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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

Email: wynne@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SharonKWn

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  1. Things to Do Planner: Tampa Pro skateboard contest, Nude Nite, Carl Hiaasen

    Events

     

    BIG WHEELS:

     

    Tampa Pro

     

    The best skateboarders in the world will be making their way to the Skatepark of Tampa this weekend for Tampa Pro, one of skateboarding's most respected contests, now in its 23rd year. The sweaty skate park will be jam-packed with skateboarding fans (rapper Lil Wayne has been known to show up) looking for some of the same skaters who will compete in the X Games and other high-profile contests. The winner of Tampa Pro will take home a $20,000 prize and a coveted spot in the Street League Skateboarding Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. The stakes are high. Spectator admission is $10-$15 and there are after-parties each night, as well as art shows, concerts, video premieres and the epic Converse Concrete Jam, a notorious best-trick contest at 7 p.m. Saturday in the outdoor park. Begins Thursday. skateparkoftampa.com/tampapro....

    Body painter Cat Camp of Lutz paints model Robert Westfield’s shoulder during Nude Nite in Ybor City in 2013.
  2. How the Strawberry Festival used shrewd Southern charm to become Florida's second-largest fair

    Events

    With no booze, tobacco or other vices, the Florida Strawberry Festival may be a quaint piece of Americana. But it's also the second-most attended fair in the state, outpacing the Florida State Fair and bigger metropolitan festivals.

    A combination of hot music acts and theme-park style customer service training drew a record 560,387 visitors to the festival in 2016, with double-digit sales increases for the festival midway, according to carnivalwarehouse.com, an industry web site that ranks fairs nationwide....

    Plant City, which bills itself as the winter strawberry capital of the world, has been holding the Florida Strawberry Festival since 1930. [
JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times (2012)]
  3. 5 things to do under $5: Victorian picnic, Gasparilla victory party, streetcar concert

    Events

    1Picnic in the Park: The annual Victorian-themed gathering in Tampa's Plant Park invites families to step back in time and enjoy some free old-fashioned diversions. Play croquet or badminton and table games including dominoes, checkers, jacks or tiddlywinks. There will be strolling models in vintage clothing, art activities and entertainment including a barbershop quartet. Bring a picnic or food trucks will be on site. You'll find free ice cream and popcorn, too. Free 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, $1 admission to the Plant Museum from noon to 5 p.m. The park is at 401 W Kennedy Blvd., on the west bank of the Hillsborough River....

    The Annual Picnic in the Park on the front lawn of the Henry B. Plant Museum features Victorian games, people in vintage clothing, live theater and entertainment.
  4. Florida Strawberry Festival guide: Schedule, ticket deals, food highlights, concerts and more

    Events

    The Florida Strawberry Festival, founded in 1930, keeps its old-fashioned charm with an 80-ride midway, contests, agriculture exhibits and of course, strawberries in every form. There's no alcohol and festival organizers pride themselves on family-friendly, even corny, diversions and contests. The formula must work because the Plant City festival remains the second-largest in the state, just behind the Miami-Dade County Fair, and drew a record 560,387 visitors in 2016. Here are some basics if you head to this year's Florida Strawberry Festival:...

    The Blues Brothers will perform at the Florida Strawberry Festival. [Times Files]
  5. MOSI brings back pay for a day ticket deal starting Saturday

    Events

    Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry is bringing back its pay for a day ticket deal starting Saturday, giving guests free admission for the rest of the year with one admission ticket.

    You can score a Discovery Passport starting Saturday for the price of regular general admission, $26.95 for adults, $25.95 for seniors, and $20.95 for children 3-12. That gets you access to more than 400 hands-on activities and films in the Imax Dome Theatre with no blackout dates through Dec. 31....

    Finnegan Dunn and Gracen Cole play in a "glowing rocks" tunnel exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa in 2015. [LOREN ELLIOT   |   Times (2015)]
  6. Plan your weekend Feb. 24-26: Gasparilla Distance Classic, Mardi Gras pops, dinos at the zoo

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Road runners

    Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa's best-known road races floods Bayshore Boulevard with runners this weekend for the Gasparilla Distance Classic. The race attracts elite runners and first-timers alike for the lovely route that the 15K takes from downtown Tampa, out just across Gandy Boulevard and back again alongside the mansions and water views of Bayshore Boulevard. The 5K and 15K are Saturday starting at 6:45 a.m., and Sunday features an 8K and a half-marathon. $40-$105. tampabayrun.com....

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  TV personality Steve-O attends the 10th annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert at Club Nokia on May 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  7. 5 things to do under $5: Florida Orchestra, Black Arts Festival, Peter Max and Fiesta Day

    Events

    1Florida Orchestra Family Concerts: This family-friendly "pay what you can" show brings husband-and-wife musicians Anna Kate Mackle, principal harp for the Florida Orchestra, and John Shaw, principal percussion, who will demonstrate their instruments and play together. Arrive early for art activities and the instrument petting zoo. Concerts are at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the HCC Ybor Campus Performing Arts Building, 1304 E 11th Ave., Tampa. (727) 892-3337....

     John Shaw, principal percussionist and his wife, Anna Kate Mackie, principal harpist, both of the Florida Orchestra, pose at home in St. Petersburg.
  8. Things to Do Planner: Dinos Alive at the zoo, Gasparilla Distance Classic

    Events

    RETRO REPTILES: Dinos Alive at the zoo

    On Saturday, Lowry Park Zoo opens a limited-time, outdoor exhibit called Dinos Alive that features towering dinosaurs that move, blink and roar. Open daily through August, the prehistoric park will also have activity areas with a Fossil Fun dig site, a new live show called "Dinos Among Us" and special food and drinks at the recently renovated Dino Grille. Included with admission, $32.95, $24.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. lowryparkzoo.org....

    Runners await the start of the 5K race during the Gasparilla Distance Classic on Feb. 20, 2016, in downtown Tampa.
  9. Here's where to let the good times roll for Mardi Gras

    Events

    Just about every party this month gets called Mardi Gras, but next week brings the actual Fat Tuesday celebration of Carnival that is supposed to be your one last hurrah before Lent. If you can't make it to New Orleans, there are plenty of Cajun-flavored goodies to "laissez les bon temps rouler" (let the good times roll).

    The Dunedin Mardi Gras parade comes the closest to replicating the Big Easy on Tuesday with music in Pioneer Park at 1 p.m. that continues till the parade steps off at 7 p.m. with more than 50 colorful floats tossing beads to the crowd. dunedinmardigras.com....

     Bryana Armstrong and friend Chelsea Castleberry scream to get the attention of bead tossers during Dunedin's Mardi Gras parade in 2012.  [Luis Santana | TIMES]
  10. Here's how you can get tickets to see Jimmy Fallon at Universal Orlando

    The Feed

    Heads up, Jimmy Fallon fans: You can get on the waiting list this week for April tickets to Tonight Show tapings in Orlando, where the host is getting his own theme park ride.

    Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon opens April 6 in Universal Studios in Orlando, and Fallon will be taping at the theme park April 3-6.

    The wait list will open at 11:30 a.m. Friday at tbtim.es/fallon....

    The Tonight Show will be taped at Universal Studios April 3-6. The waitlist for tickets opens Friday at 11:30 a.m.
  11. Plan your weekend Feb. 17-19: Renaissance Festival, Florida State Fair, Beer, Bourbon and BBQ

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Olde school

    Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Huzzah! The time is anon for the return of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival this weekend through April 2. The field next to MOSI in Tampa will become a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. It kicks off with a Scottish twist this weekend. General admission at the gate: $20.95 adults; $12.95 ages 5-12; $16.95 seniors/students. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 4801 E Fowler Ave. bayarearenfest.com....

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Author and creator Michael Connelly attends Amazon Red Carpet Premiere Screening For Season Two Of Original Drama Series, 'Bosch' on March 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
  12. Disney's Rivers of Light show opening Friday after long delays

    Florida

    After months of technical delays, Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom on Friday will finally turn on the lights for its new nighttime show, Rivers of Light.

    The complex production, on the water in front of a new stadium, features live performers and music, floating lanterns, lasers and special lights, with images projected against a mist.

    It was supposed to debut in April 2016 on Earth Day, but was tripped up by unspecified technical issues. When it still hadn't opened by Memorial Day, Disney rolled out a show called "The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic" that received mediocre reviews and closed Sept. 5....

    The production features live performers and music, floating lanterns, lasers and special lights, with images projected against a mist.
  13. 5 things to do under $5: Mutt Derby returns, '80s parties, Quiet Riot at Motorcycle Expo

    Events

    1 Mutt Derby: Back after a 20-year hiatus, the hilarious day of non-greyhound racing on the Derby Lane track opens at noon Sunday. It's free for spectators to watch pets line up by weight division to race (many choose to run the wrong way). If you want to enter your mutt, registration begins at 11 a.m. Bring proof of vaccinations and $25. There will be other pet-friendly activities and vendors on site. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound Pets of America. 10490 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 432-2514....

    The Mutt Derby at Derby Lane is back after a 20-year hiatus.
  14. Classic music superstar André Rieu coming to Tampa

    Blog

    Classic music superstar André Rieu is coming to Tampa's Amalie Arena on Nov. 1. Tickets go on sale Friday ("Just in time for Valentine’s Day," Amalie helpfully suggests) for the "King of Romance."

    A rock star of the classical set, he opened Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars playing My Heart Will Go On with his precious Stradivarius violin from 1732. Rieu has sold 40 million CDs and DVDs and notched 30 No. 1 chart positions worldwide....

  15. Plan your weekend Feb 9-12: Knight Parade in Ybor, State Fair, S'mores and Zombies, ArtWalk

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Parade

    Sant' Yago Illuminated Knight Parade: Saturday brings the annual nighttime Sant' Yago Illuminated Knight Parade in Ybor City, and this year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Glazer Family Foundation are the grand marshals. The parade starts at Seventh Avenue and Nuccio at 7 p.m. It's free but you can get $25 bleacher seats at kreweofsantyago.com....

    Will Vragovic, tbt*