So you celebrated America’s independence. Now (especially if you’re lucky enough to be enjoying a three-day weekend) go out and celebrate your own! Here are five ways to do it.
- More fireworks! If the rockets’ red glare on the Fourth whet your appetite for more, head to Busch Gardens, where they’re shooting ’em off all weekend long. Of course, these don’t have the benefit of being free — ya gotta pay those hefty theme-park admission prices — but you get to ride Tigris, too! Fri.-Sun., fireworks between 9 and 10 p.m. (approximate), park closes at 10 p.m. 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa, buschgardens.com. (Be forewarned, the website is having problems.)
- Open up the Summer House. The Palladium’s cleverly titled summer music series opens tonight with a sold-out performance by local blues whiz Damon Fowler. But you still can visit the House this weekend (and relive your musical past in the process) with Saturday night’s Coo Coo Ca Choo show, in which musicians (including members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section) channel tunes of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and more. Future attractions in the Summer House series include jazz saxman Jeremy Carter, the Florida Björkestra doing Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, and a Thursday night showcase for artists new to the Palladium. Coo Coo Ca Choo, Sat., 8 p.m., Side Door at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., my palladium.org.
- Rays vs. Yankees. You want fireworks of the athletic variety, this could be the series for you. The opener was a nail-biter which the Rays, alas, lost, but they showed they can hold their own with the AL East-leading champs. Now if they can only beat ’em! (If you’re a Yankees fan, and there were puh-lenty of you in attendance on the 4th… oh well, it’s fun having those “Let’s go Yankees/Let’s go Rays” shout-offs.) Tropicana Field, Fri., 7:10 p.m.; Sat., 4:10 p.m.; Sun., 1:10 p.m. raysbaseball.com.
- Hugh Jackman. Wolverine or The Greatest Showman or a little bit of both? He killed it when he hosted the Tonys a few years ago, showing off his skills as a consummate song-and-dance man and winning an Emmy in the process. But a recent NY Times writeup of his new stage show by a writer who was clearly a fan landed on the disappointed side; see for yourself when Mr. Showbiz brings his first world tour to the Amalie tonight. Fri., 7 p.m., amaliearena.com.
- First Friday at the Plant. If you’re hoping to use this weekend to catch museum shows you haven’t been able to see yet (like photography at TMA, origami at MFA, etc., etc., etc.), don’t overlook small gems like the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa. It’s a step back into the time when the splendid minaret-topped edifice was home not to privileged undergrads but to privileged hotel guests, and its current exhibition — Dirty Laundry: True Tales of Women Workers at the Tampa Bay Hotel — promises to reveal what was going on downstairs as well as upstairs. First Friday tonight from 5-7 p.m., free admission, refreshments, and live jazz on the veranda by Matt Weihmuller’s Jazz Trio. Saturday open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sunday Noon-5 p.m., also open Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., admission $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $5 for children (ages 4-12) and infants (under 4) are free. 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, plantmuseum.com.