1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Jan. 10-12

Watch as a beautiful sand mandala is created by Buddhist monks, see a polo match on the beach and Let Your Voice Be Heard.
Creating a sand mandala such as this one, from 2017, Buddhist monks use small tools to make intricate shapes in colored sand. [Times (2017)]
Creating a sand mandala such as this one, from 2017, Buddhist monks use small tools to make intricate shapes in colored sand. [Times (2017)]
Published Jan. 8
Updated Jan. 9


The public is invited to watch as eight Tibetan monks from India return for their Sacred Art Tour, creating a beautiful sand mandala at Florida CraftArt. They started Tuesday and will continue through Sunday’s dissolution ceremony. The monks chant daily at 10:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can meet them at 5 p.m. at Second Saturday ArtWalk. At 6 p.m. that night they will be taking part in the worldwide “healing minute of meditation.” On Sunday, the mandala will be finalized at noon and the dissolution ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. The community is invited to take part in a procession to the bay, where the monks will pour sand from the mandala into the water with a Buddhist blessing. Small packets of the sand will be given out as a remembrance and blessing. Free. Reserved seating is available at for $30; $20 for CraftArt members. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391.

Tibetan Buddhist monks from India lead a procession to Demens Landing in St. Petersburg in 2018 to pour the sand from the mandala they created into the water during a ceremony. [Times (2018)]


Award-winning and national spoken word artists will gather for Agleam Poetry’s Let Your Voice Be Heard with performances accompanied by a live band. Part poetry slam, part comedy jam, part talent show, this event blends urban poetry, hip-hop, literature, visual art, R&B, jazz and neo-soul music. Among the poets featured will be headliner Ezekiel Azonwu, MC and hosts RJP1 and RJP2; poets Brad Everett and Dennis Amadeus; local singer and songwriter DeeBaby; Richard Franklin, author of There’s Hope; and poet and lyricist Blacqwildflowr. Agleam Productions is a local theatrical group that has produced events like this as well as Agleam Kreyol, geared toward young Haitian-Americans. They believe in a “keep it clean” philosophy, so no profanity is allowed at an Agleam show. $21.38. 4 p.m. Sunday. Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

Ezekiel Azonwu will headline Agleam Poetry's night of spoken word artists at the Straz Center in Tampa on Jan. 12. [Agleam Productions]


In a first for the Pink Palace on St. Pete Beach, the Don CeSar Hotel will host a two-day Beach Polo Classic with horses running on the beach. Beach polo has three players per team instead of the usual four and it’s set in an enclosed sand arena. Unlike the hard plastic ball used in field polo, beach polo employs a leather or rubber inflated ball. It’s free for spectators to watch on the beach behind the hotel but there will also be a seated viewing area next to the tournament zone with cash bar cocktail service available. No outside food or coolers allowed. For the uninitiated, polo is played on horseback with the players swinging a mallet to score goals. It is one of the oldest known sports in the world, thought to have originated in Persia more than 2,000 years ago. The games start at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. Parking will be tight so organizers recommend parking in public lots further down the beach and taking public transportation. 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (646) 480-9827.


Some 175 swimmers with more than 100 kayakers accompanying them will journey from St. Petersburg’s Gandy Beach to swim more than 3 miles across the frigid waters of Tampa Bay. They will head to Picnic Island to raise money for the families of U.S. Navy SEALs wounded in action. Each swimmer in the annual Tampa Bay Frogman Swim has pledged to raise at least $2,000, and registration sold out in less than 20 minutes, a regular occurrence since 2017. Over the past 11 years, the event has raised more than $3 million for the Navy SEAL Foundation. The 5K open water swim ends with an after-party at Salt Shack on the Bay, 5415 W Tyson Ave., Tampa, where there’s usually not a dry eye in the house after seeing pictures of fallen SEALs, the swimmers who honor their memory and the family members there to show gratitude to the swimmers. 8 a.m. Sunday. 13090 Gandy Blvd. N, St. Petersburg.

The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim is a 5K open water swim from Gandy Beach to Picnic Island. [Times (2014)]


  1. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15, 2020.
  2. In this Sept. 15, 2004 file photo, recording artist Whitney Houston performs at the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas. Houston is about to appear on the concert stage again. Eight years after her death, five years after the show was conceived and a year after production began, a holographic Houston will embark on a European tour starting Feb. 25, with U.S. dates expected to follow. The singer's sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston says it's the right time for a revival, and says it's a show Whitney Houston would've wanted. The concerts will feature a projected Houston performing most of her biggest hits, including “I Will Always Love You," with real backup dancers and a live band. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison, file)
  3. Twitter user Ashley Bower asked what movies traumatized people as children, prompting a deluge of responses and a spattering of old movies to trend on Twitter on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
  4. The Shamrock Shake returns to stores nationwide today for the first time since 2017 as McDonald’s celebrates the 50th anniversary of the mint-flavored treat.
  5. Rare Schwinn bicycles will be among the collection of vintage bikes at Burchard Galleries' auction in St. Petersburg on Feb. 23.
  6. Earlier today• Arts & Entertainment
    Expect to see lots of traditional Mardi Gras masks like this during the annual Mardi Gras parade in downtown Dunedin on Feb. 22.
  7. After nearly four decades of operating a restaurant on Fourth Avenue in Ybor City, Cephas Gilbert has a new location. He now runs a juice hut inside Tequilas Ybor in Tampa.
  8. The Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival, which will return to Temple B'nai Israel in Clearwater on Sunday, has featured desserts like mini linzer tarts in the past.
  9. Earlier today• Arts & Entertainment
    Plant City's Fancy Farms off County Line Road will host its annual U-pick event on Feb. 22.
  10. Jeff Foxworthy will perform at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa on Feb. 20.
  11. Joe Bonamassa will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Feb. 24-25.
  12. John C. Turner played saxophone and oboe for the Florida A&M University "Marching 100," and later became marching band director for the high-stepping Plant High School band in the '70s and early '80s. For a while, he also performed in a band during Tampa Bay Buccaneers games. He died on Feb. 9, 2020.