Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, March 16

Eat (and drink) around Busch Gardens, catch Lonestar’s local performance and dive into the Florida Mermaid Festival.
Check out the two-day Florida Mermaid Festival in Spring Hill this weekend. [Brendan Fitterer | Times]
Check out the two-day Florida Mermaid Festival in Spring Hill this weekend. [Brendan Fitterer | Times]
Published March 15
Updated March 15

Florida Mermaid Festival: A two-day gathering that embraces the Nature Coast’s mermaid ties with various food and craft vendors, a huge play area for kids, live bands, kayak competitions, a mermaid costume contest and dragon boats. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Hernando County Parks and Recreation. Runs through Sunday. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. $5. thefloridamermaidfestival.com.

Country in the Park: Country music’s Lonestar headlines this sidewalk event-turned-large-scale festival at 8 p.m. In addition to the tunes, expect an arts and crafts show, children’s activities, a car show, and a tree and plant sale. Noon. England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N., Pinellas Park. Free.

Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival: Now in its fifth year, the park’s celebration of booze and bites wants you to eat your way around 13 food cabins. Wash it all down with more than 100 wines, craft beers and cocktails. The concert lineup is hearty, too (rockers Daughtry hit the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday), and non-music highlights include roaming performers and around a dozen topiaries. Sampler cards of $29.99 for five items and $54.99 for 12 items bring the cost to $4.50 to $6 per plate. If you were considering a Fun Card, the park still has the deal through March 31 that throws in a free Adventure Island water park pass for $104.99, though there are some blackout dates this year. Runs weekends though April 28. buschgardens.com.

And That’s Why We Drink: Like adult beverages? What about, you know, true crime and ghosts? Then gather ’round. The Straz Center for the Performing Arts hosts Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz from hit podcast And That’s Why We Drink. $25. 1010 N Macinnes Place, Tampa. 8 p.m. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

Artists at Work in Historic Kenwood: Discover the work of painters, printmakers, sculptors, photographers, ceramic artists, fiber artists and jewelers on a self-guided tour through the Historic Kenwood neighborhood’s studio. Runs through Sunday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Various locations, St. Petersburg. Free. kenwoodartistenclave.org.

Slime Rodeo: So, um, conventions driven by that goo made with school glue and contact lens solution are a thing. Tampa’s first features Talisa Tossell, a YouTube slime star with almost two million followers, as its special guest, as well as other “slimers.” Vendors and play tables are also in store. Attendees can even bring their own slime to compete in the “Slimey” awards and other oozy contests. General admission tickets have sold out, but you can buy a “Twilight Ticket” for admission starting at 2:30 p.m. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. $15-$20. slimerodeo.com.

African Fashions Pop-Up Shop: Michigan-based company African Fashions by Classic Expressions showcases a selection of gorgeous fabrics, accessories and outfits. Clothes for men and women are on hand, and size ranges from extra small to plus. To secure a free ticket, RSVP on Facebook. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Embassy Suites, 3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa.

Bloom N Chalk Fest: Artists draw on downtown streets and sidewalks with chalk for an 11th year. Live entertainment and vendors are among the other festivities. Runs through Sunday. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 750 Main St., Safety Harbor. Free. bloomnchalkfest.com.

Clearwater Comic Con: This sixth annual comic convention highlights art, cosplay, panels and nearly 50 guests and vendors. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Clearwater Public Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Free. (727) 562-4970.

Tampa Bay Lightning: The NHL-leading Bolts are home Saturday versus the Stanley Cup champion Capitals. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Prices vary. (813) 301-6500. amaliearena.com. TV: Fox Sun; radio: 970-AM.

Broadway Tonight: A performance of Broadway favorites old and new — including Circle of Life from The Lion King, Defying Gravity from Wicked and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evit — by the Florida Orchestra and a series of vocalists. William Waldrop conducts. Runs through Sunday. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $18 and up. floridaorchestra.org.

Chiselers Annual Market: The restoration group for the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall culls home decor, antiques, furniture, silver and jewelry (and, in past years, entire collections of things) for this sale of donated items. Proceeds go back to the preservation of the building. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Plant Hall, 374 UT University Drive. thechiselersinc.com.

Marine Yard Sale: Another upscale twist on a thrifting from Eckerd College. The school’s waterfront program recently scored new sailboats, so there are eight 1999 420 sailboats available for purchase. Don’t miss the engines, kayaks and vintage nautical items, either. Proceeds benefit the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team. 9 a.m.-noon. Eckerd College Waterfront Complex, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

St. Patrick’s Day

Don’t worry — your holiday plans are covered. Scope out our guide to the best St. Paddy’s celebrations for adults and kids alike.

To Watch

One Night for One Drop: Imagined by Cirque Du Solei, 8 p.m., CBS: A special that has the Canadian entertainment company producing another eye-popping spectacle in Las Vegas. It benefits One Drop, an organization dedicated to providing access to safe water around the globe.

More to Explore

Find date night ideas and things to do with kids at tampabay.com/thingstodo.

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