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. 5 things to do under $5 Oct. 23-29

    Events

    1John's Pass Seafood Festival: Now in its 33rd year, this annual event has more than 100 seafood options this year, a Halloween block party, arts and crafts, live music and children's activities. The first grouper sandwiches start rolling out at 3 p.m. Friday and from 7 to 11 p.m. that night things heat up with a huge block party and costume contest for adults with more than $1,000 in prizes handed out. On Saturday, the festival's first Battle in the Gulf Fishing Tournament kicks off as the sun rises and there's a kids costume contest at 3 p.m. (register in advance at Windworks kite store on Village Boulevard). On Sunday you can watch the Best Chef Cook-off, then starting at 4 p.m. the Sauce Boss sings, tells stories and cooks up a big pot of gumbo for the crowd. It's free admission at John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, 150 John's Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach. (727) 322-5217. ...

    This grouper sandwich hails from the Hurricane restaurant in Pass-a-Grille.
  2. Be a fairy godmother and bring dress donations to 'Cinderella' shows

    Events

    If you are heading to see Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts this weekend, you can be a fairy godmother yourself. The cast of the Tony-winning Broadway musical are asking fans to bring gently used prom dresses, cocktail party dresses, evening gowns, shoes and accessories to be donated to the Belle of the Ball Project, a nonprofit organization that provides homecoming and prom dresses to young women in need in the Tampa Bay area. Belle of the Ball recently reported that it gave out 600 dresses for the 2014 homecoming season, and more than 4,000 since it started in 2003. Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella runs through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. Tickets are $56-$95. At today's show, kids 12 and younger are half off with one adult ticket. Call (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

     Paige Faure, Andy Jones and the Cinderella Broadway company.  Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, coming to the Straz.
  3. Dracula rises in Tampa Bay in ballets, comedy

    Stage

    Dracula is having a moment.

    Just in time for Halloween in the Tampa Bay area, there are three shows based on Dracula — two of them ballets — and Hollywood has rolled out Dracula Untold, an origin story in theaters now starring Luke Evans, the hunk from Clash of the Titans.

    "Time is on my side," the Count says in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel based on vampire myth. And Vlad was right, he can wait us out and keep coming back just as we thought we were over him. ...

    Tampa Ballet Theatre's Dracula ballet. Count Dracula played by Nathaniel Reyes and Mina Murray is played by Carolyn Rose.
  4. Plan your weekend Oct. 17-19

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Picnic

    Pops in the Park You know you have to get to Vinoy Park early to stake out an ideal blanket spot for the Florida Orchestra's wildly popular and free Pops in the Park. Now you'll have plenty to keep you entertained besides a bottle of wine. Starting at 4 p.m. Saturday will be food vendors and arts activities, including the NOMAD mobile art studio and the Florida Orchestra Petting Zoo — which is actually a chance for kids to explore musical instruments. On Sunday, it's Tampa's turn for a concert, at 7 p.m. at River Tower Park, E Bird St. It's also free, but sorry, no fireworks, like in St. Pete. However, both concerts will collect canned food donations for Tampa Bay Harvest. For more info, see floridaorchestra.org....

    Janice Clifton (left) and Ross Johnson both of St. Petersburg enjoy a picnic just before the Pops in the Park performance by the Florida Orchestra at Vinoy Park on Saturday, 10/19/2013. This was their third year at the event. They drank wine with their salad and spaghetti dinner.
  5. Tampa's Adventure Island announces Colossal Curl ride, first new attraction in eight years

    Florida

    TAMPA — Adventure Island on Wednesday announced plans for Colossal Curl, a thrill ride opening next spring that would be the tallest ride in the Tampa water park and would be the first new attraction there since 2006.

    The four-passenger slide will stand nearly 70 feet high (more than six stories) and run 560 feet long, Adventure Island officials said in a news release. Construction will begin in the coming weeks and by early 2015 many of the ride's features will be visible....

    At nearly 70 feet high, Colossal Curl will be Adventure Island’s tallest ride, park officials said.
  6. 5 things to do under $5 Oct. 16-22

    Events

    1 MarineQuest and the St. Petersburg Science Festival: The open house at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has grown into a huge extravaganza of science-related exhibits and activities that spreads from the marine institute along the waterfront to the adjacent University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. You can find everything from marine animals in a touch tank to crazy chemistry experiments to fighting robots. It's all free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 100 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg. ...

    Lega Navale Italiana
  7. Disney's Magic Kingdom opens first gift shop devoted to Haunted Mansion ride

    Florida

    The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World's Magic Kingdom now has its own line of swag at a new gift shop called Memento Mori that has opened in Liberty Square in the Orlando theme park.

    Latin for "remember death," Memento Mori is the term for a literary object, such as a skull, that reminds us of our own mortality. "Remember my wallet" is more apt, one Disney blogger quipped, because the tiny shop is already so jammed that the park limits the number of people in the store and limits purchases to no more than six items at a time. ...

    Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction. 
SCOTT KEELER, TIMES
  8. Lightning teams up with food truck to fight childhood hunger

    Events

    For the next year, Tampa Bay Lightning games and events will have the Give & Grub food truck tagging along in a movement aimed at fighting hunger in Tampa Bay. For every meal sold, the team and co-sponsor Laser Spine Institute will donate a meal to a hungry child in the area through Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding America Tampa Bay, with a goal of donating 150,00 meals. The truck started its mission last week to sell food at Lightning games (including tonight's game at Amalie Arena), community events and office parks. The menu is inspired by players and staff, such as (Coach Jon) Cooper's Candied Burger, a Chicken Parmkos sandwich named after center Steven Stamkos and forward Ryan Callahan's Mac Slam. To see where the truck is headed, check giveandgrub.com. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Lightning franchise presents a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey to  Dotty Bollinger, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Laser Spine Institute during a press conference at Amalie Arena announcing that Laser Spine Institute will donate a meal to a hungry child in the area for every meal sold on the food truck in partnership with Tampa Bay Lightning, on Thursday, October 2, 2014. The food truck will be called Give & Grub. According to the press release, " Over the course of the next 12 months, the goal of the project is to give back 150,000 meals to local children in need."
  9. Where to buy, how to use dry ice for Halloween parties

    General

    With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, there will be lots of parties and that call for stepping up the drinks and punch bowl. Here are some tricks for your treats using dry ice, molds and even glow sticks to create your own haute haunt at the beverage station.

    Buying and handling dry ice

    Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, the gas that we exhale when we breathe. With a chunk of it, you can turn a punch bowl into a bubbling, smoking cauldron or create a smoky cocktail. ...

    Green Grog with dry ice.
  10. Watch it and weep: Jan Hooks and Phil Hartman's touching short film

    Blog

    The short film Love is a Dream from Season 14 of Saturday Night Live was the touching closing moment for the SNL tribute to Phil Hartman back in 1998 after he was shot to death by his wife. And now that both he and Jan Hooks have passed, and neither of them reached the elderly age of their characters in this unusually heartwarming sketch, well I think I *sniff* just got some dust in eyes or something....

  11. Plan your weekend Oct. 10-12

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Party

    Tampa's Oktoberfest The biggest draw at Tampa's party in Curtis Hixson Park this weekend is the games, which range from stein races to grain sack tossing. Raise your stein Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive in Tampa. Three-day passes are sold out online, but one-day tickets are still available for $10 at oktoberfesttampa.com. Vendors will be selling acrylic liter steins for $20 that come with your first beer free. German food vendors Lager Haus and Brat Sensations will be on site....

  12. For new season, Lightning adds new food choices

    Events

    The Tampa Bay Lightning, which has its first home game of the season on Thursday, announced new menu items for fans attending events at Amalie Arena, including a new PDQ and Holy Hog concession as well as carving and sushi stations.

    Local chain PDQ, a fast, casual dining restaurant that specializes in chicken tenders, will open a new concession outside of section 102, and local barbecue restaurant Holy Hog will open a second location on the 100 level this season, selling barbecue, beef brisket sandwiches and mac and cheese....

    There's new food this year for Lightning fans at the Amalie Arena.
  13. 5 things to do under $5 Oct. 9-15

    Events

    1 Roboticon: See a full-scale robotics competition with scrimmages, practice games, pit tours, demos, vendors and the opportunity to learn more about technical, math and science-oriented careers. Kelley Jones, a fluid systems design engineer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, will be there, along with prosthetics, robotics and industrial displays from businesses and the University of South Florida. It's free for spectators at the Bob Martinez Sports Complex, 312 N Blvd., Tampa. It runs 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday....

    Michael Allman, son of Gregg Allman, and his band headline.
  14. Buy Guavaween ticket, get Margarita Fest for free

    Events

    Check out our Halloween page for events near you. The promoters of this year's newly imagined Guavaween are throwing in a deal that gives you a free ticket to next year's Margarita Festival in Tampa. Big City Events, the new producers of this year's Guavaween event at the Cuban Club in Ybor City, is offering a free Margarita Festival ticket if you buy a ticket by Oct. 10 for the 2014 Guavaween: Voodoo Carnival. The Guavaween event will be held Oct. 25 in the Cuban Club and its courtyard, a smaller space than has been used in recent years. Big City Events also produced the 2014 Summer of Rum Festival at the Cuban Club and the upcoming Bourbon and Brew Festival at the Heights. The Margarita Festival will be May 23. Guavaween runs 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., with five themed areas, including a voodoo-themed street carnival, theater shows, a dance club, lounge, live concerts and a $1,000 costume contest. Tickets are $18 and $80 for VIP, which gets you access to VIP areas, unlimited drinks and some seating areas. Go to GuavaweenTampa.com and use code MARGARITA by Oct. 10 to get your free ticket. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    OCTAVIO JONES | Times
  15. Plan your weekend Oct. 3-5

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Concert

    One Direction They were the biggest boy band on the planet when tickets went on sale almost a year ago. Now there's argument to made that Friday's show opener, the Aussie cuties in 5 Seconds of Summer, are the buzzier hunks. There's a power shift going on for sure, and yet this bill has turned out to be fortuitous: Sure, one band is coming, one is cooling off a little — but all those girls caught in the middle are going to scream their lungs out for one or the other or both. The screeching starts Friday at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $19.50-$99.50. (813) 350-6500....