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  1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: Feb. 27-March 1

The Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival returns, as do top professional skateboarders for Tampa Pro.
The Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival will return to Tampa on Feb. 29, running weekends through April 26. [Courtesy of Busch Gardens]


The annual Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival of foodie delights opens Saturday with a concert by Collective Soul. This year brings another large selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails and a variety of food cabins around the park. Some of the new food items include espresso-rubbed beef tenderloin served over white truffle mash, Kung Pao ribs, charred Brussels sprouts with a warm bacon vinaigrette and — keeping with the bacon trend — shrimp bacon fritters and a new maple bacon cinnamon roll. Old favorites are returning, like the bacon mac and cheese and the griddled pound cake, which is like a grilled cheese sandwich, except it has a cream cheese filling and is topped with raspberry coulis. Sampler lanyards that bring the price of items down to $5 or $6 each are $32 to $57 for food or drink items and good for the duration of the festival. Insider’s tip: The lanyards are a better value for food since the drinks are smaller sampler size. The concert lineup this year features the Commodores (Sunday), Fitz and the Tantrums (March 22), Third Eye Blind (April 4), Clint Black (April 19), Lee Brice (April 18), Rachel Platten (March 8), Taking Back Sunday (March 29) and Toad the Wet Sprocket with the Verve Pipe (April 26). The festival runs weekends through April 26. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa.

Tampa's Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival will feature dishes like duck fat truffle fries, right. [Tampa Bay Times (2018)]


There’s no need to bring dollar bills to Nude Nite Tampa, the annual collection of body-focused art, now in its 15th year. It takes the human form as a serious inspiration for art. But it’s also a fun date night with burlesque and body painting and art installations. The popup location is in a 20,000-square-foot warehouse behind Tampa’s Columbus Plaza with more than 200 nude artworks for sale from artists around the country. In addition to the art, there are interactive installations, performance artists, acrobats, stilt walkers, aerialists and painted characters. The female-owned operation maintains a gender equal model ratio, which means for every nude female there is a male. The organizers also like to stress, “Nude Nite models are all sizes, colors and genders,” so you come away feeling hot with what you’ve got. $35. It starts at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 5050 E 10th Ave., Tampa.


The UniverSoul Circus, a traveling circus with international roots, brings artful feats of strength, jump-roping dogs, trapeze work and dance to a tent in the parking lot of Brandon Westfield Town Center Mall through Sunday. “A cadre of hip-hop clowns and a trio of polished ringmasters stitch the whole thing into a show that has the crowd dancing, singing, laughing and screaming together," the Chicago Tribune wrote of the troupe’s recent stop there. $24-$46.45. Brandon Town Center, Brandon. Toll-free 1-800-316-7439. For showtimes, visit

UniverSoul Circus in Tampa will showcase colorful Caribbean dancers, among other acts, through March 1. [Tampa Bay Times (2012)]


One of the top competitions of the year for professional skateboarders, Tampa Pro returns to the Skatepark of Tampa Thursday through Sunday with numerous parties and competitions. New this year is the first Women’s Open with female pros and top amateurs competing for a $2,500 top prize. Things kick off with a welcome party Thursday. The Bro Bowl Bash at Perry Harvey Sr. Park in Tampa will have trick contests and a welcome party. Competition begins Friday at SPoT with qualifiers and an open bar at 6 p.m. and an after-party at the Bricks in Ybor, 1327 E Seventh Ave., where a $10 suggested donation will go toward the Boards for Bros charity. Saturday and Sunday will have a live webcast of the competition and after parties. Admission is $10-$20 daily, $35 weekend. Doors open at 9 a.m. daily. 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa.

The best skateboarders in the world will hit the Skatepark of Tampa this weekend for Tampa Pro. [Tampa Bay Times (2016)]