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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. Top things to do this weekend: Lindsey Stirling, Faizon Love, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live

    Events

    PULLING STRINGS: Lindsey Stirling

    Dubstep violist Lindsey Stirling shot to fame as a quarter-finalist on America's Got Talent in 2010 and she has been rocking the spangles on Dancing With the Stars this season as the last woman left . But on Friday you can see the musical creativity that brought the YouTube star more than 10 million subscribers. With her cinematic approach to electronic dance music, the multi-talented violin virtuoso mixes her string skills with dance in high-energy videos that made her the highest-ranked woman on YouTube. Her 2012 debut album Shatter Me ranked No. 1 on Billboard's year-end classical chart and No. 2 on its Dance/Electronic Music Chart. For the holiday season, she will perform from her new Christmas album. 8 p.m. Friday in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $39.50-$69.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live is coming to the Mahaffey on Friday, Nov. 24.
  2. 5 things to do under $5 Nov. 23-30: Craft festival, License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day, Snow Bash

    Events

    1 Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show and Sale: Check out these rocks when more than 50 dealers from around the United States sell crystals, minerals, beads, gems and jewelry. $5. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. (941) 954-0202.

    2 License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day: Celebrate the holiday with rod and reel in hand at no cost to recreational fishermen all day until midnight Saturday. Held a few times a year, this day provides an opportunity to introduce everyone to fishing. License requirement waived for all recreational anglers. All other rules regarding season, bag and size limits apply. The saltwater waiver applies to any recreational harvest requiring a saltwater fishing license or permit including snook and spiny lobster (if in season). Try the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, 4905 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 865-0668....

    More than 50 dealers from across the country will be at the Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show and Sale held at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg from Nov. 24-26.
  3. Black Friday deals at Legoland, SeaWorld, Disney and more

    Florida

    Black Friday isn't just for stores. Many theme parks and attractions in Florida are also offering up deals that could make a nice gift or family splurge.

    The smaller the park, the bigger the deal, so Legoland, Gatorland and SeaWorld are touting some deep discounts, while Disney and Universal are offering discounts on VIP experiences and shopping ideas.

    SeaWorld

    Calling it a Blue Friday sale, Thursday marks the official start of SeaWorld's biggest sale of the year. Several BOGO (Buy One, Get One) offers are:...

    Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, Fla.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  4. Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Shopping

    Black Friday: Avoid the madness of the malls at a variety of indie shopping experiences this weekend. Skatepark of Tampa has one of the best sneaker selections in Tampa Bay and free skating all day Friday to celebrate. They'll open at 7 a.m. at 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 621-6793. skateparkoftampa.com. St. Petersburg's Planet Retro Records will have a huge assortment of titles and will make it a party with live music and free beer on Friday starting at 9 a.m. 226 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St. N. (727) 218-7434. planetretrorecords.com. Shopapalooza in St. Petersburg's Straub Park will have almost 150 vendors, artists, and local businesses with specials, food and children's entertainment. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. ...

    Thousands of Christmas lights light up Lowry Park Zoo during their Christmas in the Wild holiday display.  [Friday, December 2, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. With Harry Potter's Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

    Florida

    ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy's balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects before Santa and his new sleigh enter for a finale.

    Things are getting flashier and glitzier — and just more — at virtually every major Florida attraction this Christmas. For Florida residents, that means extra sleigh bells and whistles between now and mid-December, a chance to beat the crowds that will mob the parks come Christmas week. ...

    A float and a balloon in the Holiday Parade during a nighttime preview event of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times

  6. First look: Harry Potter's Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

    Florida

    Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks.

    It opens to the public on Saturday. Considering the tears that rose from the crowd at a media preview Thursday night at the sight of the snow-capped castle created by high-tech mapping sorcery, it should be a big draw for Harry Potter fans. ...

    The new eight-minute Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show at Universal's Islands of Adventure will run nightly, starting Nov. 18. It uses projection imaging to create images such as students on brooms appearing  to enchant snowmen, or fill the sky with bright lights. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  7. Plan your weekend Nov. 17-19: Castle anniversary, Chillounge Night, Et Cultura, Busch Gardens Christmas Town

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Party

    Castle anniversary: The multi-story, gothic Ybor nightclub, where it's not uncommon to see someone in a Batman cape or a leather corset, turned 25 this year, and the club is celebrating with a party this weekend. Features special guests DJ Danny Bled, DJ Tom Gold, DJ Mark Paradise, DJ Sean (Patio), VJ Jason Barco (Dungeon). Doors open at 10:30 p.m., Saturday at The Castle, 2994 N 16th St., Tampa. (813) 247-7547. castleybor.com....

    Courtesy of Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns this weekend.
  8. Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

    Events

    BIG WHEELS: St. Pete Beach BikeFest

    The new St. Pete Beach BikeFest at the TradeWinds resort and runs through Sunday with daily poker runs, an expo, a bike show and competitions. But the real draw will be free concerts on the beach, including former Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil, left, Thursday; country's Colt Ford, top right, on Friday; and prog-metal outfit Queensryche, right, on Sunday. The concerts and expo are free, though it's $10 to park. Ride sharing is suggested since parking will be scarce. VIP ($189) includes reserved seats, free beer and wine and air-conditioned restrooms. Concerts start at 8 p.m. at 5500 Gulf Blvd. stpetebeachbikefest.com....

    Beach furniture, live music and full cash bars filled Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for Chillounge in 2012.
  9. 5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

    Events

    1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjacent festival brings live music daily, and there will be fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Saturday. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. Free. ...

    Jonathan Bouchard sculpts during the Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting festival in Treasure Island, FL on November 21st, 2014.
  10. This Scout earned every possible merit badge. Then came cancer.

    Human Interest

    LAKE WALES — Ron Cain strolled lakeside at a Boy Scout camp on a crisp November day, the exact spot where he finally earned all of Scouting's 137 merit badges.

    "I had to survey this field, which was ridiculous because there were hurricane winds," he said.

    The sky was black, the atmosphere "creepy" and white-capped waves roiled the lake as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida. He just needed to complete a few more steps for the Exploration badge, his last one....

    Ron Cain, 18, reflects on his Scouting career recently at the Flaming Arrow Reservation. To earn his final merit badge, he had to survey the field as Hurricane Irma approached. Soon after, he learned that he has testicular cancer.
  11. St. Petersburg gets new half-marathon as St. Pete Run Fest adds kids runs, year-round fitness to mix

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — “You might be asking, how will this make me a better runner?" Cody Angell asked two dozen students at a recent running club session at Shore Acres Elementary as they performed an "A skip" with their knees high, followed by a "kick skip" with a high kick before running hard.

    He was building up their muscles, he said, so they can be ready for the St. Pete Run Fest, bringing a series of kids' runs and the return of a half-marathon through downtown St. Petersburg Nov. 18-19, the weekend before Thanksgiving....

    Some 7,000 runners showed up in 2012  for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. The race began at Tropicana Field, visible in the background.  By 2014, the owner of  the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and the Women’s Running Half Marathon in St. Petersburg scrubbed both events, citing poor attendance.
  12. Plan your weekend Nov. 10-12: Ribfest, Reading Fest, Tampa Am skateboarders, Tiny Home Show, Chris Stapleton

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Concert

    Chris Stapleton: The country artist took the music world by surprise with his 2015 debut Traveller, which swept the CMA Awards and earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. He and his wife/muse/backup singer, Morgane, just announced they're expecting twins in early 2018, and if you've ever seen Stapleton live, you know he's focused on Morgane the whole time. And if she's not on the road, he might not be either. So catch his fire while you can. Marty Stuart and Brent Cobb open at 7 p.m. Friday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com....

    MELISSA LYTTLE | Times (10/20/2012 St. Petersburg) Andrea Sunnerville, left, and Dorothy and Ed Sved, all of St. Petersburg, browse the titles as the shop for books at the St. Petersburg Public Library System used book sale at the Times Festival of Reading Saturday.  [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
  13. Top things to do this weekend: La La Land in Concert, Tiny Home Show

    Events

    CITY OF STARS: La La Land in Concert

    What does a multiple-Oscar-winning hit musical do for a second act? Go on tour. With La La Land in Concert, the Mahaffey Theater will have a live symphony orchestra playing the score while the movie starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling plays on a big screen. Damien Chazelle's valentine to movie musicals has developed a cult following, as evidenced in past tour stops by the sea of yellow dresses in the audience — similar to the one worn by Stone in the film's posters. The show starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $45-$125. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com....

    Kites being flown behind the Thunderbird Resort in Treasure Island for the Veteran s Day Fall Fly event.
  14. 5 under $5: Festival of Reading, Florida Orchestra family concerts, Circus McGurkus returns

    Events

    1Ian Harvie: The actor who plays Dale on Amazon's Transparent will give a free talk Tuesday as part of the University Lecture Series at USF's Marshall Student Center. The comedian's performance will demonstrate how laughter has no gender identification. 8 p.m. Tuesday. 4103 Cedar Circle, Tampa. Free. (813) 974-1001.

    2Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading: The festival's 25th year brings former Fox News commentator Gretchen Carlson, bestselling crime fiction author Michael Connelly, children's author Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie) and award-winning science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer among more than 45 authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and books for young readers. See the full lineup at tampabay.com/expos/festival-of-reading/. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. University of South Florida St. Petersburg, 140 Seventh Ave. S. Free. Read more about the festival on Page 17....

    ‘Transparent’ actor Ian Harvie
  15. These famous tiny houses are coming to Tampa Bay for the Tiny Home Show

    Events

    The tiny home craze brings images of twee hipsters lounging on foldaway futons in homes that are quaint and whimsical.

    The Tiny Home Show on Saturday at the Hillsborough Community College SouthShore campus in Ruskin is bringing in some "celebrity" tiny homes featured on HGTV and elsewhere. It also aims to show what the Circle Pond Tiny Home Community coming to Sun City Center can deliver. ...

    :Debbie Caneen shows off the model home she hopes to use to create a community of tiny homes in Ruskin. 
Photo by Kathy Straub.