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Top things to do in Tampa Bay: Dec. 23-29

Snoop Dogg presents a DJ set at the Hard Rock, plus ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’ comes to the Mahaffey and A Drag Queen Christmas to the Straz Center.
Snoop Dogg performs at the annual NCAA college basketball kickoff in Lawrence, Kan., in October. [NICK KRUG  |  AP]
Snoop Dogg performs at the annual NCAA college basketball kickoff in Lawrence, Kan., in October. [NICK KRUG | AP]
Published Dec. 23, 2019

Snoop Dogg: The rap legend brings a daytime DJ set under his moniker DJ Snoopadelic for a 21-and-older pool party. It’s held rain or shine. $40 and up. Noon Sunday. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 421-2582.

A Drag Queen Christmas: RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nina West hosts the huge holiday production both magical and funny in Ferguson Hall. $41.73 and up. 8 p.m. Sunday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

Great Russian Nutcracker: The Moscow Ballet presents a performance featuring award-winning principal dancers, festive backdrops and more than 200 costumes. $34.50 and up. 7 p.m. Thursday, 3 and 7 p.m. Friday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 300-2000.

The Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" will return to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Dec. 26 and 27. [Courtesy of Moscow Ballet.]


Anthony Hamilton: The Grammy-winning soul singer headlines the New Year’s Eve Weekend Jam alongside R&B singer and reality TV star K. Michelle, rapper Ja Rule and R&B singer Joe. Avant, Chris Knite and Tiyanavanae also perform. $59 and up. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Yuengling Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 974-3004.

NYE Weekend: Who’s welcoming the start of 2020 with the Ritz Ybor? Guatamalan-American DJ Carnage at 10 p.m. Friday, Montreal electronic duo Adventure Club at 10 p.m. Saturday and Toronto electronic duo Zeds Dead at 10 p.m. Sunday. $20 and up. 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 248-4050.

Toronto electronic duo Zeds Dead perform at the venue formerly known as Hogan's Beach in Tampa in 2014. [LUIS SANTANA | Tampa Bay Times (2014)]

Ryan Montbleau: The Massachusetts native started performing in the early 2000s and has gone on to collaborate with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty and Galactic, among others. JT Brown opens on the first night, and then Leon Majcen the second. $25. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., Tampa.

Hot Tuna: Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady’s blues-folk side project comes back to Clearwater for an acoustic show. John McEuen opens. 8 p.m. Saturday. $39.50 and up. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. (727) 791-7400.

Bishop Gunn: This blues-Americana rock 'n' roll country outfit takes the stage. $15 and up. 7 p.m. Sunday. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Tampa. (813) 241-8600.

The Commonheart: The nine-piece band plays potent blues, rock and vintage soul. $15 and up. 8 p.m. Sunday. The Attic.


River of Lights: Board a Pirate Water Taxi to drink hot chocolate and sing yuletide carols during the 45-minute cruise going by giant holiday light displays on the Hillsborough River. Departs every 30 minutes between 6 and 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday. $28, $18 children. 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 390-3711.

A yellow Pirate Water Taxi boat floats down the Hillsborough River near the Tampa Riverwalk in 2018. [Tampa Bay Times (2018)]

Vodka Latke: Jewish singles and couples in their 20s to 40s are invited to enjoy heavy appetizers (latkes included), desserts, a cash bar and sounds by DJ Makmade. Tampa’s New York Kitchen and Lounge was originally scheduled to host the annual bash, but Vodka Latke organizers told the Times last week that the venue has since closed its doors. $36 and up. 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Hall on Franklin, is 1701 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 769-4723.

Showgirl Takeover: International burlesque icons SweetPea and Missa Blue invade the Honey Pot for a burlesque and sword-swallowing show with music by DJ T-Quest. Free, $5 after 10:30 p.m. 10 p.m. Saturday. 1507 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 247-4663.


Holiday movies: Catch an outdoor screening of A Christmas Story at Tampa’s Armature Works, 1910 N Ola Ave., at 6:30 p.m. Monday or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at St. Petersburg restaurant Paul’s Landing, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Then Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., encourages you to sing along to jolly songs from the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ before it shows Love Actually at 3 p.m. Sunday.

"National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" stars Chevy Chase, left, and Beverly D'Angelo. [Warner Bros. Pictures]

Hanukkah Celebration: Attend this lighting ceremony for the 10-foot menorah with your own candles. Latkes, dancing, Hanukkah tunes and games are also planned. Free. 7 p.m. Friday. Beth-El Shalom, 1701 29th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 345-7777.

Sensory Snow Day: In a low-stress environment, kids with sensory differences can play in snow alongside Star Wars stormtroopers. $5 and up. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000.

Aladdin: The hit Disney Broadway musical from the producer of The Lion King continues its local run of a new production. Runs through Jan. 5. For showtimes, visit $35 and up. Straz Center.


  1. Treasure Island will host a grand opening for its new dog park at Roselli Park on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Tom Germond]
    Play with pups in Treasure Island or party in Kenneth City, plus get some new ideas to spruce up the house.
  2. Pompei Monster Factory will feature an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed ride during the Fourth Saturday Art Walk at the Pinellas Art Village on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Michelle Schultz]
    Plus, a book sale at the Largo library and a shabby chic and home decor show in Wesley Chapel.
  3. Earlier today• Arts & Entertainment
    Carrie Fisher plays Princess Leia Organa in "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi." [LucasFilm]
    The Florida Orchestra performs as a ‘Star Wars’ film plays, NPR’s Ira Glass tells stories, an Anne Frank exhibit opens and more.
  4. Walt Disney Imagineering unveiled the Epcot Experience, which opened Oct. 1, 2019, inside Epcot at Walt Disney World. Located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, it is the first in-depth look at the historic transformation already underway at Epcot. A 360-degree film presentation features upcoming attractions in development and projection-mapping technology highlights an artfully designed model of the park. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World (David Roark, photographer) [DAVID ROARK  |  Walt Disney World]
    Three new films debuted in Epcot on Jan. 17, marking the first of many new attractions to come.
  5. Next month the Pirate Water Taxi will debut a 100-passenger vessel and two smaller taxis as part of an expansion of the company's routes and coverage of Tampa's waterfront. (Yacht StarShip) [Yacht StarShip]
    The service, owned by the operator of Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises, is investing $1.6 million in three new vessels and adding a long-desired stop near the Florida Aquarium.
  6. Yesterday• Arts & Entertainment
    The Jose Gasparilla pirate ship sails toward the Tampa Convention Center during the annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in Hillsborough Bay sailing north to Seddon Channel on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Hundreds of boats join the flotilla. [Tampa Bay Times (2019)]
    The best parking places, bathroom stops, meeting points, after parties and places to catch beads.
  7. The crowd lining Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa celebrates during the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in 2019. [Times (2019)]
    Gasparilla Pirate Fest and Martin Luther King Jr. Day parades lead this week’s bill of worthwhile events.
  8. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla. [Yacht StarShip]
    After years entertaining tourists in Virginia Beach, the Lost Pearl is settling into its new Tampa Bay home.
  9. Dave Bautista, shown here at his South Tampa office, has been named grand marshal of the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
    The Guardians of the Galaxy star will lead the Pirate invasion along with Tampa police Lt. Travis Maus, who recently served in the Middle East.
  10. Halsey performs during the European MTV Awards in Seville, Spain, in 2019. [Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP]
    A mix of new hits and blockbuster blasts from the past.