Plan your weekend
St. Patrick's Day: The green beer will be flowing on Friday, and then more so on Saturday when the Hillsborough River will be dyed a deep shade of emerald for a day-long celebration in Curtis Hixon Park. Then at night the Rough Riders St. Patrick's Night Parade brings krewes from across Florida to roll down Seventh Avenue with beads, floats and more from 6-9 p.m. Free. tamparoughriders.wixsite.com. We have loads of events parties and parades running through the weekend that you can find at tampabay.com/holiday.
Dinner and show
Busch Gardens Food & Festival: Jason Isbell and John Hiatt: When you think duck tacos, chardonnay and roller coasters, you definitely think gut-wrenching lyrics about addiction, redemption and the tapestry of the American experience. So of course Busch Gardens booked Jason Isbell and John Hiatt for its Food and Wine Festival on Sunday. The former is a Grammy-winning alt-country bard who's in the conversation for America's current best songwriter; the latter is one of his heroes. Hiatt will perform as part of a trio, but we're betting the two of them end up on stage together for a couple of numbers. Let's go ahead and call this the best weekend of music Busch Gardens will offer all year, as vivacious California alt-rockers Young the Giant headline Saturday. Concerts are free with park admission (reserved seating is $24.95 and up) and start at 7 p.m. buschgardens.com.
Once: The winner of eight Tony Awards tells the tale of a Dublin street musician whose career skyrockets from the spark of a new romance. It includes the Oscar-winning song Falling Slowly. Shows are 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$100. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Saturday Night Fever — the Musical: Based on the 1977 movie, the new tour for Saturday Night Fever follows dancing heartthrob Tony as he escapes his troubles by spending weekends at the local disco. With favorite Bee Gees songs from the movie such as Night Fever, Stayin' Alive and Jive Talkin', the show should have you should be dancing by the end. 8 p.m. Friday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $49.50-$69.50. (727) 893-7832. mahaffeytheater.com.
Take the kids
Bolts Family Carnival: Amalie Arena serves as a big top for the third annual Bolts Family Carnival, a hockey celebration with games, meet and greets with Tampa Bay Lightning players, special photo opportunities, challenges with players, mystery bag sales, locker room tours, a NHL skills contest and ice science classes. Admission is $40, $20 children, and it benefits the Lightning Foundation. The carnival runs 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.
Rock the park
Pinellas Park's Chili Blaze: It's the biggest weekend of the year for Pinellas Park's England Brothers Bandshell Park, with a popular chili cook-off and a free concert from country legend Ricky Skaggs. The Pinellas Park firefighters' annual Chili Blaze will set mouths on fire for the cook-off with live entertainment, arts and craft show, children's activities and fireworks at the end of the day. It's free, with a $10 tasting ticket that benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday. Saturday brings Country in the Park, the city of Pinellas Park's annual festival and trade show. The headline event is a concert by Skaggs at 8 p.m. The 14-time Grammy winner dominated the country charts in the '80s so thoroughly that producer Chet Atkins credited Skaggs with "single-handedly" saving country music. There will also be local performers, an arts and crafts show, car show, tree and plant show, zip line, mechanical bull rides, food vendors and carnival rides. No coolers allowed. The festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park.
Sinbad: Sinbad made fashion and movie duds over the years, but he occupies the No. 78 spot on Comedy Central's list of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time. He had a hard fall after the '90s, when his goofy humor made critics recoil. But Sinbad has a sense of humor about it, once playing himself in a rehab center in an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. 8 p.m. Saturday. $35-$82. Capitol Theatre. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.
Young Eagles Flight Rally: Kids 8 to 17 can explore the world of aviation and get a free plane ride when volunteer pilots take children on a 15-minute flight. Each young "pilot" gets one-on-one time with actual pilots to learn how airplanes work and how safety comes first. Get there early since slots are first-come, first-served. Weather will be monitored; check eaa282.org for possible cancelation. Free. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Clearwater Airpark, 1000 N Hercules Ave., Clearwater. (813) 765-2204.
Tip your hat: Mad Hatter's Masquerade: ARTpool knows how to throw an art party, and they say that the Mad Hatter's Masquerade Ball is the fanciest of the year. The event Saturday in St. Petersburg has a lot going on: an art show, video art presentation, body art and a fashion show featuring unique hats, masks and custom couture from local designers. Don't expect to see some ordinary fedoras going down the runway; it's much more Eyes Wide Shut with a Venetian, dark fantasy theme. Guests are encouraged to dress up, as there will be a costume contest. All attendees must wear a hat or a mask to get in. The party runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. $15, $25 VIP. artpoolgallery.com.
On the menu: On Friday the Henry Plant Museum debuts a new exhibit called Menus: An Epicurean Experience, which runs through Dec. 23. Using original menus as a starting point to explore fine dining at the Tampa Bay Hotel from 1891 to 1932, these rarely exhibited menus draw visitors into the conversation of Victorian food, the source of food, its preparation, etiquette, fashion and utensils that blend together to create the Victorian epicurean experience. The exhibit displays original artifacts, including menus, photos, clothing, and utensils from the Tampa Bay Hotel, other Florida hotels and private collections. On Friday at 7 p.m. there will be a free lecture by Patrick Dunne, proprietor of Lucullus antiques in New Orleans and author of The Epicurean Collector. Entrance to the exhibit is included with admission to the museum; $10 adults. 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 254-1891.
Florida Björkestra: Yeah, yeah, we know what you're thinking: Another David Bowie tribute? We've seen a lot of those since Ziggy Stardust returned to Mars in 2016. But St. Petersburg hasn't quite seen a Bowie tribute like the one coming from the Florida Björkestra, an ever-evolving tribute project led by pianist Jeremy Douglass. Like past tributes to Radiohead, Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Peter Gabriel, this one will feature up to 18 musicians playing a selection of Bowie hits and deep cuts, with singer Colleen Cherry on lead vocals. The group will also play a set by its namesake, Björk, played by Jamie Perlow. After two straight sold-out gigs at the Palladium's Side Door Cabaret, the Björkestra moves into the venue's 850-seat Hough Hall for its biggest event yet. 6 p.m. Sunday. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.
For more on the Florida Björkestra's unlikely success in St. Petersburg, head to tampabay.com/thingstodo.
Contact Sharon Wynne at [email protected]