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Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Dec. 6-8

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens at Disney, the Globetrotters show off their tricks and bluegrass and ukulele music rule the day.

COURT JESTERS: HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters return to Tampa on Saturday, bringing such flamboyant entertainers as Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson and female stars TNT Lister, Hoops Green, Torch George and Swish Young for trick shots and comedy. Stick around after the show for autographs and photos with the stars and even learn tricks and shoot hoops. $20-$115. 4 p.m. Saturday. Yuengling Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 974-3111. yuenglingcenter.com.

TNT Lister of the Harlem Globetrotters high fives a fan after the team beat the Washington Generals. The iconic team will return to the Yuengling Center in Tampa on Dec. 7.
TNT Lister of the Harlem Globetrotters high fives a fan after the team beat the Washington Generals. The iconic team will return to the Yuengling Center in Tampa on Dec. 7. [ BRETT D. MEISTER | Harlem Globetrotters ]

DISNEY: STAR WARS RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

The time has come at last for the opening of what theme park industry experts say could be the most important new ride at Walt Disney World in years. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Thursday, and it’s a doozy. The same immersive attraction will open at Disneyland in California a month later. Disney made the unusual choice to open nearly identical Star Wars lands on both coasts this year, but the response has been mixed. Attendance has been sluggish and there was criticism that the parks weren’t complete. Rise of the Resistance is the signature ride, and the buzz on it is good. It is one of the longest rides Disney ever created at more than 15 minutes, and there are some cutting-edge technical features. Guests will get arrested by Kylo Ren and board a First Order Star Destroyer with an army of stormtroopers before attempting a daring escape through life-sized sets. Actors from the movies were used to create some of the scenes in the ride. The operating hours for Hollywood Studios will be extended for this, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 10 p.m., but be aware that in the past Disney has gone ahead and opened the park early on opening day if there’s a huge line waiting to get in. Admission is $109, but there are discounts for seasonal flex tickets, midday tickets and multiday passes at disneyworld.disney.go.com.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open on Dec. 5 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open on Dec. 5 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. [ Walt Disney World ]

STRINGS ATTACHED: BLUEGRASS AND UKULELES

This weekend brings lots of strings attached, with a popular tribute to ukulele music and a bluegrass festival.

WMNF’s fifth annual Uke It Out Ukulele Festival starts with a ukulele tribute to the Rolling Stones. Attendees are encouraged to bring their ukuleles to join in. A “Bob Marley of the Ukulele” award goes to the best two-minute ukulele interpretation of a Bob Marley song, and you’ll find lessons at 3:30 p.m. for newbies. There will be concerts throughout the day from artists ranging from the Applebutter Express to the Florida Ukulele Orchestra. Dogs are welcome. $12 advance, $15 at the door, 12 and younger free. 4 p.m. Saturday. Cage Brewing, 2001 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (813) 238-8001. wmnf.org.

Attendees will bring their own ukuleles to WMNF's Uke It Out Ukulele Festival at Cage Brewing in St. Petersburg on Dec. 7.
Attendees will bring their own ukuleles to WMNF's Uke It Out Ukulele Festival at Cage Brewing in St. Petersburg on Dec. 7. [ Tampa Bay Times (2010) ]

Check out six hours of traditional bluegrass music on the beach from national and local bands, plus food vendors and family fun at the Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival. Bring a lawn chair. $10 covers admission and parking. 11 a.m. Saturday. Honeymoon Island State Park, just over the Dunedin Causeway at 1 Causeway Blvd. (727) 276-4024. eventbrite.com.

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