Things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay: 'SNL' stars, Monster Jam, Bier Fest and more

Our editors picks for events in the Tampa Bay area on Aug. 24 to 26.
Monster Jam monster trucks return to Tampa this weekend.
Published August 24, 2018
Updated August 24, 2018
Concerts of note: A trio of legends, Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers and Ann Wilson hits Tampa at 7 p.m. Sunday at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 740-2446. Chart-topping Texans Lonestar, who scored a few country hits (Tequila Talkin’, No News, Come Cryin’ to Me) before blasting out with the all-time ballad Amazed in 1999. They’ll play at 7 p.m. Friday at Stockyard Live, 1916 U.S. 19 N, Holiday. $20 and up. (727) 939-9494.  Rapper Cyhi the Prynce (pronounced “Sigh High the prince”), who co-wrote chunks of Kanye West’s albums Yeezus and The Life of Pablo, is the headliner for the Obknoxious Weekend, a series of hip-hop and turntable events. For $25, you can see Cyhi at 7 p.m. Friday at Crowbar in Ybor City. But for $5 more you get into multiple weekend events, including a DJ battle Sunday night at Franklin Manor.
Bier Fest at Busch Gardens: Opening this Saturday and Sunday and running weekends through Sept. 16, the Tampa theme park is throwing an Oktoberfest-themed festival. The draw? More than 100 beers from 60 different breweries around the world, live entertainment and beer-friendly foods such as two-bite burgers, bite-sized Reuben croquettes, soft pretzel sticks with bacon beer-cheese dip, and mac and cheese fritters. Included with admission; one-day tickets start at $79.99 online. Food items are $4-$7 and beverages are $8-$9. 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa. (813) 884-4386.
Leslie Jones: The Saturday Night Live veteran has made the most of her transition from writer to regular, from starring in the 2016 all-female remake of Ghostbusters to stints covering the Olympics for NBC. Catch her if you can Friday  through Sunday at Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. As of press time, several shows were sold out; remaining tickets $50. (813) 864-4000. For show times, go to
Monster Jam Triple Threat Series:  As if the ginormous monster trucks weren’t enough, the Monster Jam Triple Threat
Series challenges each competitor to drive three customized high-powered vehicles: Speedsters, ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks. The audience gets to play a part, voting in competitions on their phones. Trucks expected include Grave Digger, Max D, El Toro Loco, Scooby Doo, Zombie, Soldier Fortune Black Ops and Monster Mutt Rottweiler. 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$60. (813) 301-2500.
USF Round Up:  Saturday Night Live star Cecily Strong will headline this year’s USF Round Up, the annual back-to-school comedy show for students at the University of South Florida. She’s best known for her Melania Trump imitation and “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.” She will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Yuengling Center, formerly the USF Sun Dome. Doors open at 7 p.m. for students and 7:30 p.m. for the community, so students get first dibs on the best seats. 4202 E  Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 974-3111.
Rodeo Fest: Get the feel of the Wild West on Saturday when the Gus Trent Horse Ranch in Plant City brings its annual Rodeo Fest to the Florida State Fairgrounds. There will be bull riding, barrel racing, four-horse relay racing, tie down roping and mounted shooting. Gates open at 5 p.m., event from 6-9 p.m. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $15, $10 10 and younger. (412) 592-6916.
Wearable Art 14: The Dunedin Fine Art Center’s very popular fashion event returns to blow us away with highly imaginative clothing and accessories made from materials typically not considered fashionable. Past shows have brought frocks down the runway made of food, flowers, balloons, live grass, twigs, even raw meat and condoms. Saturday has Pre-Glow and After-Glow parties bookending the runway show. Tickets for seats for the runway show range from $60-$125, but there’s a special party ticket for $15, which includes the pre and post parties and the ability to view the runway show on a huge monitor. Pre-Glow starts at 7 p.m., runway at 8 p.m. 1143 Michigan Blvd. (727) 298-3322.
The Blair Witch Project: Fans of The Blair Witch Project can talk with director Dan Myrick on Friday at Tampa Theatre after a screening of the classic horror movie. Myrick will of course talk about the film that launched his career and popularized the found footage cinematic story, but he’ll also have current news to discuss. He has signed a three-project deal with local producers. The movie screens at 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. $8, $5 members.
Tampa Bay Rays: Red alert! The Bosox are coming to town. Yes, a lot of expatriate Red Sox fans probably will pack the Trop for the three-game series that begins Friday (7:10 p.m.). Boston is running away with the AL East and has the best record in baseball, so brace yourselves, Rays fans. At Saturday’s game (6:10 p.m.), all fans get a Wade Boggs bobblehead. Surely that’s not a promotional coincidence. Sunday afternoon’s 1:10 game is Family Fun Day, and kids get free DJ Kitty Slippers. Ticket prices vary by game. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-888-326-7297. For a list of promotions and complete details, visit
Family Day at the TMA: The Tampa Museum of Art on Saturday opens up its galleries for families to enjoy art projects, interactive activities and live performances inspired by the “Vapor and Vibration” exhibition . Kids will also likely get a kick out of the monumental sculpture by Patricia Cronin called Aphrodite and the Lure of Antiquity, which has been set up outside in the plaza.  Admission is “pay as you will” from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at 120 W Gasparilla Plaza.
Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest: One of the sweetest and most popular fundraisers of the year brings out loads of professional and amateur chefs (including young bakers ages 10-16) to compete for bragging rights. For $5, spectators get to vote for the People’s Choice award. The sugar rush starts at noon Saturday at the Morean Arts Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-7872.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at Follow @SharonKWn.


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