The Best 9 Weekend Events: Gasparilla Race, Strawberry Fest & Spring Training

By Barbara Ann Kelley, CBSTampa.com
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(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images).

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images).

It’s another action packed weekend in Tampa Bay. Here is our list of the top 9 events in the north, south, east and west parts of the greater Tampa Bay area for Friday – Sunday, March 2-4, 2012.

9. TAMPA TRIBUNE OUTDOOR EXPO AND BOAT SHOW
Friday- Sunday
Florida State Fairgrounds
4802 U.S. 301 N.
Tampa
33610

Florida’s largest. Dealers of boats, personal watercrafts, motorcycles and ATV’s in one expo. Seminars, vendors and a variety of outdoor activities for everyone in the family. County Station WQYK will be at the Expo Saturday from 11 – noon with QYK Neon T-shirts, good for concert up-grades from WQYK when worn to local country concerts. WQYK will also be registering people for a chance to win tickets to the Strawberry Festival to see The Band Perry. Expo price: Free Friday – $8 Sat – Sun. – 12 and younger are free the whole weekend.

8. TAMPA BAY COMIC CON
Saturday – Sunday
Doubletree Hotel
4500 W Cypress St.
Tampa
33607

100 tables of comics, videos, toys, action figures, anime, Star Wars memorabilia, artwork, trading cards and opportunities to game. Price for convention and gaming: $15 for adults, $5 for 12 and younger. Convention only: Adults- $10, 12 and younger are free.

7. THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
Saturday 7pm
Tampa Bay Times Forum
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa
33602

The World’s most entertaining basketball team brings their World Tour to Tampa for a night of the most incredible moves ever seen on a court. They dribble, they shoot, they spin, they slam-dunk and they’ll make you laugh. The outstanding rookies include Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, the world’s tallest pro basketball player at 7-8, Jonte “Too Tall” Hall, the shortest Globetrotter ever at 5-2, and Fatima “TNT” Maddox of Temple University, the team’s first female player since 1993 and ninth female in team history. Price: $15-$136.

6. HERNANDO TRUCK FEST WITH MUD BOGGING
Friday – Sunday
Hernando County Fairgrounds
6436 Broad
Brooksville, 34601

The Hernando County’s fairgrounds is all about dirt and trucks this weekend. Mud Bogging, jeep jam, corn-hole tournament, mechanical bull, live concert, free style bogging and even a big air competition.Trucks of all sizes, from street legal to semi-monster trucks. $15 per day or $30 for the weekend for adults and youths. Free for children 10 and under.

5. FLORIDA BREW’S GUILD BEERFEST
Saturday  at 2 p.m.
Centro Ybor
1600 E Eighth Ave.
Ybor
FL
33605
(813)242-4660

Do some serious beer tasting. Hundreds of Florida-made handcrafted brews. Beerfest is part of Tampa Bay Beer Week. Price: $30 advance, $40 at door.

4. BUSCH GARDEN’S: Bands, Brew and BBQ: With REO Speedwagon
Sunday 5 p.m.
Busch Gardens
3605 Bougainvillea Ave.
Tampa
FL
33612

All the rides and excitement of Busch Gardens plus a craft beer garden with barbecue restaurants.  Food and beer is extra. Concerts included with park admission: $79.99, $71.99 ages 3-9.

3. GASPARILLA DISTANCE CLASSIC

Two days of festivities includes a children’s Too Good for Drugs Race,  a 5K, 15K races, even a 5K wheelchair race.

2. STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

Strawberry Festival

303 N. Lemon Street
Plant City, Florida 33563
813-754-9194

Saturday
Free Kids Day Sponsored by Wells Fargo – Children and teens admission is free from open till close on Saturday.
Headline concerts: Lauren Alaina at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Air Supply at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20.

Sunday
Mountain Dew Family Day will save you big time if you and the kids want to ride rides until you all drop. From open till 11 p.m. you can buy an all-you-can-ride wrist band for only $25. Bring any Mountain Dew can with you and upon entry and you can get an additional $5 off the $25 wristband. Your total savings on Sunday with the Mountain Drew can is $10 per wristband. This offer is valid only on Sunday March 4th. Headline concerts: Jake Owen at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 & $20. Hank Williams Jr. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50

1. SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL

Saturday:

TB @ MIN – Ft. Myers
PIT @ TOR – Dunedin
NYY @ PHI – Clearwater
BC @ BOS – Ft. Myers
DET @ ATL –  Disney

Sunday:

MIN @ TB –  Port Charlotte
PHI @ NYY – Tampa
MIN @ BOS – Ft. Myers
ATL @ DET – Lakeland

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