1. Things to Do

Plan your weekend: KittyCon, Halloween parties, Hanson, Shakespeare in the park and Open Streets St. Pete

LUIS SANTANA | Times Scare actors roam the grounds of Busch Gardens in Tampa during their annual Howl-O-Scream Halloween themed event. Howl-O-Scream continues on select nights through Oct. 29 at the Tampa theme park. Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticket event and has seven haunted houses, five scare zones and the chance to ride coasters in the dark. [Friday, September 22, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
Published Oct. 25, 2018


Concerts of note: Latin superstar J Balvin is up for eight trophies at November's Latin Grammys. But first, he'll stretch summer into fall with a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Yuengling Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 974-3004. On Friday, the Hanson String Theory is a theatrical tour backed by a symphony orchestra with the beloved pop favorites, the Hanson brothers at 8 p.m. Friday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $39.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. And Lindsey Buckingham has a a sold-out show Friday in Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, a nice bit of revenge after Fleetwood Mac fired Buckingham this summer.

Cat fever

KittyCon Tampa Bay: Tampa's first KittyCon arrives Saturday at the Holiday Inn Westshore. It will be full of unapologetic cat-bliss for feline lovers to look over catnip-filled toys, cat celebrities and a ballroom full of stray cats for adoption. Described as a fan convention for people crazy about cats, it is also a fundraiser for the St. Francis Society Animal Rescue. Tampa resident Chris Poole, caretaker of the social media star cats Cole and Marmalade, will be there, as will noted animal communicator Laura Lassiter and Atlanta rapper and cat advocate Sterling Davis. There will be vendors, entertainment, a costume contest, children's activities, discussion panels and a Vegan Cat Cafe. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. $20, $25 at the door; $5, $10 at the door for children 12 and younger; $100 VIP. 700 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 289-8200.


Halloween: Since it falls mid-week this year, all the big parties are this weekend including the 13 Ugly Men's annual "Party with a Purpose" that benefits Beat NB. $35 women, $40 men. Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica De Cuba, Tampa. (813) 248-2954. 8 p.m. Friday. Also, Jackson's transforms into a haunted dollhouse with a costume contest, performances by the Aerial Dragons and three rooms with a different style of music in each. 21 and older only. $15-$20. Jackson's Bistro Bar & Sushi, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. (813) 812-4950. 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday. We have loads more parties and family friendly events to choose from at


A Midsummer Night's Dream: A large cast including musicians and five dancers takes over Williams Park for a Shakespeare in the park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Studio@620 is helming the production with the St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival. It's free, though donations are encouraged, and it starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and runs through Nov. 11. A preview is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Williams Park, 350 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. For show dates, go to

Take the kids

Kidz Bop Live 2018: The inexplicably enduring franchise Kidz Bop Live arrives on the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage this week in support of newest album Kidz Bop 38 (that number is not a typo). The Kidz Bop Kids, with their family-friendly renditions of pop hits, were Billboard's No. 1 kids' album artists from 2011 to 2017 and have had 22 Top 10 albums on the Top 200 — more than Madonna or Elton John. The latest album features cleaned-up versions of Drake's God's Plan and Bruno Mars and Cardi B's Finesse. 6 p.m. Saturday. 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $33.25-78.75. (727) 791-7400.


Box Car Rally: Both kids and businesses people will be racing through downtown Clearwater in their homemade or kit-style box cars as part of Achieva's Box Car Rally to benefit Pinellas County schools. Each year, the box cars get more creative. Participants have made them out of anything from surfboards to filing cabinets in the past. It's free for spectators to watch homemade and custom-built box cars race off the ramp at Clearwater's Cleveland Street and Osceola Avenue, traveling downhill into the Cleveland Street district. The day also includes face painting, bounce houses, children's games, balloon art and food trucks. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free for spectators, $50-$90 to enter; benefits the Achieva Foundation for area schools. (727) 431-7362.


Robert Indiana: The artist's iconic LOVE sculpture is one of the most recognizable pieces of American art. But the Robert Indiana did much more than sculpture over his five-decade career, a retrospective of which opens today at the Tampa Museum of Art. A LOVE sculpture is included in on display in the museum's atrium. But the exhibition organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., reveals his lesser known works in sculpture, drawing, print and paint. The work of the late artist remains display through March 17. 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. Admission is $15; $7.50 seniors; $5 students; free for university, college and higher education students with valid IDs and children ages 6 and younger; pay-as-you-will from 4-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fourth Fridays.


Halloween ComicFest: Free comic books, most of them Halloween and horror-themed, will be given away at local comic book stores on Saturday. More than 1.7 million comics, including Archie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hellblazer, Spider-Man and Goosebumps, will be given away. Local comic book stores such as Emerald City Comics, 4902 113th Ave. N, Clearwater, and Yancy Street Comics, 13944 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa will have cosplayers and candy and special sales. Find a local store at

Get outside

Open Streets St. Pete: Ever wished that streets would be closed to traffic so you could bike, skate or stroll in your city? Well, your wish has come true. For five hours, the streets along St. Petersburg's waterfront will be closed to cars between First Avenue SE and Dali Boulevard. In addition to the safe environment for your recreational pursuits, the pet-friendly afternoon will have vendors, food trucks, fitness classes, music, games and giveaways. Free. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday South Straub Park, 250 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (703) 343-0450.


Terror Tent Ride: Halloween is Wednesday, so why not get in the spirit with a creepy art show? Married couple Vince Pompei and Melissa Schultz have created a Terror Tent Ride at Pompei's Monster Factory in the Pinellas Arts Village. It's an actual ride, which takes you through a tent filled with terrifying dolls and other artist-created monsters. They had some creepy doll workshops where other artists helped create the stuff of nightmares. You can ride (if you dare) every night Friday-Wednesday. On Saturday, the Monster Factory is having a Halloween party, which coincides with the village's ArtWalk, so check out other studios as well. 5681 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park.


Florida Orchestra: Call it laid Bach, this weekend the Florida Orchestra's pace relaxes for "Evening at Bach's Coffeehouse," conducted by renowned harpsichord soloist Jeannette Sorrell. She has sold out concerts around the world for her ensemble Apollo's Fire, which is dedicated to recreating authentic Baroque music. Concerts are Friday at 8 p.m. Friday at Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. A pre-concert talk starts one hour before performances. $18-$48. (727) 892-3337.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at Follow @SharonKWn.


  1. Washington Nationals' Trea Turner, right, steals second with Houston Astros' Carlos Correa covering during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    It’s part of Taco Bell’s, “Steal a base, Steal a Taco” promotion.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.