Weekend Top 10: High-Octane Blues, Artisan Mag Launch, The Right to Swim, & a Rock the Park birthday

By Cindy Stovall

So much to do, so little time. That couldn’t be more true if you’re looking for fun and culture In Tampa Bay. Check out these events and plan your weekend! You’re welcome.


Courtesy of Brokenmold Entertainment

Rock the Park 12 Year Anniversary
Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa

For 12 years, Rock the Park, a collaboration between the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Brokenmold Entertainment, has been making First Thursdays on the Tampa waterfront something very special with its ongoing free music series. Now, it’s time to celebrate! Roxx Revolt & the Velvets, Zeta the Babe, and the Rob Osentoni band will be on hand to rock your socks off. Chow on some Jamaican goodies from Jam Dish while you’re there.
August 4th 6:30-10pm More information


First Fridays on the Deuces
22nd St. S Corridor, St. Pete

Come to the historic Deuces corridor and check out some great Southern food at 22 South Food hall, great art, lots of vendors, live entertainment (starting at 5pm), and just a generally fun time. There’s also close proximity to the ArtsXchange, the Woodson African American Museum, the once a month Vintage Market at Vintage Marché , and the Morean Center for Clay. Make a day of it – all of it within walking distance!  
August 5th 11am-11pm More information

Courtesy of artist, Monika Watson

Gecko World Art Show
Catherine Hickman Theater, Gulfport

This is the opening event for the always highly anticipated season of the Gecko in Gulfport. Ten artists will give you a preview of what is to be presented at the Gecko Ball (August 27th), and pre-bidding will be allowed. Oh, and it’s also the First Friday Artwalk on Beach Blvd, so plan on a wonderful evening in one of Tampa Bay’s funkiest hamlets.
August 5th 6-8pm Information and tickets on all the Gecko events here.

Stock Photo

Selwyn Birchwood
Hough Hall -The Palladium at St. Petersburg College, St. Pete

International Blues challenge winner, Birchwood, and his band return to the Palladium for an evening of high-octane blues. His gritty, unvarnished vocals draw his audience inside his unforgettable tales of love, passion, pain and pleasure. No other band on the current blues scene is built quite like Birchwood’s. In addition to Selwyn’s electrifying guitar and lap steel playing, the other featured instrument is Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. The group is rounded out by bass, drums and, for the first time, keyboards.
August 5th 8pm Tickets and information

Central Park Performing Arts Center, Largo

Stock Photo

On a very busy Friday, here is another great option. Better yet, it supports community theater – and we could all do a lot more of that! Jonathan Larson’s quarter century classic, Rent, a production of Eight O’Clock Theatre,opens tonight at CPPAC. The Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical (that we all know the words to), runs through August 14th, so don’t wait to get tickets. La Vie Boheme!
August 5th Opening (Thursday-Saturday performances 8pm, Sundays 2pm)
Tickets and information


St. Pete Walking Mural Tour
Florida CraftArt, St. Pete

Courtesy of Visit St. Pete Clearwater

Mural Tours are back! Hear the inside stories of the making of murals, the official arts language of the ‘Burg, found in the Central Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg. The four-block tour begins at Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., each Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and concludes at 11:30 a.m. There is a firm limit of 10 attendees, you must book online by 4 p.m. the day before. Call 727-821-7391 or email gallery@FloridaCraftsmen.net to book a tour.

The Right to Swim – Paintings by Vivia Barron
The Studio @620, St. Pete

This is the opening reception of this exhibition of “representational folk art” by Tampa Bay based artist,  Vivia Barron. A former Caribbean fusion chef, Barron has been collecting vintage postcards and photographs of Florida life for over a decade. Her paintings are based on this collection, but feature African American people and families in beach and other scenes not normally depicted in the segregated era of the original media.  “I keep my art within the period and style of the original postcards, just with African American representation.”
August 6th  More information

Oh Gasparella!
Tampa Fringe Venue Hall – HCC Performing Arts Center, Ybor Campus, Tampa

We’re revisiting Tampa Fringe this weekend to talk about Oh Gasparella!, a musical fairy tale by our very own musical master, Tom Sivak – directed by Stageworks’ AD, and much loved theater mainstay, Karla Hartley. So, was Jose Gaspar, the pirate, actually a woman? This comedy set to music explores that very question.
August 6th 9pm Tickets and information


Corey Avenue Sunday Market
St. Pete Beach

Courtesy of Corey Ave Market

In our ongoing (re)search for Tampa Bay’s amazing public markets, this week we land on St. Pete Beach and, instead of Saturday, a Sunday market is a nice change. The Corey Avenue Sunday Market is long established with a great multitude of vendors of every possible staple and luxury. There is live music to shop to, as well as delicious breakfast, lunch or brunch options. A stroll on the nearby beach afterward is the perfect way to walk off the calories. Your wallet will already be lighter.
August 7th 9am-1pm (Summer hours) More information

Artisan Launch Party
Left Bank Bistro, St. Pete

Courtesy Of DoubleTake Marketing & PR

It’s a launch celebration for new publication, The Artisan, a magazine devoted to the embarrassment of reportable riches that is the St. Pete art scene – visual, music, dance, literature, theater, cuisine, and creative pursuits of all kinds will be covered each month in this full color, hold in your hands, periodical. The art of the inimitable Lance Rogers graces the first cover. Enjoy the yummy French delicacies that Left Bank Bistro is famous for, along with music and a full cash bar. Full disclosure – yours truly will be a regular contributor.
August 7th 5-7pm RSVP required

Have fun and stay safe out there!

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