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Busch Gardens Food & Wine Fest, Mayor's River O'Green: 10 things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay

There's also Reggae Riseup, an Irish themed weekend at the Renaissance Festival and a chalk festival in Safety Harbor.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In case you're looking for something to do this St. Patrick's Day weekend, we've got you covered.

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival

The annual celebration of local food, beer and wine returns Saturday and runs weekends through April 28. Gwazi park will be filled with more than a dozen outdoor food cabins serving up dishes from across the country and from right here in Tampa Bay. There’s even a Tampa Tavern with Cuban egg rolls, fried snapper sandwiches and key lime pie. The Food and Wine Festival also has more than 100 fine wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails. The festival is included with Busch Gardens park admission, but food and wine purchases are separate. Sampling lanyards and VIP seating for nightly concerts are available.

More information here.

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Florida Mermaid Festival

The family-friendly festival celebrates mythical mermaids and their history in Florida. There will be a kids play area, food offerings, local craft vendors, live bands, dragon boats, kayak races and a mermaid contest. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5.

The event will be held at Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach.

More information here.

Mayor’s River O’Green Festival

Bob Buckhorn’s last River O’Green Festival as mayor of Tampa is this weekend. The Hillsborough River will be dyed a bright green color starting at 11 a.m. Saturday along Curtis Hixon Park. The St. Patrick’s Day party will have live music, Irish food and drinks, kids activities, a Leprechaun contest, food trucks and free bike valet. There will also be an adult scavenger hunt with riddles and tasks at bars in downtown Tampa. 

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa.

More information here

Previous: Hillsborough River turns green ahead of St. Patrick's Day

Gasparilla Food Festival

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with another Gasparilla event -- this one centered around local food and drinks. Ybor City’s Centennial Park will be filled with live music, salsa dance lessons at sunset, giveaways and plenty of food vendors. Admission is free.

The event will run from 3-8 p.m. Sunday.

More information here.

Reggae Rise Up

Reggae music fills Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg this weekend. There will also be 35 food vendors, local vendors, beer bars, games, free water stations and hammocks. Performing artists include Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Ziggy Marley, Pepper, Shwayze, Tribal Seeds and more. General admission tickets start at $60. 

Gates open at noon Saturday and Sunday.

More information here.

Clearwater Comic Con

The Clearwater Public Library hosts its 6th annual comic convention this weekend to share its love of comic books. Guests include Emerald City Comics, Chuck Dixon, Fierce Comics, the Tampa Spider-Man, the 501st Legion, cosplayers and more. The family-friendly event is free. 

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 100 N Osceola Ave., Clearwater

More information here.

Slime Rodeo On The Bay

Tampa’s first slime convention kicks off this weekend at the Tampa Convention Center. Kids in the U.S. seem to be obsessed with slime, the squishy goo that’s easily made at home and can come in bright, fun colors. This weekend’s event even includes a YouTube slime star, vendors and play tables. Tickets are $15-$75. 

More information here.

Shamrocks & Shenanigans

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival hosts a St. Patrick’s Day-themed weekend with Irish Heavy Games, a Leprechaun costume contest, a Bonnie Knees contest, traditional Irish music and dance and Irish food vendors. Tickets are $21.95 at the gate.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends through March 31. Parking is free.

More information here.

Bloom-N-Chalk Fest

The 11th annual chalk festival returns to Safety Harbor this weekend with chalk art covering streets and walls of downtown. There will also be a roadside collectibles show, kids chalk garden, a local art show and local shops and restaurants. The family-friendly festival is free.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to dusk Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and is located at 401 Main St., Safety Harbor

More information here.

CinemaSTEM: Deep Impact

Tampa Theatre and MOSI host the CinemaSTEM series to showcase science in films. The theater screens 1998’s Deep Impact on Sunday, about a comet “the size of Mt. Everest” headed for Earth. After the screening, MOSI’s Anthony Pelaez will have a Q&A with the audience about the movie and space science. 

More information here.

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