The 9 best things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay

LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
2016 Grade 2 National Champions, the City of  Dunedin Pipe Band perform at the Dunedin Highland Games. [Saturday, April 1, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
LUIS SANTANA | Times 2016 Grade 2 National Champions, the City of Dunedin Pipe Band perform at the Dunedin Highland Games. [Saturday, April 1, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
Published April 5 2018
Updated April 5 2018


Tampa Bay Blues Festival: This year’s big-name headliner is Buddy Guy, who performs Saturday alongside Ronnie Earl, Janiva Magness and more. Friday’s headliner is Robert Cray and Sunday includes Delbert McClinton, Sugaray Rayford, Mississippi Heat and more. Admission starts at $50 Friday and Saturday, $40 Sunday, $115 for a weekend pass. Begins 12:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg.



Roy Wood Jr.: The Daily Show correspondent, who joined the Comedy Central show when current host Trevor Noah took over the desk, is known for his deft radio work, especially his prank calls. And his charismatic crankiness made him an instant favorite of David Letterman’s comedy booker. He’s performing at Side Splitters Comedy Club today through Saturday. $25. 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.



Michael Lynche and the Florida Orchestra: Former American Idol standout Michael Lynche returns to his hometown this weekend, headlining a Florida Orchestra pops concert called R&B Legends. The 2010 fourth-place finisher and Gibbs High graduate is teaming up with arranger and conductor Jeff Tyzik. They’ll draw on the music of James Brown, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder and more. Concerts start at 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $15-$45. (727) 892-3331.



Dunedin Highland Game: It’s time to go in for the kilt this weekend when the giant Dunedin Highland Games returns with numerous bands and clans and competitions of some pretty heavy athletics. See husky men compete in the caber toss, where they will be pitching and flipping an 18-foot wooden pole. Or check the clachneart, better known as the "stone of strength," when a 17-pound stone is thrown for distance. You’ll also find Scottish bagpiping, drumming, dancing, sheepdog herding demonstrations, kids’ activities and Scottish wares. Kick things off with the free Ceilidh in the Park (pronounced kay-lee), a big Scottish street party 6:30-10 p.m. Friday in Pioneer Park. The games are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. $15 advance, $18 at the gate, 12 and younger free.


Geek out

Michio Kaku: Renowned physicist, author and futurist Michio Kaku, below, will be at the Mahaffey Theater on Sunday talking about the future. From digital contact lenses that will be like mini computers, to intelligent wallpaper and "smart pills" that would detect cancer via artificial intelligence, he predicts a world of "infinite information anytime, anywhere." His latest book, The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth, released in February, is his most recent foray onto the New York Times bestseller list. 7 p.m. Sunday. 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $39-$69. (727) 893-7832.


Theme park

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival: With free concerts by Hank Williams Jr. (Saturday) and TLC (Sunday) the weekend food and wine fest brings dozens of food and drink cabins to the Tampa theme park serving gourmet food, wine and cocktails. Included with park admission: $104, 2 and younger free. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. (813) 884-4386. Noon Saturday-Sunday.


Local artists

South of Southern: The new Tampa celebration in Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday puts a spotlight on local artists, including culinary, musical and visual artists. There will be performances by hip-hop/soul artist, Dynasty who has performed with Erykah Badu and Wu-Tang Clan, and local rock and hip-hop outfit The Real Clash. Muralist Painkiller Cam and TADA (Traditional and Digital Arts) will be on site and there will be live art demos and an interactive mural from Jennifer Kosharek. $10. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (727) 518-4397. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday.


Rev up

Southeast Street Rod Nationals: Car lovers will find more than 1,600 specialty pre-1986 vehicles all tricked outat the Southeast Street Rod Nationals this weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds. That includes street rods, trucks and muscle cars on display, a swap meet, model car show and "Women’s World" vendors. Admission is $17, $6 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (901) 452-4030. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon Sunday.


Take the kids

Springfest Garden Art and Faerie Festival: Gulfport’s Clymer Park transforms adorably this weekend into a mystical "enchanted village," inhabited by roaming costumed faeries, sprites, gnomes, ogres and trolls, gypsies, wizards, minstrels and other entertainers. Feel free to dress as a pixie and check out the beer garden, live music, kids’ activities, maypole dances, costume contests and a marketplace of plants, garden art and whimsical trinkets. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Clymer Park, Gulfport Boulevard S and Beach Boulevard S, Gulfport. Free.


Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

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