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  1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: Feb. 22-25

Mardi Gras brings parties galore, Clearwater Sea-Blues dishes out food and music, Localtopia showcases area businesses and more.
Expect to see lots of traditional Mardi Gras masks like this during the annual Mardi Gras parade in downtown Dunedin on Feb. 22. [Tampa Bay Times (2018)]


Though New Orleans made Mardi Gras famous, Fat Tuesday celebrations in the Tampa Bay area know how to laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll). Fat Tuesday is the day before the start of Lent and meant to be a last day to feast and party before fasting. Dunedin’s Mardi Gras Parade and Festival is Saturday followed by a Downtown Stroll on Tuesday with free rides from Local Tiki Rides to browse local businesses. The free parade along Main Street, now in its 29th year, kicks off with musical performances at 1 p.m. and ends with the parade at 7. Parties spill over into area pubs and restaurants until closing time. Other Mardi Gras parties of note include Mardi Gras Weekend at Busch Gardens, with food, cocktails, entertainment and live music in the Moroccan Palace Plaza on Saturday and Sunday. And the Big Easy in Ybor City welcomes Mardi Gras on Tuesday with live music, New Orleans-inspired food and drinks, burlesque performances by Miss TigerLily and Mayven Missbehavin, swag and raffles. No cover charge, food and drink additional. 1704 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. Find more Mardi Gras events at

Floats will again make their way through downtown Dunedin for the annual Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 22. [Tampa Bay Times (2013)]


The 14th annual two-day Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival knows how to hook 'em by combining music with fresh seafood from local restaurants. The music menu this year includes Allen Stone, Doyle Bramhall II, Southern Avenue, Brandon Santini, Reverend Barry & the Funk and Someday Honey. Sunday brings fan favorite Tab Benoit, Victor Wainwright, Heather Gills and the Betty Fox Band. Free, reserved seats available for $30-$125 at Noon-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater.

Vendors will serve up seafood dishes at Coachman Park this weekend for the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival. [Tampa Bay Times (2009)]


If you ever felt a penchant to shop local, Localtopia in St. Petersburg’s Williams Park is a perfect opportunity. You can support local businesses and shop among some 250 vendors. There will be craft beer, live music and games to keep things lively. In addition, “villages” will be devoted to the arts, family, health and wellness and All Things Plants. Tampa Bay Times journalists will also be on hand to meet readers. The festival, presented by Keep Saint Pete Local, an alliance of independent businesses, was founded in 2014 to celebrate the city’s art, music, food, drinks and culture. The park’s surrounding streets will be shut down and a bike valet will be available in the park. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 330 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

Some 250 vendors will be set up during Localtopia at Williams Park in St. Petersburg on Feb. 22. [Tampa Bay Times (2019)]


Now in its 10th year, Golfest at Tampa Bay Downs claims to be Tampa Bay’s largest outdoor golf demo day and golf lifestyle expo. Try out equipment and bring trade-ins. The Smash It, Pitch it, Sink it competition returns with competitors hitting four drives, four chips and four putts. Eliminate your high score and win prizes in 10 age categories. The stage will have long drive expert Mike Ziegler, trick shot star Trevor Consavage as well as other speakers and entertainers. The $500 hole-in-one contest from 80 yards will also return. Children are free. Goody bags will be handed out to the first 500 paid admissions. $10 on Saturday, good for both days, and $5 on Sunday. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. (813) 855-4401.