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Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things To Do. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595


Twitter: @SharonKWn

  1. Disney's Star Wars Land joins trend of theme parks putting you 'in the movie'


    In Star Wars Land, you'll be able to fly Han Solo's Millennium Falcon. You can drop by the Cantina for a drink with a droid. The attraction, coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando in 2019, is being designed to take you out of the theme park and into the Star Wars universe.

    And you can thank Harry Potter for that.

    Thanks to the success of Universal Orlando's worlds inspired by J.K. Rowling's books, park visitors are now beyond whirling Dumbo rides or flying over Neverland with animatronic characters below, said theme park expert Dennis L. Speigel, president of the analysis firm International Theme Park Services. Parkgoers are now getting entire fantasy lands....

    Pandora, The world of the Dames Cameron movie Avatar, is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom this summer. You'll be able to walk beneath Pandora's floating mountains and see exotic glowing plants and animals. Courtesy of Walt Disney World.
  2. Survivor recap: Brad Culpepper's amazing technicolor dream shorts


    Well that didn’t take long. A newsworthy episode last week had even non-Survivor fans tuning in to see Jeff Varner as he cruelly outed Zeke Smith as transgender — like it was some kind of evidence he’s sneaky. In a touching show of decency and solidarity Zeke’s tribemates offered him comfort and support … and then almost ousted him this week because he’s sneaky....

    Michaela, left, gets some much-needed advice from former hot head Cirie. The girl power bond was an instant hit with fans on Twitter Wednesday night.
  3. Plan your weekend: 'Hairspray' in the park, Mainsail art fest, Neil Diamond, Earth Day


    Plan your weekend


    Hairspray: There's a pay-what-you-can preview at 8 p.m. today, and then the American Stage in the Park production starts at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through May 14 at Demens Landing Park, St. Petersburg. Artistic staff are planning a concert-like experience. An adaptation of a 1988 John Waters cult classic, the first park production chosen by producing artistic director Stephanie Gularte, Hairspray falls in line with the season's theme, "In Search of America," covering issues like race and body image with a lighthearted touch. $18 and up. Opening night Gala Under the Stars 6 p.m. Friday, $200. (727) 823-7529.

  4. March for Science heads to Washington, St. Petersburg and around the globe


    On Earth Day, an unprecedented outpouring of science advocates will march on Washington, D.C., and fill the streets of more than 500 cities across the world — including St. Petersburg's Poynter Park.

    Today's March for Science has picked up steam since January on social media, where scientists likened it to the Women's March as a way for the scientific community to push back from political attacks....

    Doctoral candidate Lis Gallant uses molten glass to simulate lava flows. Tuesday, she’ll talk volcano science at St. Pete Brewing Co. as part of the Taste of Science speaker series at Tampa Bay coffee shops and pubs.
  5. Time is running out to get free Adventure Island pass with Busch Gardens Fun Card


    Busch Gardens has set a deadline of April 30 for its 2017 Fun Card deal that includes a free pass to the Adventure Island water park.

    At, you can buy a 2017 Fun Card, which allows unlimited admission to the Tampa theme park through Dec. 31, for $99 and get a free pass to the adjacent water park, open through October. The Fun Card doesn't include free parking and discounts on food and shopping that come with park's annual pass, which costs $168 for a full year from the date of purchase....

    Guests ride the Busch Gardens roller coaster Cobra's Curse when it opened in June 2016. The spin coaster is the only one of it's kind in the world featuring a 70-foot vertical lift and cars that free-spin during the second half of the three minute and thirty second ride. It has a maximum speed of 40 mph. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  6. Things To Do Planner: Alton Brown, Antiquarian Book Fair and SunLit Fest, Green Thumb Festival


    ALTON BROWN: Eat Your Science

    "I don't want to give too much away, but this time we're going to play a little game while we're at it," TV chef Alton Brown said of his new live show coming to Tampa's David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. "Plus, you'll see things I've never been allowed to do on TV." His live show specializes in audience interaction, so expect to be called on while he infuses his two-hour concoction with songs, comedy, puppets and potentially dangerous food demonstrations. 7:30 p.m. Friday. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $59.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.

    FOR FUTURE FILE USE A patron walks by the garden baskets at the Colorfield Farms booth Saturday at the Green Thumb Festival in St. Petersburg.
  7. 5 things to do under $5 April 20-26: Science talks, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Cotee River Seafest


    1Taste of Science: It's no coincidence that this series of talks in local watering holes is coming on the heels of the March for Science in Washington, D.C. (and a local march at Poynter Park, 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday). Scientists are pushing hard for more science literacy among laymen and you can hear some of the area's best researchers talk about their work. Monday through April 28, hear talks on climate science, cancer and the bioscience of beer at local coffee shops and pubs. Reserve a spot at $5....

    Admission to the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg will be free on April 24.
  8. It's the Easter elephant! Busch Gardens lays out edible eggs for enrichment (w/video)


    On Good Friday, the elephants at Busch Gardens in Tampa got into the Easter spirit with an enrichment exercise that can only be called adorable.

    Coconuts and brightly colored Easter eggs — made of edible mache and filled with fruit — were set out for the herd.

    The pachyderm egg hunt engages the elephants to help stimulate their minds, sense of smell and foraging ability, a Busch Gardens spokeswoman said....

    On Good Friday, the elephants at Busch Gardens in Tampa got into the Easter spirit with an enrichment exercise that can only be called adorable. Coconuts and brightly colored Easter eggs - made of edible mache and filled with fruit - were set out for the herd. [Busch Gardens]
  9. Mixing fitness with a fun social outing, Rugged Maniac obstacle race returns


    Forget trudging through a half-marathon or sprinting in a standard 5K on a path through a park, the Rugged Maniac coming to Dade City on April 22 will draw some 5,000 people to crawl through the mud, jump over a burning wood pile and careen down an 80-foot slide.

    The race, which has made a stop at the Little Everglades Ranch every year since 2011, has grown in popularity along with other nontraditional fitness events. And it doesn't hurt that billionaire Mark Cuban from the hit show Shark Tank has lent his support and his cash to a 5K that is embedded with more than two dozen obstacles....

    The most popular obstacle is the Accelerator, a steep water slide into a deep pool of water. It was recently redesigned and increased from a 50-foot drop to almost 80 feet, and lanes have been added so racers don’t plow into each other.
  10. Disgruntled Survivor contestant outs other player as transgender


    UPDATE: Comments added below today from Zeke Smith and leading LGBT rights group GLAAD

    Once again a shocking Tribal Council overshadowed the previous hour of fighting for pizza and Survivor players commiserating like Vietnam veterans.

    In one of the most out-of-bounds attacks the show has ever shown, Jeff Varner outed Zeke Smith as transgender on national television. "There's deception here," Varner said while under attack at Tribal Council. Then he looked to 29-year-old Smith, a two-time contestant of the CBS show, and said, "Why haven't you told anyone that you're transgender?"...

    "Survivor" contestant Zeke Smith was outed as transgender by fellow competitor Jeff Varner on Wednesday night's episode of the CBS reality competition.
  11. Plan your weekend April 14-16: Easter, Sugar Sand Festival, Kinky Boots, Sugarhill Gang at Storm game


    Plan your weekend



    Fun egg hunts: Sunday is Easter, and this year brings loads of spring celebrations and egg hunts, including a Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt at Lifepoint Church, 8702 Hunters Lake Drive, Tampa, at 5-7 p.m. Saturday. Bring a basket and search for more than 3,000 glowing eggs before enjoying free food and inflatables. For more Easter events and egg hunts see

    Kids hunt for eggs during an egg hunt at Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Fla. on Sunday, April 9, 2017.    CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  12. Things to Do Planner: Sugar Sand Festival, Easter egg hunts, Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium


    TRUE GRIT: Sugar Sand Festival

    Running over two weekends, the Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival returns with seven master sculptors who will create their own artistic piece around this year's "FantaSea," theme. Expect lots of fanciful ocean images carved with ordinary tools. You can see the sand sculptors in action and not worry if it rains because it's all contained in a 21,000-square-foot tent. Free entertainment includes concerts from 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, street performers roaming the area, free sand sculpting classes at 1 p.m. every day and a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Watch the pros compete in a Speed Sand Demonstration at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Adult and senior tickets include a complimentary photo. $10, $8 ages 55 and older, $6 ages 6-17, 5 and younger free, at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily from Friday through April 23. Skip the line by buying tickets in advance at

    Theresa Caputo, Long Island Medium, courtesy of Mills entertainment
  13. 5 things to do under $5: Faerie Festival in Gulfport, free ferry rides, Jackie Robinson Day, free movies in the park


    1Springfest Garden Art and Faerie Festival: One of the most charming festivals of the year is in Gulfport's Clymer Park, which will be inhabited by roaming costumed faeries, sprites, gnomes, ogres, trolls and Renaissance-era characters. There will be live music, carnival rides and a marketplace. Free. Costumes encouraged. Gulfport Boulevard 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

    2Jackie Robinson Day: See a screening of the locally produced documentary The First at the St. Petersburg Museum of History in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, who made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, ending baseball's color barrier. Museum doors will be open at 6 p.m. Friday for guests to view the Schrader's Little Cooperstown exhibit. $5 suggested donation. Film begins at 7 p.m. 335 Second Ave. NE....

    Passengers ride the Cross Bay Ferry, which will be free to ride, first come, first served, on Sunday. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  14. Did you lose something in the balls at the Beach Tampa? It might be found.



    Isabel Young was heartbroken when she lost her class ring in a sea of balls.

    The Blake High School senior had been frolicking in the pit at the Beach Tampa, the free interactive art exhibit at Amalie Arena that the Vinik Family Foundation paid to bring to Tampa last August. Somewhere in the mass of antimicrobial spheres, the ring had slipped off her finger. She rummaged frantically for it, but it was gone....

    The Beach Tampa featured 1.2 million antimicrobial plastic balls. The free interactive exhibit was paid for by the Vinik Family Foundation. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
  15. Plan your weekend April 7-9: Tampa Bay Blues Fest, Chillounge Night, Easter egg hunts


    Plan your weekend


    Tampa Bay Blues Festival: The festival returns Thursday through this weekend with Buddy Guy as the headliner Friday in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Saturday brings The Rides, a supergroup featuring Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg. And Tab Benoit closes out the festival Sunday. Tickets start at $45 per day Friday and Saturday, $35 Sunday and $110 for the weekend. VIP is $200 Friday, $250 Saturday, $150 Sunday and $450 for the weekend. ...

    Buddy Guy performs during the SiriusXM's Bluesville Blues Festival at SiriusXM Radio on November 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. [Getty Images]