1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Oct. 11-13

Tampa’s big Oktoberfest party returns with three days of beer and competitions, plus comedian J.B. Smoove performs and dogs show off their tricks.
Contestants prepare to start the stein-hoisting competition during Oktoberfest at Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park. The party will return this weekend. [Times (2015)]
Contestants prepare to start the stein-hoisting competition during Oktoberfest at Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park. The party will return this weekend. [Times (2015)]
Published Oct. 9, 2019


You’re sure to find lots of beer at the 10th annual Oktoberfest Tampa festival in Curtis Hixon Park, with competitions including stein hoisting, keg stacking, carry the wench, tug-of-war, grain sack toss, best beard and mustache, Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest and a corn hole tournament. There will be German food, including schnitzel, bratwurst, Oktoberfest sausage, frankfurters, pretzels, strudel and wine. $10, $25 all three days. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 397-8722.

During Oktoberfest at Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park, contestants of the stein-hoisting competition hold up their large beer mugs. [LUIS SANTANA | Times (2015)]


A fan favorite on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, J.B. Smoove is such a master at improv he says his comedy tour, which stops in Tampa on Saturday, is different every night. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, he describes his method of working an audience sort of like a DJ, feeling out the crowd’s vibe. “I’d say at least 30 percent of those bits you see in that (TV) special, I’d never done on stage before that, never tried them out. It was just stuff I’d wrote down. I like to challenge myself on stage.” Born Jerry Brooks (he took the stage name when he performed as a member of a hip-hop dance crew), he now has dozens of film and TV credits to his name, including Everybody Hates Chris, Uncle Drew and the recent Marvel blockbuster Spider-Man: Far From Home, in which he played Peter Parker’s high school teacher. Expect the unexpected. $39.75 and up. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. David A Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

On Saturday, J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa. [RICHARD SHOTWELL | Invision/AP]


St. Petersburg is one of 22 cities around the world to host some of the best canine teams as part of the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge, which is partnering with the K9 Frisbee Toss & Fetch League for a worldwide championship. Teams will play games like Throw N Go, in which the handler and dog have 60 seconds to complete as many catches as possible. Then there’s Greedy, in which the dog has 75 seconds to score as many points as possible using up to eight discs. But don’t get too greedy! If they don’t complete at least one catch from each throwing zone before the time expires, all the accumulated points are void. The dogs will compete for regional and worldwide awards in four divisions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Lakewood Soccer Complex. The competition will consist of 3,000 league members and their dogs and more than 200 Toss and Fetch Clubs in four different continents and 15 countries. The teams will compete simultaneously in their time zone on the same day in 22 different locations. At least 35 dogs and their handlers are expected for the St. Petersburg portion of the competition. Before that, the K9 Frisbee Toss and Fetch League Worldwide Championship is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It’s all free to watch. 2001 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg is one of 22 cities around the world that'll host some of the best canine teams as part of the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge on Sunday. [ALLIE GOULDING | Tampa Bay Times]


We are fully into Halloween season, so check out some of the parties and events popping up this week. Some new ones this week include:

Haunted Ape Escape: Stroll the haunted trails at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary after dark to watch the primates “monkey around." Ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. $6. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday. Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, 4600 Alt. U.S. 19, Tarpon Springs. (727) 943-5897.

Shimmering Lights Halloween: Similar to the annual Christmas display, this Halloween-themed self-guided, quarter-mile walking trail leads through dancing lights with music, an outdoor movie and a game room. $6, 3 and younger free. 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. SunKissed Acres, 2302 N Dover Road, Dover. (813) 494-5678.

Scarehouse: This haunted house to benefit the SPCA Tampa Bay brings to life classic horror films in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse of fright. $15. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 12461 Creekside Drive, Largo. (757) 677-6382.


  1. The techniques are as varied as the costumes when Gasparilla parade-goers beckon for beads from the floats. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
    We were warned. Now the pirates are here. Stay with all day for the latest reports.
  2. Isabel Allende's new novel is "A Long Petal of the Sea." [Courtesy of Lori Barra]
    ‘A Long Petal of the Sea’ is a moving novel of the political and the personal.
  3. In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a Super Mario figure is displayed at a showroom in Tokyo. After months of being tight-lipped, Comcast executives on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, said the fourth park at Universal Orlando would be based on characters from Nintendo. [KOJI SASAHARA  |  AP]
    Universal Studios is building theme parks based on Nintendo video games across the world. Orlando is set to get its Super Nintendo World in 2023.
  4. Roger Waters will perform at Orlando's Amway Center on Aug. 13. [AEG Presents]
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  5. DJ Khaled has announced a residency at Hard Rock venues around the country, and it includes a show at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. [Epic Records]
    The omnipresent hip-hop dealmaker kicks off his stretch of Hard Rock dates in February.
  6. Leading the way up Seddon Channel during the 2014 pirate invasion is the Jose Gasparilla, escorted by a Tampa Police Department boat and surrounded by hundreds of private vessels. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times 2014]
    As many as 100 law enforcement boats from some 20 agencies will keep an eye out for drunk operators and boats in trouble.
  7. Pirates from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla fire their guns and cannons aboard the Jose Gasparilla as it heads for the dock at the Tampa Convention Center during the pirate invasion. [JAY CONNER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Service suffers when so many people are texting their friends and posting their photos. Follow these tips Saturday for digital dominance.
  8. Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi [CASTILLO  |  courtesy of Rebecca Karimi]
    The oral historian is a deep reader of history. She will visit Sulphur Springs Museum Sunday.
  9. Walt Disney Imagineering unveiled the Epcot Experience, which opened Oct. 1, 2019, inside Epcot at Walt Disney World. Located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, it is the first in-depth look at the historic transformation already underway at Epcot. A 360-degree film presentation features upcoming attractions in development and projection-mapping technology highlights an artfully designed model of the park. [DAVID ROARK  |  Walt Disney World]
    From movies to rides based around ‘Ratatouille’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ it will be the park’s biggest change yet.
  10. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November. [Courtesy of MTV]
    It’s still as confusing now as it was when the news broke in July.