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Top things to do this weekend March 15-17: Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival, Slime Rodeo, 'Deep Impact' screening

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival returns this Saturday. (Busch Gardens)
Published Mar. 15

THEME PARK: Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival returns for its fifth year running on weekends this Saturday through April 28. Instead of losing your lunch on the park's considerable coaster collection, nibble your way through 13 food cabins around the park, with more than 100 wines, craft beers and cocktails to wash it all down. The concert lineup is hearty, too. This weekend brings rockers Daughtry at 7 p.m. Saturday and Grammy-winning sibling trio the Band Perry with electro pop duo Dream Chief at 6 p.m. Sunday. There are also roaming performers and about a dozen topiaries around the park for the festival. The park bills this year's menu as its largest food makeover since the festival's inception. The cabins are themed for regions around the country so you can find lollipop lamb chops with a 10-year balsamic drizzle in the Northern California cabin, a Tex-Mex Cantina with Mexican street corn, and for its 60th birthday, one cabin paying homage to the park's past serving Vivi's Fried Chicken, the park's special recipe from the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant. Sampler cards of $29.99 for five items to $54.99 for 12 items bring the cost to $4.50-$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.


Tampa Theatre and the Museum of Science and Industry continue the CinemaSTEM series showcasing science in film. Sunday brings a screening of Deep Impact, the 1998 box office hit in which a comet "the size of Mount Everest" is on a collision course for Earth. The U.S. government tries to keep the crisis under wraps, but an enterprising reporter played by Tea Leoni stumbles upon the story. An ex-astronaut played by Robert Duvall is tapped to save the day because he landed on the moon once, so surely he can land on a comet? After the movie, MOSI's Anthony Pelaez will discuss the plot (and plot holes) and take questions. 3 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $10, $7 members. (813) 274-8286.

OOZE: Slime Rodeo On The Bay

The nation's obsession with slime, that goo easily made at home with school glue and contact lens solution, has reached a level similar to comic conventions. This weekend brings Tampa's first Slime Rodeo to the Tampa Convention Center. Talisa Tossell, a YouTube slime star with almost 2 million followers, will be a special guest, along with other "slimers." There will be vendors and also play tables set up. You can bring your own slime creations and compete in the "Slimey" awards, as well as gooey contests and games. It runs noon-6 p.m. Saturday at 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. General admission tickets have sold out but you can buy a "Twilight Ticket" for admission starting at 2:30 p.m. for $15 at or $20 at the door.

LONESTAR:Country in the Park

Pinellas Park's annual Country in the Park has grown after more than 20 years from a mere sidewalk event into a large-scale festival held in England Brothers Park, this year bringing country music's Lonestar as a headliner for a free concert. Everything kicks off at noon with an arts and crafts show, a car show, a tree and plant sale, children's activities and live entertainment all day long. Lonestar takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday. 5010 81st Ave. N.


MUSIC: This week's best concerts in Tampa Bay

FREE AND CHEAP: 5 things to do under $5

SATURDAY: 15 things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday


  1. Gondolas move to various locations at Walt Disney World on the Disney Skyliner aerial tram, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Disney officials said the resort’s Disney Skyliner started operating again on Monday.
  2. From left: Jason Mewes as Jay and Kevin Smith as Silent Bob in "Clerks II." The Weinstein Company
    Catch a showing of the ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,’ the Jokes on You Comedy Tour continues and celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Alien.’
  3. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  4. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  5. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  6. On Friday, Chris Stapleton will take over Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre for a performance. Courtesy of Andy Barron
    Chris Stapleton appears at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Oktoberfest Tampa begins and Jeanne Robertson stops by the Capitol Theatre.
  7. Lizzo is scheduled to perform during this year's Jingle Ball at Tampa venue Amalie Arena. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Jingle Ball, which will feature acts like Lizzo and Sam Smith, leads the lineup, along with the Turtles and Kris Kristofferson.
  8. This artful Jack-O-Lantern bandleader on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom,is part of the decorations in place for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party held annually at the theme park. A separate ticket is required to attend for the event running through Nov. 2. Associated Press
    Find a pumpkin, a party or a haunted house this weekend.
  9. Smokey Robinson will visit the new Hard Rock Event Center at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Thursday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Motown legend Smokey Robinson plays the Hard Rock, ‘And Then There Were None’ opens at Ruth Eckerd and rockers Adelitas Way hit the Orpheum.
  10. For Creatures of the Night, the Halloween event being held weekends at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, there are activities for all ages includes scare zones, nighttime animal encounters and a ghoulish dance party. Courtesy of ZooTampa at Lowry Park
    As we head into Halloween season there’s lots of both scary and kid-friendly choices to get into the Halloween spirit this week.