Enjoy Food Festivals and Veterans Day Events This Weekend Across Tampa Bay


The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times entertainment and events reporter Sharon Wynne. To check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times, click here.

Veterans Day is Monday, but the weekend is full of barbecues, parades, and ceremonies. 

Heroes Weekend: Gulfport will get things started with a parade down Beach Boulevard followed by opening ceremonies and the eighth annual VETSports Beach Volleyball Gulfport Open for Heroes Weekend. The event is free at 11 a.m. on Sunday. 

Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI: This family-oriented kite event will feature kite flying, kite games, stunt kite lessons, demos, and all things that decorate the sky. With no formal competition, the event is geared to prep novice kite fliers of all ages. It's free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday behind the Thunderbird Resort.

The American Legion Post in Madeira Beach has what it calls the nation's only Veterans Day Boat Parade. It is at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Viewing areas include the John's Pass boardwalk, ROC Park at 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach, the American Legion Post, and the Elks Lodge.

There's a full list of Veterans Day deals and events here.


Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading: More than 50 authors will be at this year's festival, including Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot and R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame. Check it out for free from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Heart Walk: More than 30,000 community members will attend the walk around Raymond James Stadium for this free, family (and dog)-friendly celebration of health, wellness, and honoring those touched by heart disease and stroke. To date, the Heart Walk has raised millions to fund life-changing science, community programs, health education, and advocacy efforts, both globally and right here in Tampa Bay.Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday; 5K walk starts at 9 a.m. and includes a one-mile option. 

TAMPA AM: One of the best annual skateboarding events in the country brings top-ranked amateurs to the SkatePark of Tampa for competition but also open bowl jams, parties, and music all weekend. Friday features 150 skaters competing in three skater jams with the top 10 advancing. Friday night features an open bar with a screening of the Rage Club video and music by DJ Top Gun. Saturday features 100 skaters skating in two jams with the top 30 advancing. Saturday night, celebrate the Skatepark of Tampa with an anniversary party and a concrete jam. The street semifinals and finals are Sunday, with an open bar, awards, and a contest after-party. Tickets are from $10-$80 at the SkatePark of Tampa.


Elvis Costello: Brainy, erudite, and full of good tunes, Elvis Costello is always fun to see, no matter who he's playing with. Throw the Imposters behind him, though, and you know you're in for a good time. The band, featuring former Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, brought out Costello's bright side on last year's smooth, throwbacky Look Now, which featured collaborations with Burt Bacharach and Carole King. Tickets are $55 and up at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theatre.

40th anniversary of the Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight: The first big hit rap song ushered in the age of hip-hop, eventually transforming pop music as we know it. While Big Bank Hank is no longer with us, Wonder Mike and Master Gee are still bangin' the boogie to the boogie as they celebrate this seminal anniversary in music. Joining them on this tour are two members of Grandmaster Flash's Furious Five, Melle Mel, and Scorpio. If you want to see the Grandmaster himself, you'll have to wait until February, when he spins at Largo's Central Park Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 and up at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Jannus Live.

AJR:  The sibling pop-rock trio behind Weak and Sober Up will headline an arena show, lively, behatted singer Jack Met will make it worth your while. Flora Cash opens, and tickets start at $32.50. See it at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Yuengling Center.

Florida Orchestra: The days of tripping out in your local planetarium may be long gone, but you might feel some similar vibes at this weekend's Florida Orchestra's Masterworks program. The orchestra is bringing in Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre to conduct his immersive Deep Field, with Hubble Telescope graphics projected on the big screen and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay singing in the aisles. Whitacre will also conduct his Lux Aurumque and Equus, along with Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Copland's Quiet City. Far out, man. $18 and up at 8 p.m. on Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.


Adult Swim darling Eric Andre brings his Legalize Everything tour to Tampa Theatre. Grab tickets from $35-$49.50, and see the show at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Jerry Maguire actor, comedian, and sports radio host Jay Mohr goes back to his stand-up roots at Side Splitters. Show are Friday at 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. on Saturday. 


Brat Blast: The much-loved Ribfest is gone, the victim of ballooning costs and too much competition from other festivals. So St. Petersburg's Northeast Exchange Club's inaugural Brat Blast has downsized in order to get back to the business of raising money for charity. The event will benefit Habitat for Humanity to complete home repairs for a local veteran's family. Admission gets you a brat, a beer, and chips, with games and a live band starting at 2 p.m. $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Noon-6 p.m. Sunday at 3 Daughters Brewing.

Creative Clay Fest: Formerly known as Folkfest St. Pete, the Creative Clay Fest celebrates original art and live music to support the artistic work of people with disabilities. Music is all day on two stages, one under the overpass on First Avenue S and another inside the Hideaway Cafe, with the Sh-Booms, Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets, Ella Jet and Future Soul and others. More than two dozen artists will show their work on-site, including "Missionary" Mary Proctor, who founded the American Folk Art Museum and Gallery in Tallahassee. Her paintings, collages, and assemblages have been included in more than 40 group shows, including at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum, the Smithsonian's Center for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. There will be a family area with art activities, face painting, magician Cory Van Valin, and a food court. Free, though a suggested donation of $5 helps Creative Clay keep its programs running. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Vintage Motor Classic:  Check out the car show that features classes for all makes and models organized by domestic, European, British, and exotics. Benefits Autism Speaks. Free for spectators from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at South Straub Park (next to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club).

King of the Beach Festival: The annual fishing tournament, festival, and weigh-in. Saturday only includes live music, food vendors, a boat showcase, kids play area, and vendors. Free. 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday at ROC Park on Madeira Beach.


Boom, just like that, it's time to start your holiday shopping. These events will help.

Junior League Holiday Gift Market is a big one, with more than 200 merchants sell clothing, jewelry, food, art, and children's items. The market benefits the Junior League of Tampa at costs $10 for admission. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Friday and Sunday. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

 Home and Holiday Show: If home renovations are on your holiday wish list, check out the Home and HolidayShow at the Tampa Convention Center. It's one-stop shopping for all your home and holiday needs, along with a wine tasting, art exhibit, and pet adoption. Tickets range from $5-$12. Get there at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Unclaimed Clothing Sale: Finders keepers! Load up on designer label business suits, dresses, men's dress shirts, sweaters, blouses, ties, trousers, linens, and bedspreads at Sun Country Cleaners' Unclaimed Clothing Sale. Thousands of freshly cleaned items will be on sale for $5 per item for this popular PARC fundraiser that runs from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Christ Lutheran Church.


Fiddler On The Roof: Part of the Straz Broadway series brings one of the longest-running Broadway musicals but with all new choreography. The show includes favorites such as Sunrise, Sunset, and If I Were a Rich Man. Tickets are $48 and up. 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Shakespeare in the City: This is the sixth season for this series of Shakespearean productions in the park. This year, the Studio@620 presents The Taming of the Shrew, which runs today through Nov. 17. 7:30 p.m. at Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg.


Tampa Bay Veg Fest: Dig into cooking demonstrations, speakers, the new vegan barbecue cook-off, and eco-friendly vendors at Tampa Bay Veg Fest. On top of meatless munchies, the 10th annual plant-based party spotlights nonprofit exhibits, a children's zone, live music, and animal adoptions. Free, food, and drink additional. It runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday at Perry Harvey Sr. Park.

Chowder Challenge: Now in its sixth year, the kid-friendly Chowder Challenge pits area chefs against each other as they try to whip up the best chowder, soup or stew for the crowd to sample. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Nonfood draws: raffles, live music, a silent auction, and face painting. Celebrity judges crown the winner of the coveted "Golden Ladle," while spectators declare the People's Choice. This event benefits the Pass-a-Grille Woman's Club, and tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of. It runs from 1-5 p.m on Sunday at Horan Park.

Florida Ferment Fest: Workshops on a variety of fermentation subjects drive the third annual Florida Ferment Fest. Food producers and microbe enthusiasts throughout the state lead the in-depth educational classes at a few St. Petersburg venues. Topics include fermenting honey, composting 101, and home brewing beer. But the amazake and shio koji workshop from master fermenters Kirsten and Christopher Shockey of FermentWorks, who are set to show you how to ferment grains, beans, and other eats with koji enzymes, just might be the most exciting. (If you can't make the festival, the New York Times bestselling authors will teach a $75 master koji class at 10 a.m. Saturday in the St. Pete Ferments kitchen, 4922 Eighth Ave. S, Gulfport.) Started by St. Pete Ferments founder Sarah Arrazola and Jackie Vitale of Sunshine + Microbes, Florida Ferment Fest also offers — for the first time — its main events for free in the courtyard of the Grand Central District's Black Crow Coffee. The all-day fun consists of a fermentation competition and help desk, demonstrations, a culture share, an artisan market, and a pickle mob. Arrazola elaborated on the pickle mob in an email to the Tampa Bay Times: "Participants can take home, ferment, and enjoy their very own fermented creation using locally grown produce." There's a donation-based beer garden, too, where you can taste suds from local breweries. The fest is free, but the workshops cost $25. It runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday at Black Crow Coffee.

Tampa Greek Festival: Around for more than three decades, the Tampa Greek Festival returns with three days of Mediterranean-style food, dancing, music, and shopping. Pair pastries with spirits at the Grand Hall's Opa! Party Tent. Or peruse the market to find a variety of treasures. The bash features an area for kids, too. Tickets are $2, but free for 11 and younger and military and family with ID. The festival runs all weekend long at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church.


Kiddies Carnival & Caribbean Food Fest: Think of Carnivale with its flashy headdresses and colorful costumes, but this is a G-rated version of that. From the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Association of Tampa, this celebration of Caribbean culture will have music, food, dance battle, entertainment, art, and a traditional costume parade. The event benefits Shriners Children Hospital and the Kiddies Carnival and takes place at the University Area Community Development Center.

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