Basketball, Blue Angels & Bullstock Highlight Tampa Bay Area Weekend Events


The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times entertainment and events reporter Sharon Wynne. Click Here to check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.

2019 NCAA Women's Final Four

March Madness comes to Tampa when the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four tips off at Amalie Arena. Games are Friday at 7 p.m. (Baylor Bears vs. Oregon Ducks) and 9:30 p.m. (Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. UConn Huskies) The title game is at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Some Final Four events to check out this weekend:

  • Tourney Town in the Tampa Convention Center and at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is a free fan festival Friday through Sunday that includes special appearances, autograph signings, interactive games and more.
  • Free concert Saturday by pop artist Gavin DeGraw in Curtis Hixon Park. The live music will be capped off by fireworks. Things get started at 5:30 p.m.
  • On Sunday, kids are invited to join the Final Four Bounce, a nonstop dribble parade along the Riverwalk and into Tourney Town. Includes a basketball and a T-shirt. Starts at 1 p.m. (registration required

Air & Water Events

  • Sun ‘n Fun Fly In: The lauded air show is running now through Sunday in Lakeland with the Navy’s Blue Angels performing maneuvers in daily shows. Find vintage warbirds, loads of planes and the event’s first drone light show. $38 daily, $18 age 7-17.
  • 1,000 Lights Water Lantern Festival: This could make for a beautiful photo. Scores of bamboo and rice paper lanterns will be set afloat at Madeira Beach’s ROC Park. It’s a fairly well-known festival that is based on Eastern water lantern festivals and travels from city to city. Organizers hope it’s more than an Instagram moment, but a chance to make a spiritual connection. Set a lantern off in remembrance of a loved one, or send it out as a wish in hope of new beginnings. The gates open at 5:30 p.m Saturday. $29, $13 age 10-13.


  • Mike Epps: Rare is the stand-up comic who can headline an arena. Even rarer is the comic who can do it twice in one night. Such is the case with Mike Epps, who just added a late show to his night at the Yuengling Center on Saturday at 8 and 11:30 p.m. He'll be joined by a monster lineup that includes Sommore, Earthquake, Rickey Smiley, Lavell Crawford and DC Young Fly. $52 and up. (813) 974-3004.
  • Oddballs: Tape Face, the New Zealand street performer who made a splash on America’s Got Talent in 2016. Often performing with his mouth taped up, he’s something of a modern clown, juggling and mugging and getting a reaction out of his audience without saying a word. Sunday at Capitol Theatre ($28.50). 


  • Pop-rock star John Waite returns to the Capitol on Friday ($35-$65). Best known for 1984's Missing You with singer-songwriter John Parr (St Elmo’s Fire’s Man In Motion) in a unique electric-acoustic format. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, Clearwater.
  • Christian rock superstar Chris Tomlin plays two shows at the Yuengling Center at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday ($29).
  • The Florida Orchestra: Pops Trumpeter Byron Stripling returns for Ragtime, Blues and All That Jazz, performing numbers from Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong with the orchestra Friday at the Straz, Saturday at the Mahaffey and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $18-$48.
  • Bullstock: Time to sport your finest green and gold for the University of South Florida’s annual FREE Bullstock concert, which also includes a carnival. The indie-pop concert lineup includes 3OH!3 (My First Kiss), an American hip hop and electronica band from Boulder, Colorado. Also Lovelytheband (Broken) and Timeflies (All the Way). 6-11 p.m. Friday on the Tampa campus and free to all, student or not.
  • Free concert Saturday by pop artist Gavin DeGraw in Curtis Hixon Park for NCAA Women's Final Four.
  • Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival is coated in ‘90s nostalgia this week with the Weiland and Bennington-free Stone Temple Pilots at 7 p.m. Saturday, and Prime Country powerhouse Joe Diffie joining Josh Turner at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. It’s not too hot outside yet for flannel, is it? Be advised: There are several blackout dates in place for fun card and select annual pass members this spring, including Saturday.

For The Kids

  • Chasco Fiesta: The annual festival and carnival midway heads into its last weekend around Sims Park and throughout New Port Richey with its midway still going, as well as a Native American Festival from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. The Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday in Millers Bayou along the Pithlachascotee River, finishing at Sims Park. More than 50 boats are expected to participate. That’s all free. The big-ticket event this year is a concert by pop rocker Eddie Money, who performs Saturday with the Greg Billings Band opening at 7 p.m. $30-$55. (727) 300-5540.
  • Wow in the World Live: NPR’s thought-provoking children’s podcast brings a live version to Tampa Theatre on Saturday with hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas. It has humor-heavy narrative around the latest stories from scientific journals. Recent episode titles (the Karate Kickin’ Cockroach, Two-Headed Space Worms and the Zen of Video Games) show they aim for stories that spark listeners’ sense of wonder and some belly-laughs. 1 p.m. Saturday at Tampa Theater $20-$35. (813) 274-8286.
  • Florida Orchestra Family Concert: Admission is just $2 for this concert Saturday to celebrate Henry Plant’s 200th birthday. Explore the sounds and history of each member of the brass family at the kid-sized chamber concert to introduce kids 6 to 10 to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra. Performances at 10 and 11:15 a.m. last about 35 minutes. Come early for the instrument “petting zoo.” Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (727) 892-3331.
  • Playing Unplugged: Largo Central Park is going all out to get kids to put down the electronics on Saturday. They can sit in large trucks and honk horns in the Touch-A-Truck vehicles. There will also be a ropes course, obstacle course, Nerf battle, tree and rock climbing and hands-on games to promote the importance of open play. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. Free.


  • Southeast Street Rod Nationals: Gearheads, rejoice! This marks the 32nd year for this gathering of hot rods and vintage machines of nearly every make, model and style. More than 1,400 vehicles are expected, including pickups, muscle cars and who-knows-what-else. There will also be a swap meet, model car show and Women’s World exhibitors. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $19, $17 seniors, military, $10 children 6-12, 5 and younger free. Parking is $8 per car.
  • Florida State League Baseball: It’s opening-night baseball for the Clearwater Threshers on Friday as they face the Dunedin Blue Jays. Stay after the game for fireworks and a concert by the Black Honkeys. 5:30 p.m. Friday. Spectrum Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. $6-$10. (727) 467-4457.


GREAT SCOTS: Highland Games and Festival

Get out the plaid and your kilt and other Scottish garbe. Dunedin has a license to kilt as more than 1,000 competitors turn up for the 53rd annual Highland Games and Festival honoring Scottish traditions such as heavy athletics, pipe band competitions and dancing. Burly competitors will toss the clachneart, better known as the “stone of strength,” a 17-pound stone hurled for distance. You’ll also find Scottish bagpiping, drumming, dancing, sheepdog herding demonstrations, kids’ activities and Scottish wares. Kick things off Friday by watching a free Pipe Band March through downtown Dunedin along Main Street before ending in Pioneer Park. The games are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road. $15, 12 and younger free. (727) 812-4530.

PM Tampa Bay with Ryan Gorman


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