Do This: Dunedin Highland Games, Chillounge plus fests, fests and more fests!

Ethnic celebrations, beach fun, cars, bikes and a record sale highlight the many event offerings this weekend.

Celebrate Dunedin’s Scottish connections and heritage at the 48th annual Dunedin Highland Games with piping and drumming, athletics,. dancing, tattoos and clans at Highlander Park. The free Jolley Trolley will run from the Dunedin High School north parking lot. Two downtown Dunedin pick-ups at Milwaukee and Main streets. Parking at trolley stops is free. $15. Sat., April 5, 8 a.m. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin.

That's not the only festival this weekend. Hold onto your visor folks — this weekend's a doozy.
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival kicks off its final weekend and bids Huzzah to the King with special events throughout the weekend, including the Turkey Leg Eating Contest and much more. Click here for a schedule. 

The unique and welcoming Safety Harbor Art and Music Center is under construction and its founders are presenting a the Safety Harbor Singer Songwriter Festival today through April 6 to raise funds for its completion. Free event tonight! Click here to read more.

Attend the biggest Filipino festival in the Tampa Bay area — PhilFest 2014. The festival will include food, entertainment, merchandise and more. Special events will also include a Tawag ng Tanghalan Singing Competition, a Tanghalang Pambata Children’s Talent Competition, a Revolution Hip-Hop Dancing Competition and Youth Night, a Yugyugan Street Dancing Competition and many more. Starts 10 a.m. today and tomorrow. $5 advanced tickets, $6 at the gate. Bayanihan Arts Center,14301 Nine Eagles Drive,

St. Pete Record Show is the first-ever event organized by Bananas Records staffer Russell Hause, Green Bench becomes an indie music marketplace with a food truck, DJs and abundant vinyl shopping and swapping opportunities. Noon-5 p.m. at Green Bench Brewing Co., 1133 Baum Ave. N., St. Pete. 727-800-9836.

The 6th Annual Palm Harbor Citrus Festival returns to charming, historic downtown Palm Harbor at Florida and Georgia avenues. Features carnival rides, a Dancing with the Stars challenge, beauty pageant, music by the Greg Billings Band and Black Honkeys and more. Through April 6. 727-784-4287.

The 24th Annual Beach Goes Pops, the annual free live music event offers food and beverages for purchase at 950 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach. Call 727-278-1884 for info. Head to Clearwater for more fun on the beach. The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival challenges you to forget everything you think you know about sand castles. The event features the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, an artistic walk-through display. The Festival will also include several free activities including a professional sand sculpting competition, sand sculpting clinics, speed sand demonstrations, a children’s play area, extended Sunsets at Pier 60 hours, and music. $4-$8, $15 unlimited 10 day pass. Through April 13. Pier 60, 10 Pier Drive, Clearwater.

click to enlarge Do This: Dunedin Highland Games, Chillounge plus fests, fests and more fests! - RADKO KELEMAN
Do This: Dunedin Highland Games, Chillounge plus fests, fests and more fests!

Ybor City continues Festa Italiana. On April 5, the festivities are free and take place 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. They include a Bocce Ball Invitational on Seventh Avenue and 18th Street and an Italian Idol singing competition at Gaspar’s Grotto. Or get a friendly buzz at a Homemade Vino Competition at Carmine’s on 7th. The big finale on April 6, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m., converges on Centennial Park, where more than 35 of Tampa Bay’s top restaurants and catering companies will provide samples until 4:30 p.m. Lena Prima, Tre Bella and many more belt out standards onstage. Take the bambinos along for numerous games, activities and attractions too. Sunday is $5 in advance, $10 at the gate. Children younger than 12 get in free. (Text by Nicole Abbett)

The fifth Chillounge will transform Curtis Hixon Park into a swanky night club for one night only. The event will include live music performances and DJs, dance performances and even a fashion show. Daybeds and lounge chairs will be set up throughout the park to create comfortable and relaxing areas for visitors to enjoy. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Those interested must be 21 years or older to attend. $25 advanced tickets, $30 at the door, $95 limited VIP. 7 p.m. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa.

The first annual USF Dance Shorts Student Film Festival will culminate with a gala at the place of its conception at the Concert Hall on the main campus. Twenty-nine students from across the country submitted short dance films 2-6 minutes in length, which were viewed by a panel of qualified adjudicators from various artistic backgrounds and locales. The shorts explore the narrative, abstract and experimental, dance. 7:30 p.m. on April 5, $10 general admission and $7 for students, USF’s Music Concert Hall. Read more about McCaman and the USF’s Dance Shorts in an interview at (Text by Melanie Wiesen)


click to enlarge Do This: Dunedin Highland Games, Chillounge plus fests, fests and more fests! - CHIP WEINER
Do This: Dunedin Highland Games, Chillounge plus fests, fests and more fests!
Bicycle riding has and always will be a favorite pastime, but very soon Tampa will join the ranks of more than 30 other U.S. cities in introducing a bike-share program that will add a link to the growing need for alternative transportation in the Bay area. But before that comes SWFBUD’s 7th Annual Bicycle Bash. The free event returns April 6 at a park by the Tampa Bay History Center and the Times Forum. Expect food, sunshine (hopefully), vendor tables set up by 10 bicycle shops, a swap table, kids zone and a ride led by Mayor Bob Buckhorn. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Cotanchobee Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa, 813-388-0673 (Text by Mitch Perry)

Starting April 6 and continuing Sundays, 1-6 p.m. Deuces Live Sunday Market debuts in Midtown. There will be food and drink fare like fresh produce, baked goods, seafood and meat, along with art vendors and live entertainment. Rain or shine. Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum,  2240 Ninth Ave. S.

Parents, are your kids itching to play an electric guitar or drums, but you've been too squeamish to try? Good news. They can practice outside your quiet home. Find out how by attending the 7th Annual Summer Splash and Rock School Blowout, which features vendors, interactive games, hands-on activities, health and wellness resources, safety demonstrations, a bounce house and live entertainment. Representatives from camps around Tampa Bay and beyond will be on hand to register children and provide more information. The annual Rock School Blowout starts at noon and 2:30. Free. Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center, 1010 N. Maclnnes Place, Tampa. 813-222-1001.

The Festivals of Speed Exotic Car Show celebrates the 11th year of a landmark event in St. Petersburg. Attendees will enjoy a gathering of the world’s finest and most exotic new and vintage automobiles, motorcycles and watercraft on display in Vinoy Park, overlooking Tampa Bay. VIP Cafes, smooth jazz, wine tastings, cigar smokes, luxury lifestyle displays and more. General admission tickets are $12 plus tax, and can be purchased at the event, or ordered in advance(recommended) by going to 10 a.m. Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive N.E., St. Petersburg. 352-385-9450.

Courtney Combs contributed to this report. 

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