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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: @SharonKWn

Blog: Whoa, Momma!

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  1. Kids triathlon at Adventure Island includes free water park ticket

    Events

    Adventure Island lets kids show their muscle in a triathlon for tykes, and the first 450 who sign up get a free "stay and play" ticket for the Tampa water park. Set for March 21 at 7:15 a.m., the Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon sends kids off to run, bike and swim in the park's lazy river, Rambling Bayou. The athletes at this official USA Triathlon-sanctioned event will be divided into groups for ages 6-10 and 11-14. All competitors will be given a finisher's medal. and the top three in each category will earn a trophy and an additional Adventure Island ticket. Registration is $45; it goes up to $50 after Sunday at tampabaykidstriathlon.com. Online registration will close at 11 p.m. on March 19. The Busch Gardens-owned water park is at 4000 E Bougainvillea Ave, Tampa. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff...

     Adventure Island in Tampa. (Times files)
  2. Universal Orlando follows Disney in breaking $100 ticket barrier

    Florida

    As expected, once Disney broke the $100 barrier for ticket prices, Universal Orlando followed, on Thursday hiking a one-day, one-park ticket price to $102 from $96. A two-park ticket is now $147, an $11 increase.

    On Sunday Walt Disney World rolled out a $6 increase that puts Magic Kingdom admission at $105, and other prices such as annual passes at the world's most popular tourist destination also spiked. ...

    Cheering fans prepare to rush the entrance of Diagon Alley during the grand opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida in July. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Friday Feb. 27

    Events

    Wanda Sykes: The Emmy-nominated comedian and actor performs at 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $43-$59.75.

    Indigo Girls: Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are backed by the symphony tonight at 8 at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $45.50 - $65.50.

    Margaret Cho: The comedian, fashion designer, actor and songwriter never lets go of her stand-up comedy roots. See her at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000; improvtampa.com....

    Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian and author Wanda Sykes (FOX)
  4. Plan your weekend Feb. 27-March 1

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Berry bash

    Florida Strawberry Festival Part country fair, part music festival (Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery, Kevin Costner Brett Eldredge this weekend) it's not just about the strawberries. There's also a midway, animals, exhibits, lots of food on a stick and no alcohol anywhere. Tickets are $10, $5 ages 6 to 12, 5 and younger free. Concert tickets are extra. There are numerous ride-band deals and special ticket days. It opens today through March 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The festival grounds are at 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. For information, see flstrawberryfestival.com or call (813) 752-9194. ...

    Amy Ray, left, and Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls.
  5. Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival opens Wednesday with 'Frozen' scene

    Florida

    Wednesday is opening day for the springtime Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, running daily through May 17 with elaborate topiaries and gardening presentations by HGTV stars.

    This year's festival will feature 10 new minigardens including a pepper garden, a Shakespeare garden and a health garden.

    And no surprise given its astounding success, but even a spring thaw can't stop Disney's Frozen from making its first appearance at the festival, with a scene created in a garden of white and silver blooms. ...

    The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Disney
  6. Court Jesters: Harlem Globetrotters bounce into town Wednesday

    Events

    The iconic team still yucks it up on the basketball court.

    With classic gags — pulling down the pants of a Washington Generals shooter or tossing a bucket of shredded paper at the audience — they've also slid in some modern sensibilities.

    There are female players on the roster now, and a "Deflate-gate" joke thrown in sometimes. But the ball handling, wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots and family-friendly comedy still feel like old times. ...

    The Harlem Globetrotters.
  7. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 26

    Events

    Savion Glover's STePz: The tap master from Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk has a quartet of hand-selected tap dancers for this show at 7:30 p.m., Straz Center, Tampa. $30-$50. (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org.

    Florida Strawberry Festival: The berry blast kicks off today and Alabama ($40) is the headliner at 7:30 p.m., there's also a show by Bobby Vinton ($15-$20) at 3:30 p.m. and a free concert by Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra. It runs 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. $10, $5 ages 6 to 12, 5 and younger free. Concert tickets are extra. (813) 752-9194; www.flstrawberryfestival.com....

    ap dancer Savion Glover performs at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Photos courtesy of the Straz Center.
  8. Strawberry hamburger, funnel bacon on a stick among Florida Strawberry Festival food

    Events

    With a cookie-crusted strawberry hamburger on the menu, the venerable Florida Strawberry Festival opening today in Plant City can rival any of the food curiosities found at the biggest state fairs.

    Though the strawberry shortcake assembly line is the most famous food attraction and the berry-studded milk shakes had Food Network chefs swooning, the evil geniuses behind the deep fryers on concessionaire row have some tricks up their greasy sleeves — like funnel cake-coated bacon and chicken coated in Frosted Flakes cereal....

    Frank Jones, 29, of Tampa finishes replacing light bulbs at his “Knock ’Em Over” game booth on Wednesday at the fairgrounds.
  9. Tips for seeing the best of the 2015 Florida Strawberry Festival

    Events

    Now in its 80th year, Plant City's Florida Strawberry Festival is steeped in Americana. Part county fair, part music festival, it's not just about the strawberries. There's also a midway, animals, exhibits, lots of food on a stick and no alcohol anywhere. Tickets are $10, $5 ages 6 to 12, 5 and younger free. Concert tickets are extra. There are numerous ride-band deals and special ticket days. It runs today through March 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The festival grounds are at 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. For information, flstrawberryfestival.com. or (813) 752-9194....

    Laria Manginelli, 9mo is held by her mother, Brittani, of Plant City during the annual Strawberry Festival’s baby contest at the Festival Fairgrounds on Sunday, March 02, 2014 in Plant City, Florida.
  10. 5 things to do under $5 Feb. 26-March 4

    Events

    1Blast Friday: The free Blast Friday block party gets in the baseball spirit with baseball-themed vendors, a kids zone, games, prizes, live music by saxophonist Mindi Abair and representatives from the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Clearwater Threshers, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. The nearby Capitol Theatre will have a $5 screening of A League of Their Own. It all takes place in the 400 block of Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday....

    The theme for this week’s Blast Friday in Clearwater is baseball, while the music will be provided by saxophonist Mindi Abair.
  11. Disney ticket prices rise, others may follow; $139 Florida resident deal still on

    Events

    Sunday Walt Disney World broke the $100 barrier, announcing a $6 price hike that puts Magic Kingdom admission at $105, but other prices at the world's most popular tourist destination also spiked.

    Meanwhile, industry experts say other theme parks will likely rise soon as well to show they are just as valuable as Disney.

    Prices for tickets to three other parks within Disney World have risen from $94 to $97. ...

    Fireworks and confetti fly over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, in 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)
  12. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 25

    Events

    Maroon 5: The Grammy-winning rock band is touring in support of their fifth studio album, V. With special guest Magic! opening at 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $27-$122.50. (813) 301-2500; amaliearena.com.

    Chuck D: The founder of Public Enemy, and one of hip-hop's most revered intellects, will discuss race, rage and inequality in an attempt to bridge communication across cultural divides. 7 p.m., Eckerd College Fox Hall, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 864-7979; eckerd.edu....

    Maroon 5 arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Sunday, , in Inglewood, Calif. [Associated Press]
  13. What's cuter than Busch Gardens' baby cheetahs? NOTHING! (w/video)

    Florida

    TAMPA — Busch Gardens is trying to break the Internet today, releasing video of two adorable 3-month-old cheetah cubs.

    The playful cats, born on Nov. 22 and weighing about 12 pounds, are named Tendai, meaning "thankful," and Thabo, which means "joy."

    For now, you'll have to make do with video of the cubs, since they are still under the watchful eye of the Tampa theme park's animal care team....

    Busch Gardens' 3-month-old cheetah cubs, born on Nov. 22 and weighing about 12 pounds, are named Tendai, meaning "thankful," and Thabo, which means "joy." Photos from Busch Gardens
  14. You oughta know: Alanis Morissette is coming to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey

    Events

    Grammy winner Alanis Morissette is coming to the Mahaffey Theater April 28, not long after the singer-songwriter will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

    Morissette's angst-ridden Jagged Little Pill exploded on the music scene 20 years, selling 30 million records and securing a devoted fan base. Now a 40-year-old married mom, the Ottawa singer, who recorded her first song at age 10, will be honored at the March 15 Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammys, where she will be inducted by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. ...

    Alanis Morissette performs in 2008. (AP Photo/MTI, Peter Kollanyi)
  15. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 24

    Events

    Ramsey Lewis and Philip Bailey: Three-time Grammy winning composer, pianist and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis unites with soul, gospel, funk singer-songwriter and Earth Wind and Fire percussionist Philip Bailey for an evening of jazz and R&B classics. 7:30 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $49.50-$69.50.

    Leonard Pitts Jr.: The Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald columnist will give a free talk on the Civil War and civil rights, followed by a book signing at 6 p.m. at C.W. Bill Young Hall 206 on the University of South Florida campus, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa....