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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. Why we have 10 outdoor cookers and what each ones does

    General

    I have this recurring vision of a producer from the TV show Hoarders knocking on our door, saying they heard we have six grills around our patio and they think it's time for an intervention.

    Actually, we have 10 ways to cook outdoors if you count the three in the garage for tailgating and camping and the Cajun cooker for boiling crawfish.

    The fire bug in my house, my husband, hails from North Carolina, where barbecue isn't a verb but a noun meaning slow-cooked pork. He became a certified barbecue judge as a hobby and spends an inordinate amount of time and thought on how he can play with fire to make food taste incredible. ...

    The Traeger Texas Elite Wood Pellet Grill is big enough to smoke eight chickens at once.
  2. St. Petersburg College opens observatory for striking view of Venus, Jupiter duet

    Events

    A close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in the sky, has generated several inquiries at the St. Petersburg College planetarium, so the observatory will be open to the public (weather permitting) 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday for free telescope viewings.

    The striking celestial spectacle appears as brilliant stars in the western sky shortly after sunset. These planets have been drawing closer to each other in recent weeks and the conjunction will peak on Tuesday night. The planets will pass so close to each other that both will be visible simultaneously in a telescope — a rare occurrence. ...

    You’ll be able to see Venus and Jupiter simultaneously in a telescope early next week.
  3. Plan your weekend June 26-28

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Rainbow connection

    St. Pete Pride Florida's largest celebration of gay pride gets rolling today with a fashion show hosted by E! network's Ross Mathews at the Tyrone Square Macy's ($10 donation, but Macy's will return the favor with a $10 gift card). Then Alex Newell, who played a transgendered teen on Glee, performs Friday at the corner of Central Avenue and 26th Street in St. Petersburg (free, $20 VIP). The nighttime parade returns Saturday and promises lots more lights in its second year. And Sunday's Pride Festival will have vendors, multiple stages, a wellness pavilion and the St. Pete Art Mash. ...

    Juicy J
  4. Crayola Experience interactive play zone opens July 1 in Orlando

    Florida

    Orlando is about to get more colorful next week when the Crayola Experience opens as a family attraction where art, chemistry and digital technology combine in 25 hands-on attractions. Spread across 70,000 square feet at the Florida Mall in Orlando, the attraction lets kids color outside the lines as well as sculpt, sketch, dance, play, climb and splash. Along with a cafe and Crayola store, highlights include a Colossal Caddy of thousands of crayons that adults might be drawn to as well; Doodle In The Dark, a dark room with an interactive floor that responds to your motions on a special screen that mirrors your moves; a Color Playground of climbing obstacles; and a puzzle maker to stamp your own creations into a puzzle. The Orlando location will be the second of its kind, following the original in Easton, Pa., near the corporate headquarters. It opens July 1 at 10 a.m. at the mall at 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. Admission is $19.99 for adults and children over 2, and tickets can be purchased online now at crayolaexperience.com.— Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    Times files (1996)
  5. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 June 25-July 1

    Events

    1 Venus and Jupiter Telescope Viewing: The two brightest planets in the sky, Venus and Jupiter, have been moving closer for months. Next week, they will appear side by side in the night sky. The two planets are due to reach their closest point Tuesday, so the St. Petersburg College observatory is inviting the public to witness this and check out their telescope views of Saturn and the moon. It's free from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, weather permitting, at the campus at 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The two planets are already something of a sight. If you get a clear evening, look to the west as the stars begin to come out and twilight fades down to night. They can be seen with the naked eye best during mid to late twilight....

    The St. Petersburg College observatory will be open June 29 through July 1 for free telescope viewings, weather permitting.
  6. New Disney candy shop has treats modeled after animal dung

    Blog

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom just opened the new Zuri Sweets Shop this week with African-themed treats like Lion King lollipops and gourmet cocoa sets, but in very un-Disney like edginess the shop also has Match the Species treats, or candies that look way too much like animal dung.

    It’s $3.99 a pop for poop made to look like the scat of the elephant, giraffe, tamarin and hippo. There were pictures all over social media this weekend when the shop opened and WDW News Today @WDWNT helpfully tweeted a nice shot of all four poo brownies in one shot
    Here’s how candy makers design dung:...

    "All 4 poo brownies from Zuri's in Harambe Market" WDW News Today tweeted on Sunday @WDWNT.
  7. Plan your weekend June 19-21

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Father's Day

    Dads are free Fathers get free admission and other perks at events all over the Tampa Bay area this weekend. If you need a last-minute gift, spending time with the old man can't be beat. He gets free admission with a child at the Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Dinosaur World, MOSI and the Glazer Children's Museum. Find a full list at tampabay.com/things-to-do....

    Chill time? This weekend’s all about dads.
  8. Busch Gardens unveils Howl-O-Scream theme, ticket deal

    Florida

    Busch Gardens on Wednesday put tickets on sale for this year's Howl-O-Scream fright fest themed "Unearthed."

    The current price of $35 for the Freaky Preview Sept. 25-26 and $45 for Oct. 1-31 is a summer deal, and the prices will go up closer to the event, Busch Gardens spokesman Travis Claytor said.

    The Tampa theme park hasn't revealed any specifics about haunted houses or new areas. But that will be coming over the next few weeks, Claytor said. ...

    From left to right, Jack Holland, Brian Jordan, Greg Wirth and Dan Wirth scream in one of the Haunted Houses at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream in 2005.   (Photo  courtesy of Busch Gardens)
  9. Lea Thompson of 'Back to the Future' scheduled for Tampa Bay Comic Con

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con has added Lea Thompson from the Back to the Future films to its celebrity lineup.

    She joins Carrie Fisher of Star Wars, Jena Malone of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones stars Iain Glen, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Jessica Henwick on the list of celebrities scheduled for the eclectic convention for fans of fantasy, comics and gaming at the Tampa Convention Center July 31-Aug. 2....

    Actor Lea Thompson of Back to the Future will attend Aug. 1.
  10. New Harambe Market brings African-themed food to Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Florida

    The Harambe marketplace, a new dining and drink stop that opened at Disney's Animal Kingdom in late May, features several open air shops that will offer a variety of rotating merchandise, all made to look like an authentic African village. The centerpiece will be four quick service windows that will serve a number of dishes inspired by different African regions. The area also comes with covered seating for more than 200 visitors.Kitamu Grill serves up skewered grilled chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwich. The nearby Famous Sausages window will feature a new take on the classic corn dog, with a South African sausage called a boerewors dipped in curry-infused corn batter. Chef Mwanga's serves spice-rubbed karubi ribs with green papaya-carrot slaw and Wanjohi Refreshments has wines, specialty cocktails, beers and non-alcoholic lemonades. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    The Harambe marketplace, a new dining and drink stop that opened in late May, features several open air shops that will offer a variety of rotating merchandise.
  11. Gallagher, Sledge-O-Matic headed to Pinellas Park celebration

    Stage

    One of the most recognizable comics from the 1980s, Tampa's own Gallagher (Plant High grad, Class of 1964) is making one of his rare post-retirement appearances at a comedy show Friday with comedian friends Bob Nelson and Artie Fletcher to help Pinellas Park celebrate its 100th birthday. Now 69, Gallagher is bringing his Sledge-O-Matic, made famous for wailing on watermelons, so the relatively intimate Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center could have a pretty large splatter zone. The show is at 8 p.m. Friday at 4951 78th Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Tickets are $40 at pinellas-park.com or call (727) 369-5746...

    The Sledge-O-Matic master Gallagher, watermelon slayer, and moustached mischief maker, appears at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center on Friday.
  12. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 June 18-24

    Events

    1 Go Skateboarding Day: On Sunday skateboarders around the globe will celebrate the spirit of skateboarding and invite newbies to join in. Skateboarders will meet at Skatepark of Tampa at 11 a.m. and head out at noon for a skate through Seventh Avenue in Ybor City to the "ghetto gap" between an Ybor loading dock and a paved roadway next to the railroad tracks at 24th Street where there will be $500 in prizes for the best tricks. The group will head back to SPoT at 2 p.m. for a free barbecue and skating. Over at Apollo Beach Skate Park, 664 Golf and Sea Blvd., prizes will be awarded in four age categories to competitors that shred and grind the rails showcasing their best skate tricks from noon to 3 p.m. Since it's also Father's Day, the event will also host a father/child look-alike contest. Enjoy music and a hot dog lunch. Free. (813) 671-7635. ...

    Black summer feet with colorful flip flops and toe nails
  13. Amalie Arena will open Monday for free Lightning watch party

    Events

    Lightning Watch Party: This could be the biggest watch party ever. Amalie Arena will throw open the doors for fans at 6:30 p.m. Monday — 90 minutes before the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Blackhawks in Chicago in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Entry is free, parking is $5, and there will be a 40 percent discount on food sales. The game starts at 8 p.m., and Thunderbug and the Lightning Girls will be there at 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa....

    Tampa Bay Lightning fans celebrate outside Amalie Arena after the Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on  June 6.  (Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times)
  14. Rick Springfield, Smash Mouth, Wilson Phillips lined up for Epcot series

    Florida

    This year's Eat to the Beat concert series at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this fall has some tasty morsels in the lineup, including Rick Springfield (Oct. 12-13, pictured), Wilson Phillips (Sept. 28-29) and Boyz II Men (Nov. 2-4). And appearing for the first time at the festival are Tiffany (Oct. 24-25), Chaka Khan (Oct. 24-25), The S.O.S. Band (Oct. 17-18), Everclear (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) and Maxi Priest (Nov. 13-14). Now in its 20th year, the food and wine fest will be Sept. 25-Nov. 16. Some returning favorites include the rock band Fuel (Oct. 22-23), Smash Mouth (Oct. 5-7), Sugar Ray (Oct. 14-16), Sister Hazel (Nov. 5-6 ) and American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook (opening the series Sept. 25-27). Daily show times are at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. and are included with admission, which starts at $97. See the full lineup and ticket information at disneyworld.disney.go.com. Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    Courtesy of Rick Springfield (2012)
  15. Universal's first Halloween haunt revealed: Freddy vs. Jason

    Florida

    For its 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando is pitting Hollywood's grisliest icons against each other, and park visitors.

    Universal announced Wednesday 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. The attraction is titled Freddy vs. Jason, echoing their lone screen collaboration....

    Freddy (Robert Englund) and Jason (Ken Kirzinger) in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. Although the 2003 movie ended in a bit of a draw, the two villains will be back together at Halloween Horror Nights in their own haunted house.