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This is a weekend of noise, sweet noise. Denizens of downtown St. Pete have already awakened to the sounds of indy race cars speeding along the waterfront, and tomorrow and Sunday all kinds of beats and ballads will emanate from the Gasparilla Music Festival in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park. Plus, there’s a big country music star at the Amalie tonight, intriguing visual art events on Friday and Saturday, and today is your last chance to enter the lottery to see the final performance of Hamilton at the Straz.

Blake Shelton. That guy from The Voice who keeps losing to Kelly Clarkson. 3/8, 7 p.m., Amalie Arena.

MINI: a miniature art exhibit. St. Pete, meet Tiny Town! Mize Gallery, as ingenious as ever, presents an exhibition devoted to the art of the miniature, with 90 local and national artists each creating works no bigger than 3×3 inches. Opening reception 6-10 p.m., MIZE Gallery, 689 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg.

Firestone Grand Prix. The vroom-vrooms take over the streets of downtown St. Pete, much to the delight of racing fans and city boosters (all that national TV coverage of the waterfront!) and much to the chagrin of Beach Drive apartment dwellers.  3/8-10, St. Petersburg,


ArtsXchange: These Masks We WearAn exceptional exhibition created by students with disabilities attending Pinellas County schools. “A student-led, visceral, visual concept meant to evoke the spirit of imagination,” says Zach Thompson, an instructor at Sanders Exceptional. Opening reception 3/9, 5-9 p.m. in the Tully-Levine gallery; continues through March. 515 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg,

Bunker Scholarship Auction.  Jane Bunker’s gorgeous paintings of lilies are being auctioned off on Mar. 9 at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum to benefit a new scholarship for college-bound students with at least one parent of African American heritage. Bunker Scholarship Auction: Sat. March 9, 5-8 p.m., Carter Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S., St. Petersburg,


Gasparilla Music Festival. One of the most anticipated musical events of the year, GMF brings together headliners like the Avett Brothers and Gary Clark Jr. with a truly awesome range of musical acts both familiar and new in a wide range of genres: 40+ bands in all, on four stages down by the river in Curtis Hixon Park. Add a smorgasbord of food vendors from local restaurants, and it’s just a fine way to while away a spring afternoon.


CatVideoFest 2019. I’ll let the folks at Tampa Theatre describe it: “…the best, funniest, fuzziest and cuddliest of the only thing the Internet is any good at anymore: cat videos.” True that, and as a bonus 10% of the proceeds go to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. All together now… AWWWWWWW! 3/10, 3 & 7 p.m., Tampa Theatre.

Through 3/10

Florida Strawberry Festival. Livestock shows, carnival rides, commercial exhibits and, of course, strawberry shortcake. Plus musical headliners: The final weekend’s big acts include Tanya Tucker (3/8, 3:30 p.m.) and Keith Sweat (3/9, 7:30 p.m.). Fri., 12 noon-11 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Admission $10 for adults 13 and up; $5 for children 6-12; children 5 and under free with paid adult admission. Additional costs for headliners. 303 N. Lemon St., Plant City, 813-752-9194,

Hamilton. This is it, kids: your last chance to win a pair of $10 lottery tickets to the Tampa run of the world’s hottest musical (and yes, it’s every bit as good as you’ve heard it is). Enter today, 3/8, for tickets to Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee and cross your fingers.


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