay Buccaneers players in action and enjoy a host of other activities during Bucs Training Camp from Saturday through Tuesday at One Buc Place in Tampa.
  13. Tips for navigating the madness at Tampa Bay Comic Con


    Tampa Bay Comic Con drew some 44,000 fans in superhero regalia in 2014, shattering attendance records at the Tampa Convention Center. This year could be poised to topple last year's record, with Saturday alone expected to draw close to 30,000 people. � Here are some tips to help you navigate the scores of merchandising booths and catch your favorite events.

    • Buy your ticket online in advance, and print it out at home. This will save you the long line to get your ticket, leaving only the long line to enter the comic con. New this year: You can pick up the tickets you have ordered online at will call from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the second-floor box office of the convention center. ...

    Customers shop for comics, artwork, memorabilia and apparel at the 2013 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center.
  14. $15 days coming to zoo for 15 days in August


    For 15 days, it will be only $15 for Florida residents to attend Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. Adults must present valid state-issued identification at ticket windows to purchase tickets at this rate for ages 3 and up from Aug. 2-16, and it cannot be combined with any other discounts. Single day admission to the zoo is normally $27.95 and $20.95 for kids. The zoo is open from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. —Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer, Follow @SharonKWn....

    One of the sea lions sticks their tongue out after a dress rehearsal for a daily presentation that will be a part of a new exhibit called Sea Lion Splash at Lowry Park Zoo on Friday, February 28, 2014. The exhibit will begin on March 1.
  15. Tampa Bay amputee cyclist featured on premiere of TLC show from Mark Burnett, Roma Downey

    The Feed

    A Tampa Bay amputee cyclist who recently rode across the United States will be featured in the premiere episode Sunday of Answered Prayers, a new TLC series from the power couple of Roma Downey and producer Mark Burnett.

    Each Answered Prayers episode will showcase people in dire straits who sought divine intervention and received help. "Boston Bill" Hansbury's segment promises to be a weeper, airing at 10 p.m. Sunday, as it centers on Hansbury's encounter with young Jake Bainter and his parents in 2009. The Bainter family was on its way to have Jake's leg amputated following a lawnmower accident when they saw Hansbury on the side of the road tending to his bike....

    Bill Hansbury smiles while talking to Jake Bainter in 2009. Jake and Bill met in 2008 when Jake underwent the amputation of his right leg.