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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: swynne@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SharonKWn

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  1. Dia de los Muertos celebration in Dunedin canceled this year by hurricane

    Events

    Chalk up one more closure to Hurricane Irma: The huge Dia de los Muertos Fiesta originally planned for Saturday in Dunedin has been scrapped for what would have been its 25th year.

    Tina Avila, the co-owner of the funky Dunedin restaurant Casa Tina that has hosted the Mexican heritage celebration since 1992, said it was a "heart-breaking" decision. But when Hurricane Irma ripped through Dunedin on Sept. 10, many of the giant puppets used in the annual Day of the Dead parade were damaged, as was the storage area the restaurant uses to store its many folk artifacts. The restaurant was closed for a week and then, Avila said, she didn't have the heart to ask the hundreds of volunteers typically needed for their time. ...

    At last year’s Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her “Ofrenda,” or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)
  2. Plan your weekend: Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, MarineQuest, Florida Orchestra pops in the park, rodeo

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Concerts

    Music weekend: Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and Bruno Mars all in one weekend? We have a playlist of a weekend coming up. Thursday brings Bruno's sold-out 24K Magic World Tour to Amalie Arena. The next day brings the country power couple's Soul2Soul Tour at 7:30 p.m. Friday, also at Amalie ($69.50). And all weekend long Clearwater's Coachman Park will be rocking with a variety of acts that expand the jazz roots of this annual music festival. The lineup includes Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox and the Avett Brothers. Daily tickets are $16-$25; kids under 12 are free. Weekend and four-day passes are available. clearwaterjazz.com....

    Bill Clark and Danelle Dasouqi admire the chalk art on the side walk during the final day of the three day Chalk Art Festival in Clearwater Beach. JIM REED/STAFF
  3. Authors R.L. Stine, Neil DeGrasse Tyson coming to Tampa Bay this week

    Events

    AUTHORS: Neil deGrasse Tyson, R. L. Stine, Finn Murphy

    This is a good week for pop culture bookworms. America's favorite scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Goosebumps author R. L. Stine and long haul trucker Finn Murphy are giving talks around Tampa Bay. Here's the Cliff's Notes:

    • In a talk titled An Astrophysicist Reads the Newspaper, Neil deGrasse Tyson returns to Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts Thursday to explore all the funny, illuminating and alarming reports he has picked up about current events. "I rarely ever read anything on paper," People magazine's Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive told the Times. "It's all Internet, and it's mostly whatever comes to me. I constantly have people sending me links. … I have a duty and obligation to be fluent in all the science that is triggering public interest." Click here to read the full interview. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $75 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org. ...

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12:  Author R.L. Stine attends “Goosebumps” New York premiere at AMC Empire 25 theater on October 12, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
  4. 5 things to do under $5: Wiener dog racing, Streetcar Festival, Clearwater chalk art, postcard show

    Events

    1Wienerfest: They had us at wiener dog racing. This day devoted to dachshunds features racing, a dog costume contest, food trucks, photo booth and raffles at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Saturday. Leashed dogs of all breeds welcome. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Free admission. (407) 463-1786.

    2Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Oktoberfest: More wiener dog racing! The celebration at Tampa Bay Downs added wiener dog racing and a Volkswagen show to the Oktoberfest party that includes a giant Munich-style tent, German music, dancing, food, a midway carnival and competitions including stein holding, log sawing, barrel rolling and keg tossing. 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. $5, 12 and younger/veterans free. (813) 855-4233. ...

    Dachshunds racing in a field.
iStock photo
  5. Plan your weekend Oct. 13-15: Oktoberfest, Florida Georgia Line and Nelly, free shows at Tampa Theatre, Florida Orchestra pops

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Prost

    Oktoberfest: It's time to hoist a stein and yell, "Prost!" (cheers) for Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay. Tampa's competition-heavy party this weekend in Curtis Hixon Park expects some 10,000 people for the largest Oktoberfest gathering in the area. There will be a giant beer garden set up and tons of competitions and interactive games, such as stein hoisting and the Carry the Wench race. $10, $25 weekend; 12 and younger free. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 397-8722. oktoberfesttampa.com....

    TP_361086_WALL_Oktoberfest_4 (10/13/2012  Tampa) Game host Erik Cattelle (CQ) demonstrates how to hold a stein for the beer stein holding competition portion of the Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday. Between brews, visitors can play in Oktoberfest Games, like stein holding, carry the wench, cornhole, tug-of-war and others. The event continues Sunday from 11-6, admission starts at $10. [DANIEL WALLACE, Times]
  6. Top things to do this week: Shopkins Live, Florida Birding and Nature Fest, authors Lisa Under, Rhonda Shear, Friday the 13th

    Events

    AUTHOR TALKS:Lisa Unger, Rhonda Shear

    Two Tampa Bay residents who also have bestselling books will be giving talks this weekend. New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger will talk about her inventive character-driven thrillers in a fundraiser for Tampa library programming at noon Friday at the University Club, 1 Tampa City Center, 38th floor, Tampa. To reserve your seat, go to foltampa.org/events. $40 includes lunch. ...

    Clearwater author Lisa Unger.
  7. Busch Gardens offers free admission to first responders, family discounts

    Florida

    Busch Gardens is giving first responders free admission through Nov. 24, with discounted tickets for their friends and family.

    "A first responder's mission is to selflessly protect us each day, and this special offer is a small way to show our appreciation of their dedication to the communities they call home," said Stewart Clark, president and general manager of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay....

    Busch Gardens new ride Cobra's Curse ride.
Times files
  8. 5 things to do under $5: Nacho concert, free movies at Capitol, Tampa Theatre

    Events

    1Nacho: Venezuelan singer Nacho is performing at the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Clearwater on Sunday, but he's also playing a free show at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 18 courtesy of Pandora. Karol G will open. All you have to do is RSVP at spectrumpresents.splashthat.com. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa....

    Actor Sterling Hayden in a scene with Peter Sellers, left,  in the film "Dr. Strangelove." 	
AP
  9. It's time to hoist a stein for Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay

    Events

    Even though the official Oktoberfest celebration in Germany wrapped up already, that doesn't stop parties around the globe from mimicking the celebration, including loads of Bavarian-flavored parties in Tampa Bay.

    With flowing pints of beer, giant pretzels and partiers donning their best dirndls and lederhosen, the nod to the world's largest beer festival keeps getting bigger and longer in the Tampa Bay area. ...

    The Oktoberfest celebration featuring traditional German food and beer is coming to Indian Rocks Beach.
  10. Adventure Island is adding a slide with a floor that drops out from under you

    Florida

    A pair of new drop slides in an attraction called Vanish Point is coming to Adventure Island in Tampa in March, bringing another gut-check for adrenaline junkies at the 30-acre water park adjacent to Busch Gardens.

    The heart-stopping attraction will put riders inside a capsule where they will wait for the floor to vanish and go into a free fall. For those who chicken out of the drop floor, a third slide will zoom riders to the bottom horizontally for 455 feet, ending with a high-speed finale. ...

     A pair of new drop slides in an attraction called Vanish Point is coming to Adventure Island water park in Tampa in March, bringing another gut-check thrill to the 30-acre park adjacent to Busch Gardens.   The heart-stopping attraction will put riders inside a capsule and then they wait for the floor to vanish and go into a free fall, or they can get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale   The name Vanish Point was inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, a park news release said. Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  11. Meet Winifred, the 140-pound baby rhino at Busch Gardens

    Florida

    Busch Gardens has a new bouncing baby rhino, a girl named Winnifred, who at 3 days old weighs 140 pounds.

    And she will grow quickly, gaining as much as four pounds a day, said Peter Black, a senior veterinarian at the Tampa theme park.

    The name Winnifred is Afrikaans for "white" or "fair." Native to the southern part of Africa, the white rhinoceros is the largest of the five species of rhinoceros, so Winnifred can be expected to weigh more than 3,000 pounds as an adult. Although the white rhino species is growing, they are still threatened to risks like poaching, mainly for their horns, Black said....

    A new baby rhino born this week at Busch Gardens has  been named Winifred, who at 3 days old weighs 140 pounds.  You can see the family in the park's  Serengeti Plain.
Photo courtesy Busch Gardens
  12. Can you come up with a name for this two-headed calf?

    Events

    The freaky two-headed calf born in Safety Harbor in the 1920s has long been a popular oddity at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, where its stuffed carcass has been on display.

    But it has never had a name.

    Deuce? Maybe famous twins, like Ashley and Mary-Kate? Ronde and Tiki?

    On Nov. 3, the museum is holding a Two-Headed Calf Fest where attendees will vote for a name, earning the winner a weekend at the downtown Courtyard Marriott, as well as a free shuttle and gift certificates to five local breweries....

    Among the St Petersburg History Museum artifacts is this two-headed calf. It was born in Safety Harbor in 1925 with two heads and six legs. The museum is holding a naming contest and the winner will be announced at the Nov. 3 Two-Headed Calf Fest. DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  13. Plan your weekend Oct. 5-7: Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, Chris Tucker, dog film fest, Saturday market returns

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Talkers

    AC² — Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen: These two very funny talkers love to push each others' buttons. As viewers of Cohen's Bravo talk show Watch What Happens Live well know, there isn't much he considers off the table. And Cooper's reputation as a journalist aside, he loves to dish. The night of conversation begins at 8 p.m. Saturday at the David J. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $59.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    File-This Sept. 22, 2017, file photo shows Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) before an NHL preseason hockey game against the Nashville Predators  in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) NY158
  14. Top things to do this week: Chris Tucker, Winter the dolphin's birthday, TIGLFF, Lightning home opener

    Events

    COMEDY: Chris Tucker and D.L. Hughley

    Hurricane Irma postponed the original Sept. 8 show, so if you bought a ticket it's still valid for Saturday's standup spectacle featuring Rush Hour star Chris Tucker, left. He will be joined by D.L. Hughley, one of the original Kings of Comedy, at 8 p.m. at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $41.75 and $61.75. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com....

    FRIDAY EXTRA COVER- DON’T USE(LL-r) HOPE and WINTER in Alcon Entertainment’s family adventure “DOLPHIN TALE 2,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
  15. 5 things to do under $5: Saturday Market returns, Shine Mural Festival, Roboticon

    Events

    1. Judah Friedlander: With his trademark oversized glasses, shaggy hair and trucker hat, the comedian best known for playing one of Tina Fey's writers on 30 Rock will perform with the Lucas Brothers at the annual USF Stampede comedy show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday during Homecoming Week. Free for students and the community at the Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 974-3004....

    Little Pond Farm staffer Willie Bonner stacks produce at the Saturday Morning Market 
LARA CERRI   |   Times (2016)