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  1. Arts & Entertainment

5 things to do under $5 in Tampa Bay this week: March 5-10

Swamp monsters roam Weeki Wachee, the Navy Band brings a free Tampa show and more.
Francesca Caropepe, a Swamp Monster contest favorite for a number of years, is now the official mascot of the Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival, which will return this weekend. [Weekie Wachee Swamp Festival]

1. Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest: Now in its 27th year, the three-day festival features arts and crafts, swamp food, more than 100 vendors, a kids’ zone and the Swamp Monster contest (Saturday), where contestants of all ages come dressed as their version of a swamp monster to win cash prizes. New this year is the Kiddie Swamp Monster Contest (Sunday) for ages 2-6. No dogs or alcohol allowed. $5, $3 for 6-12, free for 5 and younger. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. (352) 597-4424. swampfestweekiwachee.com.

The winners of the Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival in 2019. This year, the Swamp Monster contest has a kids category. [Weekie Wachee Swamp Festival]

2. United States Navy Band: This concert band is the Navy’s premier wind ensemble. The group includes 56 performers on flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, euphonium, trombone, tuba, string bass, harp and percussion. The band’s repertoire includes marches, symphonic selections, patriotic works and popular favorites. Free. 7:30 Thursday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-955-1045. You must request tickets at strazcenter.org.

3. Tampa Bay Boat Show: Spring break is coming. This showcase of area boat dealers and manufacturers will get you ready for the water. There will be yachts, cruisers, kayaks, standup paddleboards and vendors offering the latest in boating and fishing supplies and accessories at this Tampa Bay Times expo. Free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (727) 893-8523. tampabay.com/expos.

The Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa will host the Tampa Bay Boat Show this weekend. [OCTAVIO JONES | Tampa Bay Times (2018)]

5. Cycle the Suncoast Parkway: Beginning in northern Hillsborough County, the Suncoast Parkway travels through Pasco and Hernando counties, including the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve, with beautiful waterways and scenic views of natural areas. This 30-mile ride on the Suncoast Parkway goes from the new Upper Tampa Bay Trail Trailhead into Starkey Park and back. Helmets are required and riders must maintain speeds of 12 to 16 mph. Free, $2 to park. Meet at 8 a.m. Sunday, 7020 Lutz Lake Fern Road, Odessa. (813) 603-6047. tampabaysundaybicycle.blogspot.com.

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