1. Arts & Entertainment

UPDATE: Tonight’s Pops in the Park canceled, weather washes out other outdoor weekend events

MarineQuest and the St. Petersburg Science Festival have canceled their popular Saturday activities.
Thunderstorms are expected this weekend in Tampa Bay, prompting the cancellation of several outdoor events. [CHRIS URSO | Times (2014)]
Published Oct. 18
Updated Oct. 19

The Florida Orchestra hoped for the best, but finally called off tonight’s free Pops in the Park in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, but Sunday’s show in Tampa is still on, at least for now.

With a very messy-looking system of storms headed toward the Tampa Bay area, event planners had to call off many of this weekend’s outdoor events, including a popular science festival for children.

The orchestra said in an announcement that high winds and saturated ground forced them to cancel the popular show of picnicking and pops. But on Sunday, bring a blanket to sit on and canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest for the free show of film scores and Broadway tunes in Tampa’s River Tower Park at 7 p.m. Daniel Black conducts.

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Other activities are still on. The Oktoberfest at Tampa Bay Downs says on its Facebook page that they are going ahead rain or shine (including Sunday’s wiener dog derby). Sunday’s Open Streets St. Pete, in which Bayshore Drive will be closed down to allow for bikes and pedestrians, says on its Facebook page, “The weather should be just as nice for Open Streets as it was last year by Sunday.” And Johns Pass Seafood Festival also posted that it is a rain or shine event.

At Clearwater Beach, the weekend’s Chalk Art Festival was carrying on. Artists on the Beachwalk were prepared for the rain by taping down plastic over the art and planned to touch up as needed for Sunday’s judging, according to the event’s Facebook page.

But all Saturday activities for the St. Petersburg Science Festival and MarineQuest are canceled because of the impending tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, the University of South Florida announced. But school kids were still able to check out the festivities on Friday.

A virtual Science Festival with links to all the exhibitor websites, short video clips and more will be available at and on social media.

RELATED: Tropical disturbance expected to bring heavy wind, rain to Tampa Bay

The free day of hands-on science activities has been held on the St. Petersburg waterfront since 1995, when the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute hosted its first MarineQuest open house. The event was created to educate the public about the research performed at the institute and to introduce the community to the world of marine science. In recent years, USF joined them in showcasing the college’s science programs for a day of hands-on science fun.

“We’ll be back with you again in 2020,” a USF news release said.

Other events that have been canceled include:

  • Palm Harbor Movie Night, which was to take place at the Sunderman Recreation Complex on Friday night. “The Sheriff’s Office has canceled this event due to potentially severe weather. We do not know if or when they are rescheduling, but will share the information as soon as we receive it,” organizers said in a news release. “Stay dry, Palm Harbor!”
  • Friday’s food truck rally at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, billed as an Italian food and wine festival. It has been rescheduled for Nov. 22.
  • Hallowfest, an event planned for Saturday in Indian Rocks Beach.
  • Green Bench Brewing Co.'s sixth anniversary party, which was set for Saturday. “We will of course still be open ... for those of you throwing your middle fingers up to the weather and comin’ our way,” the St. Petersburg brewery said in an Instagram post with a picture of a sad Green Bench crew.
  • Keep Pinellas Beautiful, which was sponsoring a coastal cleanup Saturday that was to originate at seven marinas. Organizers said the Pinellas County International Coastal Cleanup, in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy, will be rescheduled.
  • The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, which was headed to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on Saturday. It has been postponed until Nov. 3.
  • Ferg’s Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg pulled the plug on Friday night’s Fergtoberfest II concert by Warrant. Organizers said a new show by Warrant will be rescheduled for the spring of 2020, when existing tickets will be honored. Refunds will be granted at point of purchase.
  • Country duo LoCash was scheduled to perform outside Amalie Arena following Saturday’s Tampa Bay Lightning-Colorado Avalanche game. Instead, it’ll be held inside. Fans can pick up a free wristband for concert access at the ticket office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and start lining up for concert access at the start of the third period.

If you have decided to cancel a weekend event, alert us at


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