Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Events Editor

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Events Editor

I’m an editor who writes, or maybe a writer who edits. I spend time poring over hundreds of events and fun diversions in the Tampa Bay area. I used to cover City Hall and now I ride rollercoasters on a workday. But I view this as a consumer beat. I’m looking for deals and I intend to call out what’s lame or magical. I’m a lifelong St. Petersburg resident and University of Florida grad. I cut my teeth covering politics for the Fort Myers News-Press, where a county commissioner I investigated went to jail. I joined my hometown Times in 1994 where my love of pop culture led me to tbt* and now our features team. Send me a tip when you see something fun.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 27-June 2

Memorial Day ceremonies around the Tampa Bay area include the Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg, where U.S. Army Master Sgt. Scott Neil, who was portrayed in the movie 12 Strong about the horse soldiers who were part of the special operations in Afghanistan after 9/11, will give the keynote speech at 10 a.m. Monday.
Times files
Memorial Day, a tax-free holiday and a hologram of metal legend Dio returns this week, and you can tee off in the stadium.

Busch Gardens offers $49 tickets in Memorial Day weekend sale

Busch Gardens launches Summer Nights on May 31 with fireworks Friday-Sunday. There will be coaster rides in the special food stations such as this firework ice cream sundae. 
Photo Courtesy Busch Gardens
You have use the deal by June 2, but for the longer term there’s a Fun Card sale of $65.

Best things to do in Tampa Bay: Memorial Day weekend, free SeaWorld beer, medium Tyler Henry

Expect to see numerous flags, like the ones pictured in this 2010 photo, planted around the Tampa Bay area on Monday. Some 4,000 people are expected at St. Petersburg's Bay Pines National Cemetery. [Times (2010)]
There's no shortage of Memorial Day celebrations planned, plus 'Hollywood Medium' star Tyler Henry comes to town next week.

5 things to do under $5 in Tampa Bay: Clearwater Music and Arts Festival, Tampa’s Fourth Friday

A 2017 aerial shot of Coachman Park, which hosts the new Clearwater Music and Arts Festival this weekend. [LUIS SANTANA | Times (2017)]
Fourth Friday adds a bike spin, while a new fest in Clearwater offers an art show and country concerts.

Sneak peek: New Hagrid-themed coaster in Harry Potter land will break records

The coaster cars in the new Hagrid coaster opening at Universal Orlando June 13 are inspired by the motorbike and sidecar from the Harry Potter fils. It will be the longest coaster in Florida at 5,053 feet, the first in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop, and the most launches, at seven, of any coaster in the world.
Times staff Sharon Kennedy Wynne
We walked through the new attraction’s elaborate queue and saw the motorbike coaster, which will be the longest in Florida.