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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. Olivia Newton-John on her dance partners and that 'Grease' ending

    Blog

    I'm sure SIT80s Nation knows I was talking to YOU in my story here in the Tampa Bay Times during my interview with Olivia Newton-John, who performs Feb. 4 and 5 at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre. (And again Feb. 7 at Universal Studios Orlando.)
    ...

  2. 'Game of Thrones' on IMAX screens this week (w/video)

    Events

    Starting today, the HBO series Game of Thrones will get the ultra-big-screen treatment in IMAX theaters across the country — the first TV show to do so, according to IMAX. Dan Weiss, the show's executive producer told Entertainment Weekly that he was still stunned after viewing it, saying "it's the way it's really meant to be seen." In the Tampa Bay area, the weeklong IMAX run will be playing at Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar, Sundial 19 in St. Petersburg and the Veterans 24 in Tampa. The screening includes last season's final two action-packed episodes, "The Watchers on the Wall," and the Emmy-nominated season finale "The Children." There will also be a trailer for Season 5, which begins April 12. The lavishly produced series based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling novels is unrated, but we'd say it's a hard R for its brutal violence, language and the naked ladies who always seem to be wandering around at random....

  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 30

    Events

    Gasparilla Pre-Invasion Party with the Commodores: The late '70s funk and soul group, the Commodores headline the new Gasparilla warm up party with the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Daniel B. Marshall opening. 6 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $30.

    Florida Orchestra: Brahms v. Radiohead: A compelling marriage is made of a critically hailed British alternative rock band and an iconic German pianist who's been dead 118 years, all under the direction of guest conductor Steve Hackman. 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$75. ...

  4. Before Clearwater show, Olivia Newton-John talks legacy, cancer and that 'Grease' ending

    Music & Concerts

    Women of a certain age saw Grease at least 20 times when they were in middle school and wore leg warmers to Jazzercize class as Physical pumped from a boom box — and now their own daughters are doing pretty much the same thing.

    After 50 years in show business, Olivia Newton-John still finds new young fans in her audience, with kids singing along to Grease tunes or arriving in headbands after seeing her do a hilarious remix of Physical on Glee. ...

    Courtesy of Capitol Theatre
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 29

    Events

    Things to do today

    Andrew W.K.: The party-starting metal musician returns at 7 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $21. (727) 895-3045.

    Budweiser Clydesdale Appearances: The famous hitch team and red wagon are making appearances in the Tampa Bay area this week. See them today at 2 p.m., Circle K, 2810 College Ave. E, Ruskin. Free. (813) 626-6176, ext. 483....

    Erik Griffin
  6. Plan your weekend Jan. 30-Feb. 1

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Need for beads

    Gasparilla It's officially the most swashbuckling time of the year in Tampa, one of the weirdest civic traditions in the country where the city is fake-invaded by fake well-to-do pirates who throw beads at the waiting crowds with Extra's Mario Lopez and MacDill's former top enlisted leader Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris as co-grand marshals. The rum-heavy festivities this year added a Gasparilla Charity Concert Friday night at 6 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Park with the Commodores and the Atlanta Rhythm Section in the park ($30). The invasion Saturday at the waterfront near the convention center starts at 2 p.m. and the heavily beaded Parade of the Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard. It's free but you can get reserved seating for $45 at gasparillatreasures.com or call (813) 251-8844. The city of Tampa's website has links to maps showing road closures, parking options, bus schedules and more at tampagov.net/special-events-coordination/gasparilla-2015....

    The second “Celebration of Harry Potter” takes place at Universal Orlando this weekend.
  7. Tips for surviving Gasparilla invasion of 2015 (w/video)

    Events

    For the 100th Gasparilla on Saturday, police officers will have badges adorned with a skull and bones, while Ye Mystic Krewe — the prominent bunch of Tampa citizens who were the first to dress up as pirates to "invade" the city — will man their battle stations. • Some 50 krewes of all stripes now take part in the Gasparilla festivities, which start early this year with a party Friday in Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa, followed Saturday by the invasion, bead-tastic parade and, well, more partying in a street festival. Police have cracked down on distasteful behavior, but it's still temporary insanity sailing in on a pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, where the mayor even hands over the keys for one of the most eccentric civic traditions in the country. • The event celebrates the legend of Jose Gaspar (nicknamed Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate captain who supposedly operated in southwest Florida. It was founded in 1904, so those quick at math may wonder why this is the 100th Gasparilla. The festival didn't happen in 1907-09 and was suspended during World War I and II so it's accurate to say Gasparilla has been held 100 times, just not all in a row. Still, after 100 (something) years, two things about Gasparilla have not changed: imbibing and beads. And it can be a challenge to navigate parking, traffic, crowds and even weather. • Here are tips for surviving the invasion. ...

    Melissa Sigmon, front, and Angela Parson walk with their krewe, Sirens of the Golden Sabre, during the 2014 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in Tampa.
  8. 'Impractical Jokers' from hit show bring live tour to Tampa

    Stage

    The stars of TruTV's Impractical Jokers will be at Tampa Theatre as part of their live tour Friday, performing a mix of standup, hidden-camera videos and stories from their popular hidden-camera show. Unlike other prank shows, where the point is to embarrass some unsuspecting passerby, this critically acclaimed hit is more lovable because it puts the spotlight on the jokers themselves: Brian Quinn, left, Sal Vulcano, James Murray and Joe Gatto. The four Staten Island friends, who formed the Tenderloins Comedy Troupe in 1999, dare each other to do something truly stupid, like who can dip their french fries into the most strangers' food at a mall food court without being called out. Gags pay off twice: once in the reaction of the stranger but also in the discomfort of the guys doing the challenge. Demand was high for this live tour, so a second show was added. See them at 7:30 and 10 p.m. at 711 Franklin St., Tampa. Tickets are $49.50. (813) 274-8981....

    Impractical Jokers Brian Quinn, Sal Vulcano, James Murray and Joe Gatto perform two shows at the Tampa Theatre on Friday.
  9. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 28

    Events

    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; themahaffey.com....

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

    Events

    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 eaa282.org 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
  11. At Busch Gardens, baby gorilla's new name is ...

    Florida

    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 on Facebook voted on a name for this baby Gorilla: Enzi.
  12. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 27

    Events

    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 tampatheatre.org. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982....

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

    Florida

    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...

  14. Epcot seeds Flower & Garden Festival with new features

    Florida

    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. ...

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

    Events

    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 GasparillaTreasures.com....

    Kids will get to explore and get on an array of vehicles at the Touch A Truck event Saturday at Largo Central Park.