This should go without saying, but I'm just gonna go for it: Use CL's guide to eating out on New Year's Eve this weekend. For locals who'd rather welcome 2018 at the bar, however, there are some non-restaurant NYE options mixed in with our usual roundup of food and drink events.
There's still time to make it to Friday's 2 p.m. Medicinal & Edible Weed Walk. Traditions School of Herbal Studies co-directors Bob Linde and Renee Prince, who grow 150-plus medicinal plants at their St. Petersburg home, lead participants through the lovely Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, discussing both edible and medicinal plants along the way. There's a small cost to get into the park, but the walk is free. $3. 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg.
Choose from four types of poutine — topped with scratch-made brown gravy — from the Poutine Food Truck at Zephyrhills Brewing Company. The Canadian staple that is poutine can be made with any array of toppings (though the OG recipe incorporates gravy) in addition to the traditional base of cheese curds and French fries. Wash it all down between 5 and 11 p.m. Saturday with a cold pint of house beer. Free, money for beer and food. 38530 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills, 813-715-2683.
Another local brewery, In the Loop, is hosting an end-of-the-year celebration on Saturday, too, featuring beer and wine tastings, snacks, a free prosecco toast at 10 p.m. and live music. Guests are asked to dress in 1920s-era attire, but shhh! Eve of the Eve is supposed to be a hush-hush shindig from 7 to 11 p.m. Find tickets online. $35. 3338 Land O' Lakes Blvd., Land O' Lakes, 813-997-9189.
On Sunday, Tampa Bay Club Sport's final bar hop of 2017 — hosted from 2 to 7 p.m. — takes revelers around downtown St. Pete for an NYE Pregame. A free drink is included at each of the five stops, and the affordable pub crawl has just one instruction: wear white. It all kicks off at Caddy's on Central. Tickets can be purchased online. $15-$25. 217 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-575-7939.
Held annually, the New Year's Eve Bash at the Independent Bar and Cafe steps up its game with live tunes from Tampa's Best of the Bay-winning band Poetry N Lotion. This 21-and-up neighborhood event kicks off at 9 p.m. Sunday, and admission includes a Champs toast once the clock strikes midnight. $10. 5016 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-341-4883.