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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. 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: @SharonKWn

  1. Get a workout and explore the scenic sides of Florida on a bike tour


    Hopping on your bike can be an invigorating way to see parts of Florida, engaging your legs while being easy on your joints. But Florida is a state with a terrible reputation for keeping cyclists safe.

    A good compromise can be finding a scenic bike ride away from traffic. Studies have shown that a bike ride, versus a tour in the car through the countryside, can decrease stress, increase muscle tone and may even improve the immune system. ...

    Bikers and birds make their way across the Cross Bayou Bridge at sunset in the Bay Pines area.
  2. Billy Joel band alumni reunite at Clearwater block party


    Talk about Big Shots: The Lords of 52nd Street are coming to the free Blast Friday party in downtown Clearwater on  March 31, and this is just not a Billy Joel tribute band. These are the original musicians who backed up the Piano Man from 1976 to 1981. And they’re still playing their own parts on the songs that they originally recorded.

    That’s Richie Cannata playing sax on New York State of Mind and Liberty DeVitto on drums and guitarist Russell Javors from four of Bily Joel’s best albums. They may be crazy, but this just may be what lunatic Billy Joel fans are looking for....

    Billy Joel and his band circa 1977
  3. Plan your weekend: Gasparilla Children's Parade, Beer and Bacon Festival, comedians George Lopez, Margaret Cho


    Plan your weekend

    Take the kids

    Gasparilla Children's Parade: Pint-sized pirates welcome Tampa's pirate season on Saturday. Kids 5 and younger can join the Preschooler's Stroll half-mile strut (1:30-2:30 p.m.). There's also a bicycle safety rodeo (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and an air invasion at 2:45 and 6:15 p.m. The parade steps off at 3:30 p.m. with more than 100 units, krewes and dance groups, and the day ends with a pyrotechnic show at 7 p.m. Free, beacher seats $35. The parade starting point is Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa.

    A mural by artist Dasic Fernandez covers a wall in a parking lot off Central Avenue at 17th Street.
  4. Things to Do Planner: Gasparilla Children's Parade, comics George Lopez, Margaret Cho


    LITTLE PIRATES: Gasparilla Children's Parade

    The G-rated, alcohol-free Gasparilla Children's Parade welcomes Tampa's pirate season Saturday. Pint-sized pirates 5 and younger can join the Preschooler's Stroll (1:30-2:30 p.m.). You will see elaborately decorated wagons on the half-mile strut, some with wee pirate ships and real smoke. There's also a bicycle safety rodeo (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and an air invasion at 2:45 and 6:15 p.m. with the U.S. Special Operations Command team parachuting onto Bayshore Boulevard near Howard Avenue. The parade steps off at 3:30 p.m. with more than 100 units, krewes and dance groups, and the day ends with huge pyrotechnic show at 7 p.m. timed to music. A few tips: No coolers or glass containers. Bring some extra bags for the kids to hold their loot (and hand sanitizer). The parade is free, but you can purchase bleacher seats online for $35. The parade starting point is Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa. ...

    Cedric the Entertainer
  5. 5 things to do under $5 Jan. 19-25: Dazz Band, David Sanborn at Heritage Fest, food truck rally, dog show


    1Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival: This musical celebration in Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday features funk greats the Dazz Band, Grammy winners for 1982's Let It Whip who also topped the charts with Swoop (I'm Yours) and Joystick. Neo-soul artist Anthony David (Something About You, Words) opens. Sunday brings jazz legend David Sanborn. The festival is free 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.

    The Dazz Band.
  6. Here's your last chance to see the Ringling Bros. circus in Tampa


    When fans came to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus last January, they didn't realize it was the last time anyone would see elephants perform in Tampa.

    When fans come to the circus this time, it will be the last time audiences will see anyone perform in Tampa under the Ringling banner. And the performers say they feel the weight of history in this last tour.

    The circus will close forever in May after a 146-year run, parent company Feld Entertainment announced this week. That means the five-day run starting Jan. 25 is the final local display of the "Greatest Show on Earth."...

    You can meet all of the circus performers before each show.
  7. Shutting Ringling circus will throw 462 out of work, owners say

    Human Interest

    ELLENTON — A sixth-generation circus performer, Ivan Vargas has been part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 12 years, nine of them as a show-opening clown.

    But his costume weighed heavy and he had a tough time jollying his face with makeup Sunday, his first performance after learning that the circus' 146-year run is coming to an end.

    "I'm sad and devastated, because I was born and raised on Ringling," said Vargas, 26. "This is my home. I have to leave my home, and all my friends have to leave their home."...

    Ivan Vargas, 26, puts on make up for an upcoming performance. He is a clown with the Ringling Brother Circus, which announced this weekend it was closing. [SKIP O’ROURKE | Times, 2013]
  8. Five things to know about St. Petersburg's high-stepping MLK Day parade on Monday


    This year, St. Petersburg's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade has new organizers, a new name, a new route and aims to shine the light on collegiate futures as its central theme.

    Here are five things to know before you go:

    The parade: A whopping 110 units, including the popular marching bands from Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University, will be lined up by the Pier approach downtown before heading along Central Avenue. The parade runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m....

    The Florida A&M University band performs Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in Orlando, during FAMU's season-opening football game against Mississippi Valley State
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
  9. Nostalgia takes an emotional hit with closing of Ringling Bros. circus

    Human Interest

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus made headlines this year when it retired the elephants, the star act for generations.

    Soon, the tigers will need new homes, too.

    The clowns, trapeze artists and other performers will be out of a job.

    The football field-length spread of costumes will be a relic when Ringling's 146-year run ends in May.

    The show's parent company, Ellenton-based Feld Entertainment, announced to circus crews Saturday night that this will be the last season for "The Greatest Show on Earth."...

    Brandon Howey, 30 of Indiana shows off his sideshow-themed tattoos at the International Independent Showmen’s Museum in Riverview on Sunday. He and his wife had their first date at a circus when they were 16.
  10. With attendance flat, Disney brings back Florida resident deal


    After a sluggish year in attendance, Walt Disney World has brought back its Florida resident "Discover Disney" three- and four-day ticket deal, though there are black-out dates at Disney's Animal Kingdom park starting Memorial Day weekend — a possible sign the new Avatar land will be opening up.

    The Discover Disney ticket lets Florida residents visit all four Disney World parks from now though June 9, for $139. Sorry snowbirds, out-of-state tourists have to pay $290 for the same ticket. And it is a price break from the usual $185 three-day ticket for Florida residents....

    After a sluggish year in attendance, Walt Disney World has brought back its Florida resident "Discover Disney" three-day ticket deal for $139 tha tmust be used by June 9. Florida residents had gotten used the annual January offer from Disney,  but the annual January deal disappeared last year during record attendance numbers. (Orlando Sentinel)
  11. Jimmy Fallon to bring show, new theme park ride to Orlando


    Jimmy Fallon: the theme park ride. Yes, that's a thing. The Tonight Show host giddily announced on his show Thursday night that Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will officially open on April 6 in Universal Studios in Orlando and he will be taping his show at the theme park April 3–6 to celebrate.

    The ride is another in a series of rides at Universal, like Spider-man and Harry Potter, using screens, sounds, smells (New York pizza) and 3D optics to make you feel like you are on a wild ride through the Big Apple racing against Jimmy Fallon himself. Your race course includes New York’s biggest landmarks....

    “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be the first attraction to feature a Virtual Line experience at Universal Studios Florida
  12. With Buccaneer Jameis Winston, FAMU, Tuskegee marching bands, MLK parade stepping high this year


    ST. PETERSBURG — With Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston as grand marshal and the popular marching bands from Florida A&M and Tuskegee University, the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade got a high-stepping shot in the arm this year.

    This year's parade has new organizers, a new name — the MLK Dream Big Parade — a new route and a new burst of ambition, said Rosita Hubbard, parade organizer and executive secretary of Advantage Village Academy....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) warms up before a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.
  13. Plan your weekend: MLK Day, Monster Jam, Treasure Island Kite Festival


    Plan your weekend

    MLK Day

    Parades and more: As we head into the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, Tampa's Allen Temple AME Church on Sunday hosts a Bay Black Heritage Festival Gospel Night at 6 p.m., 2101 Lowe St., Tampa. And on Monday, Tampa's 28th annual community parade includes floats, cars, trucks, walking units and bands. It begins at Cuscaden Park, 2900 N 15th St., Tampa at noon Monday....

    How cute are these painting easel cookies from Epcot’s Festival of the Arts?
  14. Things to Do Planner: Monster Jam, 'Sully' Sullenberger, new Epcot and Legoland attractions


    BIG WHEEL: Monster Jam

    Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium. These custom-designed beasts are about 12 feet wide with tires so large that singer Bruno Mars, at 5-foot-5, could stand in the wheel well with an inch of head room left over. Like the professional wrestlers of the racing world, the trucks are flashy with a fan following, from Grave Digger to the long-horned El Toro Loco to Monster Mutt. Even though they weigh 10,000 pounds, they fly more than 100 feet, leaping over a dozen cars. It's a family friendly scene, and most fans come early to tailgate and get pictures with the trucks and drivers in the Party in the Pits from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$185. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000.

    Ride vehicles are loaded into the new Ninjago ride at LEGOLAND Florida Resort.
  15. 5 things to do under $5 Jan. 12-18: Kite festival, #BlackLivesMatter founder, free ferry rides


    1Treasure Island Kite Festival: The skies over Treasure Island will be filled with dual-line and multi-line sport kites set to music. The weekend features tricks, precision flying, huge patriotic themed kites, kite games, kite making classes and a lighted night fly. Bring your own kite to join the fun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or vendors will be on site selling kites and supplies. Free. Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd....

    SP_361353_BORC_kite (10/21/12) (St. Petersburg, FL) KiteOberFest featured kite fliers from all over the world who colored the sky over Treasure Island Beach Sunday with a rainbow of hundreds of kites.  Demonstrations included aerial acrobatics set to music, sport kites, power kites and kite boarding. These kites are owned by Gary Engvall, (cq) of Cranston, RI and are 80-feet and 100-feet long from nose to tail. They require marine grade rope instead of string and a sand anchor to keep them from taking off.       JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times