Who says things slow down in the summertime? This weekend is full of events with the power to move, inspire, entertain and awe. Get out there!
St. Pete Pride. The annual celebration gets full-on fun this weekend. Tonight’s main event is the free concert by brainy/sexy pop star Lisa Loeb of “Stay (I Missed You)” fame (7 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Dr.). Tomorrow night, it’s time for parades along Bayshore. The TransPride March begins at 6:30 p.m. and the St. Pete Pride Parade (with its new above-the-title sponsor, Tech Data) launches at 7, followed by fireworks at approximately 10:30. (Look for activities in the park all day Saturday before the parade, including an Art Zone and a family area.) Finally, Sunday brings the Pride Festival, with booths lining both sides of Central Ave. between 22nd and 28th streets from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; it’s a people-watching, product-touting, stuff-strutting good time for all. stpetepride.com.
The DoD Warrior Games. The games begin today with golf prelims and continue through next Sunday, but the big kickoff is Saturday night from 7-9 p.m. at the Amalie Arena: an Olympics-style opening ceremony hosted by Jon Stewart. The opening and closing extravaganzas are the only events during the entire week that charge admission; the athletic events are all free to the public. Venues include USF Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center and the Long Aquatic Center in Clearwater, and the range of events is remarkable, from archery to seated volleyball to swimming to track & field to what is reportedly the fiercest of all, wheelchair rugby. Read more about what these games mean to the athletes and their families in Eric Snider’s story for dRTB; get the full schedule at dodwarriors.com.
Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami. A fascinating new show opening Saturday at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg showcases the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding as practiced by contemporary artists. The works are breathtaking in their intricacy, beauty and depth — especially the graceful book art of Miri Golan, who has found ways of bridging cultures in Israel and Palestine through her organization Folding Together. You can try your own hand at the art form; there’s an origami DIY room with video instructions, the eventual goal being to create 1,000 paper cranes to be sent to the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima. mfastpete.org.
Madama Butterfly. Speaking of cross-cultural connections — and the bridges that don’t always hold — St. Petersburg Opera is staging the heart-wrenching Puccini classic Madama Butterfly as its 2018-19 season closer. The production opens this weekend (tonight at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2) and continues next week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, all performances at The Palladium. stpeteopera.org.
Contemporary Photography in Tampa. Photo aficionados, head to Tampa this weekend for two important shows just steps away from each other at the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.