Top Tampa Bay area events for the week of March 27-April 3

Watch as tall ships sail into Tampa Bay, or take in Native American culture at the Chasco Fiesta.
Nao Trinidad from Spain, a replica of the iconic Santa Maria, will be among the ships coming to St. Petersburg for the Tall Ships festival March 30-April 2.
Nao Trinidad from Spain, a replica of the iconic Santa Maria, will be among the ships coming to St. Petersburg for the Tall Ships festival March 30-April 2. [ Tall Ships America ]
Published March 27, 2023

Tall Ships St. Pete: Tall Ships America brings a four-day festival of historic vessels for a waterfront celebration. The historic fleet includes the Nao Trinidad from Spain, a replica of the iconic Santa Maria, and five additional tall ships hailing from the United States. Invited ships include Pride of Baltimore II, Ernestina-Morrissey and 1877 Barque Elissa — boasting over 100 years on the water. Additionally, the beautifully restored schooner, When and If, which was designed for Gen. George S. Patton, and the local Suncoast Horizon will round out the fleet. There will also be tours, a marketplace, live music, food and drinks. $9.95 and up. 1:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Port of St. Petersburg, 250 Eighth Ave. SE. 813-580-8555.

Chasco Fiesta: New Port Richey’s premier community event began in 1922 based on a fictional story of Calusa Indians. The event, in its 101st year, will have plenty of food and entertainment, including a street parade, boat parade (Saturday 1 p.m.), car show, 5K run and a different genre of music every night. Headliner Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, performs Saturday. $5. 4-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 1-11 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. 5443 Main St., New Port Richey. 727-777-5446.

Related: A look back at the long and sometimes troubled history of New Port Richey's Chasco Fiesta

Shen Yun: Explore ancient China through a show that blends martial arts and the performing arts with high-tech backdrops and an orchestra. $60 and up. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 2 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-892-5721.

Transgender Film Festival: The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival presents a new festival featuring films based on transgender topics. Here’s the lineup:

  • Festival kickoff with a cocktail reception at Thrive DTSP, followed by a screening of the short film “Unbroken” and the world premiere of “You’re Loved.” $8. 5:45-7:30 p.m. Friday.
  • A screening of the short film “Swim, followed by “The Empress of Vancouver.” $5 per film. 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • A screening of the documentary film “Who Owns The Sky.” Filmed in Swiss German, Spanish, English and French. $5. 3 p.m. Sunday.
  • A screening of the festival-closing documentary “With Me They Can’t.” Filmed in Portuguese. $5. 5 p.m. Sunday.

All screenings take place at Green Light Cinema, 221 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 813-879-4220.

Pinellas Pepper Fest: The 16th annual event features spicy contests, music, sauces, salsas, samples, kitchen gadgets and demonstrations. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. 727-322-5217.

It's the final weekend for the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Pasco County.
It's the final weekend for the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Pasco County. [ Tampa Bay Times (2014) ]

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: It’s the final week for Pasco County’s festival with its 16th century European village featuring 15 stages of entertainment including musicians, magicians, jugglers and jousting. More than 100 artisans will sell their handcrafted goods in the marketplace. 21 and older only are invited to daily pub crawls and mead tastings. The closing weekend’s theme is “High Seas Adventure.” 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 12838 Auton Road, Dade City. 800-601-4848.

Planning your weekend?

Planning your weekend?

Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter

We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.
Subscribers Only

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

PhilFest: This giant celebration of Philippine culture includes dance performances, mass, music, games, cultural exchange, a singing competition and more. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Bayanihan Arts and Events Center, 14301 Nine Eagles Drive, Tampa. Venue varies by event. 813-925-1232.

Paul Anka: The singer credited with more than 500 songs and 100 million album sales performs. $59-$132.75. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival: Running weekends through May 21, kiosks around the park offer small plates, cocktails, wine and craft beers, and there is a concert series. Concerts ― Jeremy Camp on Saturday and MacKenzie Porter on Sunday — are included with admission; food and drinks extra. A 10-item sampler lanyard is $70 and a 15-item pass is $85. Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa.

Tampa Bay Home Show: Meet local home improvement experts and see the latest in design trends and new products. The first 300 guests each day get a free gift. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. 727-893-8523.

International Food Truck Festival: Nearly 70 chefs bring their food trucks, trailers and tents to serve up fare that ranges from Japanese and Italian to Polish and Brazilian. Benefits the Stano Foundation, Celebrate Birthdays General Federation of Women’s Club Pasco Juniors League. $5, 17 and younger free. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive, Lutz. 727-674-1464.

Find international dishes from up to 70 chefs at a food truck festival in Lutz on Saturday and Sunday.
Find international dishes from up to 70 chefs at a food truck festival in Lutz on Saturday and Sunday. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Gem and Mineral Spring Show: This indoor show features more than 63 vendors offering rough, slabbed, cabbed rocks, geodes, minerals, fossils, crystals, jewelry, beads and fittings. There will be a children’s section with a sluice, rock identifying, rock painting and more. $8-$10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Florida State Fairgrounds Special Events Center, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. 813-621-7821.

Dunedin Highland Games: Put on your kilt and join in a weekend of bagpipes, drums and old time heavy athletics. It starts with a pipe band and clan march in downtown Dunedin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a block party on Broadway until 10 p.m. Saturday features a 5K trail run in Highlander Park at 9 a.m. and the big festival from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. $15, 12 and younger free. 6:30 p.m. Friday, 8-7 p.m. Saturday. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin.

Day of Discovery: MOSI sets up a low-stress environment with lights and sounds for people with sensory differences and their families. The 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming group, is expected to make an appearance. Your admission ticket from Day of Discovery allows you to stay for standard operating hours, which begin at 10 a.m. $7-$10, members free. 8-10 a.m. Saturday. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. 813-987-6000.

Empty Bowls: Listen to live music and bid on auction items as you feast on a meal of locally made soup. Everyone takes home a handcrafted bowl. Benefits St. Vincent de Paul Cares to prevent homelessness and hunger. $25. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Clay Center of St Petersburg, 2010 First Ave. S.

Vienna Light Orchestra: Surrounded by more than 2,000 flickering candles, the world-class ensemble of vocalists and violin and cello players presents “A Tribute to The Greatest Showman and More!” The program showcases well-known songs from popular plays and films. $45-$250. 7:30-9 p.m. Wednesday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N Macinnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

Becoming Flo: Falling on World Circus Day, this show by author Deb Carson is about one of Ringling’s most famous performers. Based on her book “Becoming Flo: A Mostly True Story,” with music, interview clips, personal anecdotes and projected images, the talk brings to life the story of Flo, born Abraham Isadore Meyrowitz. At 16 the boy fled home and joined a traveling circus, eventually becoming a famous Ringling clown. Flo eventually came to live her life on her terms. A Q&A, book sale and signing follow the multimedia presentation. Free. 7 p.m. April 3. Eckerd College (Fox Hall), 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. 727-560-6209.