St. Pete swings into the weekend with the blues, art, football and The Wiz

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St. Petersburg welcomes the weekend with a number of events, including a celebration of the blues and a 1940’s-style dance party, as well as season openers for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the new semi-professional football team, the St. Petersburg Tide.

Singing the Blues at Vinoy Park

Taking the stage at the 20th annual Bluesfest Tampa Bay are Buddy Guy, Michael McDonald, Coco Montoya and Irma Thomas among others. Bluesfest is Friday through Sunday in Vinoy Park. The festival is open from noon to 10 p.m. each day, with cash-only tickets available at the main gate. Bluesfest performers will be entertaining fans during after-parties Friday through Sunday nights at the Palladium Theater.

More information is available at www.mypalladium.org.

Parking is available in both city-owned garages for $5. Free festival shuttles will move spectators to and from Vinoy Park from three convenient stops located near downtown parking facilities, including:

  • The east side of First St. just south of First Ave. S., located between Al Lang Stadium and the SouthCore parking garage
  • On the east side of First St. mid-block between First and Second Aves. N. just outside the Sundial/MidCore garage
  • The north side of Seventh Ave. NE just west of Bayshore Dr. near Vinoy Park

Palladium shuttles run from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:30 to 11 p.m. on Sunday with service approximately every 15 minutes.

For more information, visit www.stpetetrolley.com.

The Wiz in the Park

American Stage in the Park’s production of The Wiz begins its run Friday through May 4 in Demen’s Landing Park. Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday performances. Parking for American Stage in the Park this weekend includes the Al Lang Stadium parking lot and SouthCore parking garage for $5, or the Pelican or Beach Dr. (formerly Dolphin) parking lots, a short walk from Demen’s Landing.

Walking for a Cure  

Saturday’s Great Strides Walk in Demen’s Landing Park is an early morning walk to help the search for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The 2K event begins at 9 a.m.

Registration is available at http://fightcf.cff.org/ and at the park on Saturday morning.

For Art’s Sake

Second Saturday Art Walk and “heARTwalk” trolley, sponsored by the Heart Gallery of Pinellas-Pasco and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, will allow art lovers a lovely spring evening tour of St. Petersburg’s arts community. More than 35 artist studios, galleries, warehouses, and museums open their doors at 5 p.m. and stay open later for shopping and discussion.

Find out more at http://warehouseartsdistrictstpete.com/2nd-saturday/.

Jump, Jive and Wail at the Coliseum

The second annual USO G.I. Jive Dance Saturday night at the Coliseum allows dancers to swing the night away to the perennial big band sounds of the 1940s. Enjoy vintage costume contests, raffles, dance lessons, a cash bar and more.

Tickets are available at http://us.uso.org/centralflorida/.

Get Rowdy with the Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies kick off a new era Saturday when the team hosts FC Edmonton in the 2014 spring season opener at Al Lang Stadium.  The match gets underway at 7:30 p.m. following the singing of the National Anthem by Grammy Award winner Jon Secada. A free post-game concert featuring Scotland’s Bagrockers and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers follows the game.

Tickets for Saturday’s competition and the rest of the Rowdies spring season are available at www.rowdiessoccer.com.

Soothing Sounds of the Classics

The Florida Orchestra presents a show at 8 p.m. in the Mahaffey Theater on Saturday featuring Mozart, Diamond and Brahms as part of the Masterworks series production. Enjoy an evening of lush string themes, heavy brass and sparkling woodwinds conducted by Gerard Schwarz. Tickets are available at www.themahaffey.com or www.floridaorchestra.org.

Parking for both the Rowdies home opener and the Florida Orchestra concert will be separated; parking for soccer fans will be at the Al Lang Stadium lot or the SouthCore garage, while Florida Orchestra patrons should park in the Mahaffey Theater garage. Parking at all three locations will cost $5.

Rolling With the Tide

St. Petersburg welcomes a brand-new semi-professional football team, the St. Petersburg Tide. The team rolls into Al Lang Stadium for its debut game on Sunday. The Tide hosts the Hattiesburg Gladiators at 7 p.m. in the Professional Spring American Football League (PSAFL) game.

Tickets are $10 and available at www.st-petetide.com.

For information on other happenings in and around St. Petersburg, visit www.stpete.org/events.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.