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PROST!: OKTOBERFEST

JUMP-START YOUR WEEKEND WITH OUR TOP PICKS, NEWSY TIDBITS AND WEB EXTRAS.

If you'd like some beer with that gorgeous weekend forecast, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is your place. No wonder Oktoberfest Tampa is expected to draw 10,000 over the weekend, starting Friday with a ceremonial keg tapping in the afternoon, along with German food and games. "We saw that there was an event in St. Pete and other cities but nothing in Tampa," said Nicol Winkler, owner of Goodie Labs, an event promotion company. She and her husband started the Oktoberfest with the city's blessing and have been adding features annually. The biggest draws are the games, which range from stein races to grain sack tossing. Individual competition winners who accumulate the most points will qualify for the new Oktoberfest Olympiad. The top eight scoring men and women will return at 2 p.m. Sunday to compete in six events, including stein hoisting and a water gun marksman challenge. For the less competitively inclined, there are plenty of beer options featuring German pilsner (Helles), stouts (Dunkels) and wheat beers (Weissbier). Drinks will be served in 16 ounce and 1 liter portions, and a commemorative Oktoberfest Tampa acrylic 1 liter stein costs $20 (first fill free). Palm Harbor's Lager Haus will sell food at the park along with Brats Sensation and other food vendors. Hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the park, at 600 N Ashley Drive. One-day tickets are $10 at oktoberfesttampa.com. - Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer

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More Oktoberfests

2000 Block Oktoberfest

Businesses in the area of 20th Street and Central Avenue celebrate Oktoberfest with live music, area food, craft beers, shopping and art. Free at 6 p.m. Saturday. ARTpool Gallery, 2030 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 324-3878.

Celebrate Oktoberfest

With German music, folk dancers, a variety of imported beers, homemade cuisine and German vendors. Runs 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $6, children 12 and younger free. German American Society of Pinellas County, 8098 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 541-6782.

Oktoberfest on the Beach

Live music and dancing with food, beer vendors and exhibitors with arts and crafts for sale, stein carrying, keg throwing, silent auction and activities for kids. Benefits the community through IRB Action 2000. Free (food/drink additional) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Kolb Park, 16th Avenue and Bay Palm Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach. (727) 612-1728.

Rumtoberfest

No beer at this rum revelry Oktoberfest with rum-inspired specialty cocktails, rum flights and a rum-infused menu. Free (food/drink additional) at 8 tonight at Bahama Breeze, 3045 N Rocky Point Drive E, Tampa. (813) 289-7922.

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A NEW TUNE: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

It's a new season of symphony when the Florida Orchestra opens this weekend. Orchestra leaders are on cloud nine since hiring British conductor Michael Francis as the orchestra's new music director in May. Francis will make three guest conducting appearances in the 2014-15 season, though he doesn't officially start his contract until next year. Other conductors will fill in this season, starting with a program of Adams' Lollapalooza, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances conducted by Joshua Weilerstein, with Peter Serkin on the piano. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. For tickets and information, call (727) 892-3337 or visit floridaorchestra.org.

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YIPPEE: DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY

For starters, this is an honest-to-goodness Tupperware party. Just don't be surprised if your uses for Tupperware are different from your host's - that is unless you too like to use the Rectangular Cake Taker for Jell-O shots. But it's also a (mostly) scripted theatrical show of sex, stereotypes and comedy by Dixie Longate (Kris Andersson). There's lots of audience participation, free giveaways and funny tales from Dixie's life in the trailer park. You certainly aren't required to buy anything, but chances are you'll want some of what Dixie is selling. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and run through Oct. 19 at Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $37.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

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PLAYTIME: SPCA PET WALK

The challenge is on, especially if your dog is going to be topical, witty but still adorable for the best-dressed pet contest at the annual SPCA Pet Walk. Sure, you're tempted to strap a little ice bucket to the top of Spike's head (good for a drink later!) but that is so five minutes ago. The event from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday includes a 3K walk along the waterfront, an adoptable pet parade, a doggie day spa, an agility course, a pancake breakfast, a pet wellness clinic, food trucks, a food court, dog caricatures, a dog water park and vendors. It's $25 at Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Benefits the SPCA Tampa Bay. (727) 499-0364.

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