1. Things to Do

5 things to do under $5: Florida Orchestra Pops in the Park, Kentucky Derby parties, Train Weekend

Pops in the Park performances are popular for all ages. The concert at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa on Sunday will include a mix of familiar symphonic and pop favorites.
Published May 3, 2017

1 Florida Orchestra Pops in the Park: You can picnic under the stars at Curtis Hixon Park while the orchestra plays a mix of familiar symphonic and pop favorites from Brahms to Beauty and the Beast, Superman and Star Wars. Bring canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest's annual food drive, too. Ryan Haskins conducts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free.

2 International Drone Day: Now's the chance to get a look into the controversial world of drones and see what these mini flyers can do. An exhibition drone race will start at 10:30 a.m. with drones flying through an obstacle course at 70 mph. It's free to check it out starting at 9 a.m. Sunday at A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. (914) 474-1939. www.

3 Kentucky Derby: You'll find parties at both the horse track at Tampa Bay Downs and Derby Lane greyhound track, where you can wager and watch a simulcast from Churchill Downs all day. Admission is $3 starting at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the horse track at 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. And it's free admission starting at 10 a.m. at Derby Lane, 10490 Gandy Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. Both will have mint juleps and live racing starting at 12:30 p.m. Post time for the 143rd annual Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville is 6:34 p.m.

4 Concerts in the park: Two local parks are letting you ease into the weekend with free concerts on Fridays. The Jah Movement Reggae Band will play at Lowry Park, 7525 N Boulevard, Tampa. And the Sunset Music Series at Dunedin's Weaver Park kicks off the four-week series with the alternative rock band the Outpatients. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to 1258 Bayshore Blvd. to watch the sunset over St. Joseph Sound. Both start at 7 p.m.

5 Train Weekend: Kids of all ages can ride the miniature trains chugging through Largo Central Park this weekend. The trains have been running for free the first of every month for 25 years thanks to the hobbyists who maintain the Largo Central Railroad. Donations for train maintenance appreciated at 101 Central Park Drive. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.


  1. The 53rd-annual Rattlesnake Festival will be held Oct. 19-20 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The weekend event, kicks off with a prelude concert featuring the Bellamy Brothers on Friday, and raises money for the Thomas Promise Foundation. The foundation provides meals for Pasco County school children who do not have regular access to nutritional meals on weekends when school is not in session. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The annual festival offers a family-friendly outing while raising money to feed school children in need.
  2. Kathleen Hudak, historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, tells the story of William Henry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Quitman Varn during a walking tour of the historic Brooksville Cemetery on Tuesday as part of Brooksville's Founders' Week celebration. The boy died from appendicitis in 1913 at the  age of 9. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
  3. MICHELE MILLER | Times 2018
Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts will roll into downtown New Port Richey for the Cotee River Bike Fest held Oct. 11-13. Times (2018)
    The weekend event brings thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to town while benefiting local charities.
  4. Bigger. Taller. Glitzier. A $720 million expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has added a 14-story hotel, right, next to the casino's original hotel on the left. Richard Danielson
    Nicole Kidman and Christie Brinkley walked the red carpet, and two members of the Wallenda family walked a high wire strung between the casino’s two hotel towers.
  5. The Cotee River Bike Fest will be held Oct. 11-13 in downtown New Port Richey. Times
    Local offerings abound for those wanting to get out and about.
  6. The African American Heritage Trail in St. Petersburg begins at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    It has been five years since the historic trail celebrated its grand opening, but many still don’t know it’s there.
  7. The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride combines dapper duds and vintage-inspired bikes on a ride to raise money for men's health charities. Mari Sabra
    The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride returns to Tampa Bay as local motorcyclists join a worldwide run to raise money for men’s health charities.
  8. Natalie D'Alessandro and Izaac Deal break out into dance during the inaugural Pride Festival in 2018 in downtown New Port Richey. MICHELE MILLER  |  Times (2018)
    New Port Richey gathering will feature a week of lead-up events.
  9. Suzanne Natzke, an artist and teacher with the Pasco Fine Arts Council, arranges her watercolor paintings for an upcoming exhibit, 'Moments in Time.' The exhibit will be held through Oct. 21 at the council's new gallery at Avalon Park West in Wesley Chapel. MICHELE MILLER  |  Michele Miller
    The countywide Council will exhibit work at the Avalon Park West community.
  10. The Tampa Bay Lightning has tapped Cigar City Brewing to bring its Jai Alai, Guayabera, and Florida Cracker beers to Amalie Arena as the team’s official craft beer partner. (Photo via Tampa Bay Lightning) Tampa Bay Lightning
    Cigar City also will move its popular annual Hunahpu’s Beer Festival to Amalie Arena starting next March.