Ed Sheeran: Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will perform in Tampa before the NFL’s season kickoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys. Sheeran will be performing as part of the 2021 Kickoff Experience. The Kickoff Experience begins at noon and includes football-themed games, photo ops and more. There will be a watch party after Sheeran’s 7 p.m. performance. Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The NFL OnePass app is required for admission. Noon-7 p.m. Thursday. Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Boulevard, Tampa. 813-259-1610.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Watch the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys. Ticket prices vary. 8:20 p.m. Thursday. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-350-6500.
Whitney Cummings: This is Cummings’ first tour since her Netflix special Can I Touch It? $39.50. 8 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400.
Clearwater Threshers: The Threshers are sponsoring First Responders Appreciation and 9/11 Remembrance Night. First responders get a free game ticket and can buy family tickets for half-price. The police departments of Clearwater and Largo will take the field against the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in a 3:30 p.m. charity softball game. Tickets to the softball game and a silent auction will benefit the family of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael J. Magli, who died in the line of duty. After the 6:30 p.m. game against the Bradenton Marauders, there will be fireworks. $6-$11. 3:30 p.m. Saturday. BayCare BallPark (formerly Spectrum Field), 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. 727-712-4300
Alan Parsons Live Project: The 11-time Grammy nominee returns to Clearwater with hits like Eye in the Sky and Don’t Answer Me. $53.25-$128.25. 8 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.
I Like it Hot! Festival: Specialty exhibitors tickle your taste buds as they bring on dynamite offerings in the form of sauces, salsas, seasonings, rubs, plants, food products, gadgets, kitchenware, hundreds of mild to wild samples and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free. Largo Event Center, 6340 126th Ave N. 727-322-5217.
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Jazz DaddyO’s: The seven-piece band presents a “Roaring ‘20s Gatsby Show” and dance party to celebrate the renovation of the former State Theatre into a speakeasy-style club with a full stage and craft cocktails. Free. 8-11 p.m. Thursday. Floridian Social Club, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-513-8981.
Halloween Haunts: It’s the first weekend for many area Halloween events. Here are a few:
- Howl-O-Scream: The annual event returns for 28 nights of scare zones and haunted houses, including two new haunted house experiences. $29.99-$44.99 (single night). 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 7 p.m.-midnight Sunday. Also taking place Sept. 17-19, 24-26, Oct. 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-24 and 28-31. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. 813-884-4386.
- Scream-A-Geddon: Five haunted house attractions with zombie paintball assault, a midway, food and drink. 7:30 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday. Also 7:30 p.m.-midnight Sept. 17 and 24, 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30, 7:30-11 p.m. Sept. 26, 7-11 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28 and 31. $27.95-$47.95. 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. 813-452-5412.
- Howl-O-Scream Orlando: Howl-O-Scream has washed ashore at SeaWorld bringing an adult after-hours party with outdoor scare zones, haunted houses, coaster rides in the dark, live shows and an interactive bar. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Also Sept. 17-19, 24-26, Oct. 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-24 and 28-31. $31.99-$47.99. SeaWorld Orlando, 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando. 407-545-5550.
Crack-Up Cancer: Comedians Johnny B, Catherine Maloney, Derek Richards, Steve Simeone and Steve Byrne perform. Benefits the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation, which helps adults undergoing cancer treatment with their living expenses. $20-$50. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.
Riverside Launch Party: The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival launches its 32nd annual festival at this party with one free drink, a cash bar, music and a sneak peak at this year’s movie lineup. It all takes place on the Riverwalk. $50-$55. 7-9:30 p.m. Thursday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-879-4220.