Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, March 9

Gasparilla Music Festival opens, Grand Prix St. Pete, Florida Strawberry Festival, Tampa Taco Festival.
The Avett Brothers will headline the Gasparilla Music Festival on March 9, 2019. Photo: Crackerfarm.
The Avett Brothers will headline the Gasparilla Music Festival on March 9, 2019. Photo: Crackerfarm.
Published March 8
Updated March 15

Gasparilla Music Festival: Folksy North Carolina foot-stompers Avett Brothers lead the eclectic lineup today. It opens at noon at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa. $40 and up for Saturday, $30 and up for Sunday. $60 weekend.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: The 15th edition of this annual opening race for the IndyCar series continues. The race area also has a Speed Zone, IndyCar Series Fan Village, beer gardens, driver autograph sessions, interactive games and exhibits. Visit for ticket options including IndyCar Paddock Passes. 7:30 a.m. North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. $35 Saturday; $50 for Sunday.

Florida Strawberry Festival: Celebrate your favorite fruit with exhibits, a midway and a concert by R&B star Keith Sweat (7:30 p.m., $30). Opens at 10 a.m. Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. $10, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. (813) 752-9194.

Tampa Taco Festival 2019: The event celebrates the diverse cultural varieties that Mexico has to offer with more than 30 Tampa restaurants and food trucks offering tacos and other items for tasting. 11 a.m. Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave, Tampa. Free (food/drink additional). (813) 274-8184.

Real Music Real Masters Series: With performances at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., the series brings country star Lorrie Morgan. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Included with admission; $89 online. 2 and younger free. (813) 884-4386.

Drivin N Cryin: Concert benefits Dementia Spotlight Foundation. 3 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $30-$35.

USF Game Convention: Game convention includes both casual and competitive gamers, featuring Jackbox, Mario Kart and themed areas with and retro and tabletop gaming. 3 p.m. Yuengling Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa. $5. (813) 974-3111.

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: The 2019 festival runs weekends through March 31 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. This weekend’s theme is Barbarian Brew Fest. 10 a.m. MOSI, 11315 N 46th St., Tampa. $21.95, $13.95 ages 5-12, 4 and younger free. (813) 983-0111.

Chili Cook-Off: “All You Can Taste” of 16 or more chili recipes with two beers or unlimited soft drinks. Also includes music by DJ Rick, silent auction, raffle, bake sale and prizes. Benefits the Second Time Arounders Marching Band! 1 p.m. Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 488-4299.

DeRay Davis: He has stand up specials on Showtime and Comedy Central, was a cast member of Wild n’ Out. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $30. (813) 864-4000.

Sing-Along Bohemian Rhapsody: Based on the true story of world-famous rock band Queen’s journey from their humble beginnings to their now-legendary 1985 performance at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium, Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury (played by Oscar winner Rami Malek). 7:30 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 274-8286.

Love Letters: Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) and Hal Linden (Barney Miller) star in R. Gurney’s valentine to love, friendship and the lost art of letter writing. Part of the Broadway series. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $35-$100. (727) 791-7400.

American Songbook Series: Let’s Misbehave: Paul Wilborn, Eugenie Bondurant, Frank Bowman and Matt Cowley present this racy show about indiscretion, excess and carnal cravings. 8 p.m. American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 823-7529.

Orny Adams: He’s run the late night circuit, has specials on Netflix, Comedy Central and Showtime, and played Coach on MTV’s series Teen Wolf. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $20-$24. (813) 960-1197.

kids and family

Fossilfest: Bones galore at the “Ice Age Returns” themed festival with a children’s fossil mine, learning table, free workshops, games, door prizes, silent auction and raffles. 9 a.m. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $8, 12 and younger free. (813) 909-9358.

Paddyfest: Family Fun Day: Paddyfest pays tribute to families with a day of carnival games, a visit from Captain Fear and fun with Tampa Bay Buccaneer inflatables including an obstacle course and the Quarter Back Challenge. 12 p.m. Irish 31 Westchase, 10102 Montague St., Tampa. Free. (813) 510-3931.

Belle of the Ball Project: Financially needy high school girls can shop for low cost prom, homecoming and military ball dresses and accessories. Dress donations can also be made at the same time and location. 10 a.m. Belle of the Ball Distribution Center, 1210 Holt Ave., Clearwater. $1-$5. (877) 772-3553.

Mutt Madness: Bring your dog to the 13th annual festival with pet-themed vendors, pet and owner look-a-like contest, pet parade, dog adoptions, kid’s play area, lure course, art sales and discount microchips. Benefits Suncoast Animal League. 11:30 a.m. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. Free, $5 parking. (727) 786-1330.

Eid-Bazaar: This indoor family festival features a bounce house, face painting, Pakistani, Indian, Arabic and Bangladeshi food and shopping for Pakistani and Indian clothes, Hijabs, Abayas, jewelry and Islamic art. 12 p.m. Grand Palace, 7326 E Sligh Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 390-2842.

To Watch

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 8 p.m., HBO: The 2018 big-screen blockbuster makes its cable TV premiere. Set on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, it follows Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) as they attempt to rescue the remaining dinosaurs before a volcanic eruption destroys everything.

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