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Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things to Do. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595


Twitter: @SharonKWn

  1. You can buy the balls from Amalie's Beach Tampa exhibit at auction


    More than 100,000 people showed up at Amalie Arena in 2016 to frolic in a huge ball pit. It was a sea of 1.2 million white orbs so vast that grown men could belly flop and remain afloat.

    Almost two years after The Beach Tampa packed up, some 15,000 leftover white balls are going up for sale at an auction in Pinellas Park this weekend.

    These balls were never used in the traveling art exhibit, created by New York design firm Snarkitecture and paid for by the Vinik Family Foundation. They got left behind when 10 tractor-trailer trucks of balls left Amalie, said Sam Carr, the arena's operations analyst. ...

  2. Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children's Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra's Dvorak


    Plan your weekend


    Children's Parade: A week before the more raucous pirate invasion, the G-rated version hits the streets. The Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade kicks off Gasparilla season with a bicycle safety rodeo on Saturday (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), preschooler's stroll (1:30-2:45 p.m.) and an air invasion (2:45-3:15 p.m.). Then comes the parade with more than 100 units, krewes and dance groups (3:30-6 p.m.), a night jump (6:15-6:30 p.m.) and a fireworks extravaganza (7-7:30 p.m.). The parade starting point on Saturday is at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa. ...

  3. 5 things to do under $5: Tampa music history, Suncoast Arts Festival


    1 Suncoast Arts Festival: Acclaimed electric rock string quintet Violectric, above, headlines Saturday (3:40-5:40 p.m.) at this two-day fine arts event featuring more than 130 artisans, live entertainment and a kids art garden at the Shops at Wiregrass. Barefoot Bob and the Hope and funk rocker Sarasota Slim close out the festival Sunday (4:15-6 p.m.). 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. Free. ...

  4. Top things to do this week: Steve Martin and Martin Short, Gasparilla Children's Parade


    PICKING AND GRINNING: Steve Martin and Martin Short

    There wasn't a lot of bluegrass being played around Hamilton, Ontario, when Martin Short was a kid. But his decades-long friendship with Steve Martin has made him a fan, which brings An Evening With Steve Martin and Martin Short to the Mahaffey Theater on Friday. "I had no idea what bluegrass was before," Short said by phone. "I just thought it was something that you mentioned to your gardener. But it is so phenomenal. … As Paul Shaffer once said of Steve: Of all the people that came on Letterman who were in comedy who call themselves a musician, there's only one true musician who's also in comedy, and that's Steve." At this, Steve Martin, listening in on the line, practically blushes: "Aw, Marty!" But it's true: Martin owns a handful of Grammys for his skills on the banjo. You can see why at 7 p.m. Friday, when the comedy icons bring their show back to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, with Martin joined by longtime bluegrass collaborators the Steep Canyon Rangers. Tickets are $95 and up, with a VIP add-on that includes a pre- and post-show dinner and cocktail reception featuring an appearance by Martin and Short. (727) 893-7832.

  5. Plan your weekend: MLK Day, Monster Jam, Sunshine Music Festival, comic Nikki Glaser, Christian artists at Winter Jam


    Plan your weekend


    MLK Day: Before the parades on Monday in downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa's Cuscaden Park, there will be a block party and battle of the bands on Sunday with the Florida A&M Rattlers, Tuskegee University's Marching Crimson Piper Band, South Carolina State Marching "101" Band, Talladega College Tornado, Edward Waters High School and other local high school bands. $15, $10 students. Jefferson High School, 4401 W Cypress St., Tampa. (813) 872-5241. 3-10 p.m. Sunday. For a full list of Martin Luther King Day events see

  6. Top things to do this week: Monster Jam, comic Nikki Glaser, Totally '80s movie series, National Geographic Live


    BIG WHEELS: Monster Jam

    Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns Saturday to Raymond James Stadium to run the specially built track. This family-friendly show is so popular, the trucks will be back on Feb. 3 for another battle. Come early to tailgate and get pictures with the trucks and drivers in the Party in the Pits. The enormous trucks will go through the paces in Freestyle, a judged competition of stunts; 2-Wheel Skills, in which at least two wheels are in the air for stunts; and a race along a prescribed course. 7 p.m. 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$185. ...

  7. 5 things to do under $5: Kite festival, Florida Manatee Festival


    1 Treasure Island Sport Kite Festival: The annual competition returns to the beach behind the Thunderbird Resort, filling the sky with kites as flyers perform to music at this two-day event. There will be dual-line and multi-line sport kite flying in a wide array of disciplines, and free lessons on how to fly stunt kites. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 10700 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. (727) 320-9463....

  8. Meet the monster trucks: Free truck displays around Tampa Bay


    Before Monster Jam invades Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, some of the show's biggest stars will be on display across the Tampa Bay area.

    You can and take pictures with the 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound monster trucks at the following free appearances, all Thursday:

    Dalmation will be set up at Metro PCS, 2907 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, at 2 p.m.

    Max D, Stepps Towing, 9602 U.S. 92 E, Tampa, at 2 p.m....

  9. Disney theme park deal for Florida residents returns, but the price climbs


    January once again brings a Florida resident ticket deal from Walt Disney World, though the price continues to climb.

    Florida residents can get three days at a Walt Disney World theme park for $159 per person, and add a fourth day for $20 more per person. Sorry snowbirds, out-of-state tourists have to pay $289 for the same ticket. And it is a price break from the usual $199 three-day ticket for Florida residents....

  10. Plan your weekend: Marvel Universe Live, School of Rock, Epiphany in Tarpon Springs, Tom Petty tribute


    Plan your weekend


    Marvel Universe Live: Marvel first paired up with the Ringling Bros' production company Feld Entertainment in 2014 to create its first live action stunt show. The gang's back together for the second edition of Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes coming to Amalie Area in Tampa this weekend. This version increased the use of projection mapping to turn a dull, grey floor into virtually any place in the Marvel universe. Avengers like Hulk and Iron Man, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy gang, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and a host of other fan favorites have been assembled for the show, which also has dirt bike stunts, fire dancers and some nifty special effects. There will be six shows running Friday through Sunday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $20-$150 at

  11. 5 under $5: American Stage's Under 20 Passport begins, Nerf gun wars, meet the 'ToyMakerz'


    1 Under 20 Free Passport: American Stage is starting the year off with a deal aimed at creating young theater fans. The Under 20 Free Passport allows people under 20 to get into mainstage productions at no cost. And a new Under 30 Pass offers patrons younger than 30 unlimited access for mainstage productions, improv, cabaret or American Stage in the Park for $15 a month. Under 20 tickets may be reserved by phone at (727) 823-7529. Rush tickets may also be available without a reservation 30 minutes prior to a performance. American Stage is at 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg.

  12. Top things to do this week: Marvel Universe Live, comedian Brad Garrett, Epiphany


    SUPERHEROES: Marvel Universe Live

    Marvel fans, assemble! The multibillion-dollar juggernaut paired up with the Ringling Bros. production company Feld Entertainment in 2014 to create its first live action stunt show. The gang's back together for the second edition of Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes coming to Amalie Area in Tampa this weekend.

    This version increased the use of projection mapping to turn a dull, gray floor into virtually any place in the Marvel universe (including Black Panther's home of Wakanda) and motion tracking devices even adjust as sets and doors move. Avengers like Hulk and Iron Man, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy gang, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and a host of other fan favorites have been assembled for the show. The group unites in keeping the powerful Wand of Watoomb away from Thor's brother Loki. ...

  13. School's closed and it's cold. Here are places to take the kids.


    Most public school students in Tampa Bay are off until Jan. 8, and we also happen to be experiencing some pretty chilly temperatures for the remainder of vacation. Here are some suggestions to keep the kids entertained and stay warm at the same time.

    The Florida Aquarium

    The Florida Aquarium has a treat included with admission: a new 4-D Theater now screening Polar Express. The 4-D experience combines the screening of a 3-D film with bubbles, wind and scents. Shows daily through Jan. 11. $28.95, $26.95 seniors, $23.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Tickets are generally about $2 cheaper if you buy them online. (813) 273-4000.

  14. Where to find fireworks for New Year's Eve in Tampa Bay


    We'll take a cup of kindness, sure, but what we really want to see on New Year's Eve is stuff blown up in a dazzling fireworks show. So here's a quick guide to where you can see fireworks on Sunday night to start the year off with a bang:

    • Downtown St. Petersburg: As part of its alcohol-free First Night celebration there will be fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight. It's free to wander around, but buttons get you into activities. $12-$15, $5-$10 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. Straub Park at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-8906. ...

  15. Plan your weekend: New Year's Eve, Harry Potter and the Florida Orchestra, comic Jim Gaffigan


    Plan your weekend


    New Year's Eve: As 2018 approaches, the Tampa Bay area is ready to celebrate with champagne toasts and views of fireworks and — extra! extra! — dimpled Extra host and Saved by the Bell alum Mario Lopez, inset, who will be in Tampa to ring in the new year at the Pied Piper New Year's Eve party ($75 and up at And there will be midnight firework displays in downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa's Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, Clearwater Beach and Apollo Beach. For a full list of parties, see