1. Things to Do

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday, Oct. 28

Aretha Franklin performs in 2016 at the White House. [Associated Press]
Aretha Franklin performs in 2016 at the White House. [Associated Press]
Published Oct. 28, 2018

The Queen of Soul: WMNF's Tribute to Aretha: WMNF has assembled outstanding soul, R&B and blues singers. Each will perform three Aretha songs backed by the R&B band led by Vincent Sims that includes horns and backup singers. 7:30 p.m., Hough Concert Hall, 253 Fifth Avenue North, St. Petersburg. General Admission $17 in advance, $22 day of show.

Standing Room Only - SRO: Three internationally-awarded performers: Toast of Tampa Show Chorus, a 90-member women's chorus, will perform a four-part acapella harmony. Guests are two International champion barbershop quartets, Main Street and The Buzz. 3 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $30-$45. (813) 748-1115;

Florida Orchestra Masterworks: Evening at Bach's Coffeehouse: This TFO's strings program, led by renowned conductor and harpsichord soloist Jeannette Sorrell. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $18-$48. (727) 791-7400;

The Simon and Garfunkel Story: The concert-style theater show chronicles the journey of the folk-rock duo. The show takes the best of the tribute band genre and mixes it with powerful images and stories of the times that shaped the pair's songwriting. 7 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $29-$59. (727) 893-7832;

Open Streets St. Pete: For five hours, streets along St. Petersburg's waterfront will be closed to cars between First Avenue SE and Dali Boulevard to allow the public to freely bike, stroll or roll skateboards in a protected environment. The pet-friendly afternoon will have vendors, food trucks, fitness classes, music, games and giveaways. 11 a.m., South Straub Park, 250 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (703) 343-0450;

PrettyMuch: Pop boy band will perform on The Funkion Tour. 6:30 p.m., Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $22-$35. (813) 247-2555;

Shakespeare in the City: The St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival presents A Midsummer Night's Dream. Through Nov. 11. 7:30 p.m., Williams Park, Fourth Street and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 895-6620.

AKC Dog Show: The Brandon Florida Kennel Club's all-breed show with more than 800 dogs representing more than 100 breeds. 8 a.m., Florida Strawberry Festival Agricultural Show Center Building, 2508 W Oak Ave., Plant City. Free. (813) 651-4917.

Hillsborough County Fair: The Hillsborough County Fair brings a harvest of midway rides, carnival-style foods, pumpkin patch, haunted hayride, a gospel jam, truck and tractor pulls, demolition derby and a rodeo. 10 a.m., Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and Hwy 60, Brandon. $7, $5 students, $4 seniors, 4 and younger free. (813) 737-3247;

St. Petersburg International Folk Fair: The 44th annual Folk Fair brings us ethnic villages representing various countries, folk dancing, ethnic music, costumed villagers, craftsmanship demonstrations and ethnic food specialties. 10 a.m., Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $10, $6 students, 5 and younger free. (727) 552-1896;

Pumpkin Fest: Bring the family, grab a template and create your Halloween jack-o-lantern. 12 p.m., Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. $5. (727) 582-2117;

Sister Flight: Chi Chi, Kathryn and Daphne jump on their brooms to bring us a drag queen tribute to the sisters of Hocus Pocus. Reservations are recommended. 1, 4 and 7 p.m., Hamburger Mary's, 2016 Town Center Blvd., Brandon. $3. (813) 643-2110.

Between Riverside and Crazy: Pulitzer Prize-winning play. 2 p.m., American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $44-$54; a subscription-style $15 a month for people younger than 30 and free for people younger than 20. (727) 823-7529;

I-4's Premier Fear Park: Daytime Event Activities: Three dark, intense walking trails in a wooded forest. 2 p.m., Sir Henry's Haunted Trail, 2837 S Frontage Road, Plant City. $30, $45 VIP. (863) 944-0748;

A Nightmare on Franklin Street: The Halloween series continues with a screening for families of Hocus Pocus (12 and younger free) at 2 p.m., a screening of Phantasm at 5:30 p.m. and the comedy Bubba Ho-Tep at 8 p.m., $10, $7 members. 5:30 p.m., Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. Price varies by event. (813) 274-8982.

Synia Carroll & Fred Johnson: The Tampa Jazz Club & Suncoast Jazz Festival presents two of our most dynamic jazz and world music vocalists team up with the Phil Magallanes Trio for "When October Goes." 3 p.m., HCC Ybor Mainstage Theatre, 1411 E 11th Ave., Tampa. Tickets: $20 Adults/$15 Tampa Jazz Club Members, $10 Students with ID (Free to HCC Students and Faculty). (727) 771-7415.

Mindgame: When a true crime writer tries to get an interview with a notorious serial killer, things take a wrong trun, in this thriller. Through Oct. 28. 3 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall Murray Studio Theater, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $24. (727) 791-7400;

Scarehouse Pinellas: A 10,000-square-foot horror flick themed haunted house. Ages 12 and older only. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Benefits SPCA Tampa Bay. 4 p.m., Scarehouse, 12461 Creekside Drive, Largo. $15. (727) 742-1432;

Edgar and Emily: Jobsite Theater's production sees the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe visit Emily Dickinson. Through Nov. 4. 4 p.m., Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Start at $29.50. (813) 229-7827;

Fall Festival: Bring the kids in not too scary costumes for trunk-or-treating, dinner, drinks, games, bounce houses and a petting zoo. 5 p.m., Messiah Lutheran Church, 14920 Hutchison Road, Tampa. Free. (813) 961-2182;

TASCO Field of Screams: This 13th annual event, Quarantine, challenges you to escape from a decontamination tent in hopes of finding safety. Participants are exposed to darkness, loud noises, bright lights, wooded trails and intense scare zones. Not suitable for children. 7 p.m., Boyd Hill Environmental Studies Area, 2900 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. $10 advance, $15 day of. (727) 893-7813;

Arnez J: He hosted two seasons of BET's Comic View, appeared on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and has a Comedy Central special and his own Comic View Grandstand Hour Special. 7 p.m., Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000;

I-4's Premier Fear Park: Three dark, intense walking trails in a wooded forest. 7:30 p.m., Sir Henry's Haunted Trail, 2837 S Frontage Road, Plant City. $30, $45 VIP. (863) 944-0748;

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens: Get spooked by six haunted houses and scare zones and the chance to ride coasters in the dark, sometimes with a zombie sitting next to you. Includes early access to the park at 5 p.m. and remains open until 1 a.m. 7:30 p.m., Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. $39.99 and up. (813) 884-4386;


John's Pass Seafood Festival: The 37th annual event with more than 100 seafood options, a Halloween block party, 5K run, attempt to set the World Record Bloody Mary Toast and a fishing tournament. 10 a.m., John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, 150 John's Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach. Free (food/drink additional). Toll-free 1-877-412-2675;

Sesame Street Safari of Fun Halloween: Rosita's Halloween Fiesta: Kids can join the fun of this Sesame Street themed party with a hay maze, pumpkin ring toss, dancing to kid friendly music. Included with admission. 11 a.m., Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. $104, 2 and younger free. Save $15 if you order online. (813) 884-4386;

Guppyween: Kids can put on their trick-or-treat costumes and come to the aquarium's event with children's entertainment, lots of goodies and all the galleries. 1 p.m., Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $28.95, $26.95 seniors, $23.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. (813) 273-4000;


There's plenty of Halloween events that won't scare the little ones. Find them at


  1. Localtopia is St. Pete's largest “Community Celebration of All Things Local,” showcasing over 200 independent businesses and community organizations.
  2. The St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market, beautiful landmarks like the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and public art all made it on the list of reader's reasons why they love Tampa Bay.
  3. Lisa Langford opened her artisan boutique, Lis's Pieces, in March of 2019 on Grand Boulevard in downtown New Port Richey. She recently expanded, remodeling an upper floor to use for crafting workshops. Future plans include using the space for small weddings and other intimate occasions, Langford said.
  4. Shannan Panganiban, 26, and her husband Heath Panganiban, 28, with their three boys, from left, Owen, 9 months old, ,Ryland, 5 (in center), and Landon, 3, in their backyard with their kayak racks at their home on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. Shannon and Heath started Yak Tribe, a national kayak fishing community, and now they have started a free kayak rental program with the pilot location being out of their backyard.
  5. Patron vie for beads while attending in the 103nd Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on Saturday, January 25, 2020, in downtown Tampa.
  6. Charlotte Flair is one of the WWE’s most decorated female competitors and daughter of wrestling legend “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
  7. Kathryn Sharkey, 9, of Masarkytown, proves to have a swift hand in casting at the Family Fishing Festival held Jan, 18 at Withlacoochee River  Park in Dade City. Looking on, is her dad, Devon Sharkey (right).
  8. In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a Super Mario figure is displayed at a showroom in Tokyo. After months of being tight-lipped, Comcast executives on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, said the fourth park at Universal Orlando would be based on characters from Nintendo.
  9. Clockwise from left: Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apple, Candy Corn and Cheeseburger-On-A-Stick
  10. Draped against the St. Petersburg skyline on Tuesday evening on January 14, 2020, the Bella Vita is visible as it docks in Port St. Pete. The yacht is nearly 250 feet long and costs about $650,000 to charter for a week in the winter, according to broker Moran Yacht and Ship. It can accommodate 12 passengers between its six staterooms and six decks, and a staff of 22.
  11. An Australian shepherd named Waylon gets some pampering from Kathryn Ross-Nash at the Florida Gulf Coast Classic Cluster of Dog Shows held Jan. 9-13 and Jan. 15-19 at Florida Classic Park in Brooksville.  Ross-Nash of Bradenton is an owner/breeder/handler of Australian shepherds and has been showing dogs for 30 years. "I love the show. Love the set-up, and I'm close to home," she said.
  12. Ava Calvin, 5, participates in a unity dance during the First Night of Kwanzaa in St. Petersburg ceremony on Thursday evening.