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Your weekend arts forecast: Shopapalooza, concerts and comedy

Bill DeYoung



Chris Tucker does a night of standup comedy Friday at the Mahaffey Theater. Photo provided.

After Thanksgiving, and after Black Friday, there WILL be a weekend. This is certain. And while there’s not a whole lot happening in the local arts and entertainment world, those of us who will have had enough of holiday family time can find something fun to do Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (what traditionally classifies as the weekend proper).

The 10th annual Shopapalooza – an outdoor celebration of all things local – takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Vinoy Park (701 Bayshore Drive, pretty hard to miss). With more than 250 local shops, artists, musicians, food vendors and service providers, you can buy locally-produced stuff (because that other holiday is coming sooner than you think) or just hang out and enjoy the day right by the bay.

Vinoy Park and Shopapalooza are kid-friendly; in fact, there’s a whole “Kid Zone” with fun things to do. Plus live music on several stages – the whole weekend-festival package, and admission is free.

As for parking, organizers have arranged a looper trolley that will run continually from downtown garages. For info on that, and all other aspects of Shopapalooza, click here.

Similarly, Black Crow Coffee is having its second annual Indie Flea Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Old NE location, 722 2nd Street N. In honor of Small Business Saturday (the antidote to big-boxBlack Friday, for some), the cafe will have 30 or so local vendors proffering wares. Free coffee if you show up on a bike!

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the City of St. Pete’s Santa Parade begins at Albert Whitted Field, ambles down Bayshore Drive and winds up at North Straub Park, which is across the street from Vinoy Park. There, Mayor Rick Kriseman will light the downtown Christmas tree and illuminate the waterfront. More free family fun-ness will follow in the park.

Weekend concerts

Comedian and actor Chris Tucker does standup Friday (Nov. 29) at the Mahaffey Theater, followed, at the same venue, by the rock band Incubus Saturday. And the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, Sunday at 7 p.m. inside Tampa’s big ol’ Amalie Arena, features Sam Smith, Lizzo, Normani, French Montana, Why Don’t We and AJ Mitchell.


Both American Stage and freeFall Theatre have exceptional productions right now, and they’re both semi-historical. At the former, it’s Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky, about the pioneering woman astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. The latter is featuring James Goldman’s 12th century fighting-family drama The Lion in Winter. It’s a good season for St. Petersburg professional theater.

Blues you can use

Since Your Weekend Forecast is coming out on a Wednesday this week, instead of the usual Thursday, we can tell you about a cool show at the Palladium tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 27). Sizzling blues guitarist (and Manatee County resident) Damon Fowler’s doing an all-star bash, starting at 8. The cast of characters includes Pinellas faves Betty Fox and T.C. Carr, plus Beth McKee, Berry Duane Oakley, Chuck Riley, Tommy Bell, Chris K Royal, Justin Headley, Josh Nelms … and that boogie-woogie piano-crusher Paul Wilborn. Tickets here.

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