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Top 15 Tampa Bay area events for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3

Catch lots of music in the Gasparilla Music Festival and 98RockFest, or get into the spirit of Halloween on a Haunted River Tour.
Ashley Smith and the Random Occurrence perform at the Gasparilla Music Festival on March 7, 2020. The festival returns to downtown Tampa this weekend.
Ashley Smith and the Random Occurrence perform at the Gasparilla Music Festival on March 7, 2020. The festival returns to downtown Tampa this weekend. [ JAY CRIDLIN | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Sep. 28
Updated Sep. 28

Gasparilla Music Festival: The 10th annual three-day festival features 35 bands across four stages along Tampa’s waterfront. Benefits youth music education programs. $40 per day, $60 two days, $90 three days. 3-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. 813-708-8423.

Shinedown will headline the 2021 edition of 98RockFest at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Shinedown will headline the 2021 edition of 98RockFest at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [ Sanjay Parikh ]

98RockFest: The lineup includes Shinedown, Seether, Candlebox, Fozzy and Dirty Honey. A free preshow includes Ayron Jones and Zero 9:36. $35 and up. 5 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6500.

MoneyBagg Yo: The artist whose fourth studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain, became his first No. 1 project, performs. 8 p.m. Wednesday. $69.50-$129.50. Yuengling Center, 12499 USF Bull Run Drive, Tampa. 813-974-3111.

Spyro Gyra: The popular jazz fusion group from the ‘70s and ‘80s performs. 8 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

George Benson: The guitar virtuoso, a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, performs. $42.75-$75.75. 8 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

The United States Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew National Championships invades Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park this Friday through Sunday. [Times (2012)]
The United States Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew National Championships invades Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park this Friday through Sunday. [Times (2012)]

United States Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew National Championship: Paddling crews in traditionally decorated dragon boats from across the nation will race in an attempt to secure a spot to represent America in the Club Crew World Championship in 2022. Free. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota.

Tampa Bay Teen Lit Fest: Critically acclaimed writers of Young Adult Fiction gather in one virtual space, allowing teens to ask questions, hear stories and even win books from their favorite authors. To get more information and to register for events, go to HCPLC.org/TeenLitFest. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday. 813-273-6352.

Dr. Ride’s American Beach House: A group of women bumps against American norms of sex and power in this snapshot of queer anti-heroines. $18 and up. 8-10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 4-6 p.m. Sunday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

The Elephant Man: Winner of the Tony, Drama Desk and Critic’s Circle award for Best Play. 8-10:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2-4:30 p.m. Sunday. $26. Francis Wilson Playhouse, 302 Seminole St., Clearwater. 727-446-1360.

Crowder: The group whose American Prodigal hit No. 1 on the Christian and Gospel Album chart performs. $28.75-$48.75. 8 p.m. Sunday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

A wide array of boats is on display at the annual Tampa Bay Boat Show held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa this Friday through Sunday.
A wide array of boats is on display at the annual Tampa Bay Boat Show held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa this Friday through Sunday. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Tampa Bay Times (2018) ]

Tampa Bay Boat Show: See and compare a variety of makes and models in one location. There will also be fishing school seminars with local captains. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. 727-893-8134.

Halloween Laser Show: Experience the ‘80s tunes of the hit series Stranger Things set to a 45-minute show of lasers and visual effects. $29. 8:30 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd. 941-365-0818.

For the Haunted River Tours, the Pirate Water Taxi along the Hillsborough River turns creepy on select nights Oct. 1-30.
For the Haunted River Tours, the Pirate Water Taxi along the Hillsborough River turns creepy on select nights Oct. 1-30. [ Pirate Water Taxi ]

Haunted River Tour: A dead-lightful docent tells tales of Tampa’s haunted past. Tours depart from the Tampa Convention Center hourly. Tickets are valid for all day hop-on/hop-off service. $25, $15 children (included with daily pass). 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Pirate Water Taxi, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. 813-223-7999.

BBQ Cookoff, Rodeo and Concerts in the Park: Sample award-winning barbecue as you enjoy bull riding and other rodeo-related entertainment. American country music singer-songwriter Tracy Lawrence serves as the headliner for free outdoor concerts with craft vendors. The lineup includes School of Rock (5-5:45 p.m.), Pirate Flag (6-7:30 p.m.) and Lawrence (8 p.m.). No cover (food/drink additional). Noon-10 p.m. Saturday. England Brothers Bandshell Park, 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. 727-369-5746.

Hillsborough County Fair: This year brings an expanded carnival with midway rides and new kiddie rides, as well as entertainment and special events for motor enthusiasts such as a demolition derby (Sunday) and a truck and tractor pull (Friday-Saturday). Find a schedule and tickets at hillsboroughcountyfair.com. $10, $7 grades K-12, $5 seniors, 5 and younger free. 5-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 5-10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover. 813-737-3247.