Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend

Our editors' picks for the best things to do from Aug. 17 to 29.
Published August 17 2018
Updated August 17 2018

Concerts of note

Journey and Def Leppard (now the best-selling rock band not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The British hair-metal heroes join Hall of Famers Journey on Saturday at a sold-out show at Amalie Arena.

A genius pairing classical pop-rock-EDM fiddle phenomenon Lindsey Stirling and classical Goth-rock ensemble Evanescence team up Friday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. They’ll have a full orchestra backing them up ($39.50 and up)

Vibes of the Bay is a new local music festival that showcases the best of what Tampa Bay has to offer.The daylong fest mixes rock acts (the Jackettes), singer-songwriters (Ari Chi, Mountain Holler, Betty Dawl, above) and rappers (Mike Mass, Jinx) with a host of electronic innovators (DEA and SAINT, Mouth Council, Sam E Hues, King Complex, Pixelsaur). It starts at 4 p.m. Saturday at Crowbar in Ybor City. Free with RSVP, $10 at the door.


Date night

Comedy: Alonzo Bodden, who won NBC’s Last Comic Standing 14 years ago, has only reaped bigger rewards since with his comedy. A regular panelist on NPR’s quiz show, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! He’s had two Showtime specials. He brings an unsparing, ruthlessly funny style back to Side Splitters. Thursday  through Sunday, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $16 to $18. (813) 960-1197.



Hedwig and the Angry Inch: For its 20th season, Jobsite Theater, the resident theater company of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, opens with the anti-rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The story of a transgender rock singer had a successful Broadway run starring Neil Patrick Harris.  Jobsite also created a big hit in 2013 when it brought the show to Tampa to sold-out shows that had an atmosphere somewhere between a play and a live concert.

The show opens Friday and runs through Sept. 9 at the Straz’s Shimberg Playhouse, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. (813) 229-7827. For show times, go to



The Little Mermaid:  Produced by Tampa native Robert Molloy, grandson of the late George Steinbrenner, the live action film premieres this weekend. It’s very different from the animated classic.  A reporter seeking to learn the truth behind a miracle tonic called “mermaid water” discovers what his niece says is a real mermaid held prisoner in a circus, in this darker version of The Little Mermaid, based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale . Starring Poppy Drayton, William Moseley, Shirley MacLaine, Gina Gershon and Armando Gutierrez. Theaters include AMC Classic Centro Ybor 10 and AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa and AMC Sundial 20 in St. Petersburg. (85 minutes, PG-13)

Read more about the movie here.



Camp Gladiator Stadium Takeover: To celebrate 10 years of holding outdoor group fitness programs, Camp Gladiator is hosting free stadium dashes across the nation, and this Saturday arrives at Raymond James Stadium. All ages and fitness levels are welcome to run around the stadium, where 10 trainer-led workout challenges will be set up. There will also be vendors, music, food, gear and giveaways. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at RayJay, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Go to to sign up.


Take the kids

Incredible Duck Race: The Hillsborough River will be awash in yellow when the Kiwanis Club of Tampa lets loose some 10,000 rubber duckies to “race” and win their adoptive parents cash prizes. The first-place duck gets $5,000, second place is $1,000 and third gets $500. You don’t have to be present at Curtis Hixon Park to win, but there will be activities in the park for children, games, food trucks, music, a duck mascot and entertainment leading up to the big race. You can purchase your lucky duck for $5 at 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 504-9133.

The TICA Championship Cat Show is a great weekend to see different breeds of pedigreed cats, including the popular leopardlike Bengal, the giant shaggy Maine coon cats and the hairless Sphynx. As the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, TICA recognizes more new breeds than other cat organizations, and it allows household pets to compete, too. Adoptable cats will be there, and vendors will have cat-related items. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Minnreg Building, 6340 126th Ave. N, Largo. $6, $3 children, 5 and younger free. (727) 289-1989.



Bolts Brew Fest: With 50 local breweries alone, and another 50 national names, you better come really thirsty. It’s an opportunity to mingle with Lightning personalities at a three-hour event as you sip on craft beers and play hockey-themed games. Upgrade to VIP for early admission, access to the Lexus Lounge, VIP food and drink selections, a locker room tour and one ticket to a Tampa Bay Lightning preseason game. General admission for $35-$65 includes unlimited beer samplings; $95-$150 VIP; $35 designated driver. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.



Goody Goody: Past, Present and Future: Tampa Theatre will premiere this documentary chronicling the reimagination and rebirth of Tampa burger institution Goody Goody. Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group will provide a $10 Goody Goody gift card to every paying guest, and will also match 100 percent of admission revenue in a donation to Tampa Theatre’s Cush Your Tush seat campaign. Find out why from 1925 on, generations loved Goody Goody, an unpretentious diner, with its signature hamburger (with secret sauce!) and some butterscotch pie. The documentary follows the reopening of Goody Goody in 2016 after its closing in 2005. Following the screening, stick around for an audience Q&A with Gonzmart, the filmmakers and Tampa Theatre CEO John Bell, moderated by the Times’ own Colette Bancroft. Saturday at 2 p.m. $11, $8 members. 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982.



Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution:  An unusual exhibit coming to the Florida Holocaust Museum, Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution is a display of the life of the flamboyant concert promoter synonymous with classic rock.  Graham worked with all the rock legends and moved on to organize tours for the Rolling Stones, as well as Live Aid in 1985, before dying in a helicopter crash in 1991. The exhibition, which made a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, includes artifacts like Jerry Garcia’s custom “Wolf” guitar and the belt worn by Mick Jagger at Altamont. But it’s also a story of a Jewish German boy who was put into the care of others for his own safety in 1941 by the mother he would never see again.  It opens Saturday and is on display through Feb. 10. Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg. $16, $14 seniors, $8 ages 7-17, military/USF students/ages 6 and younger free. (727) 820-0100.




Free and Cheap: 5 things to do under $5, including a rubber duck race


On Stage: Fan-favorite 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' returns to Tampa


Food Events: This week's list includes the Bolts Brew Fest


Top Concerts: The best live music in Tampa Bay this week


Art to See: Tampa Museum of Art kicks off 'Season of Love' with new exhibit



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