Fun 'n Sun marks 61st anniversary with 40 events

The city’s 61st Fun ’n Sun Celebration begins Friday. The 10-day event features more than 40 diverse events including concerts, health fairs, a softball homerun derby, a drive-in movie, a comedy show, and beer-tasting.

Fun ’n Sun started in 1954 as a way to keep snowbirds in town a little longer. Since, it has become one of the Tampa Bay’s signature events, drawing more than 50,000 visitors each year.

For a complete list of events go to www.funnsunclearwater.com

Here are are some highlights.

» Friday — Blast Friday from 5:30 - 10 p.m. in downtown, the 400 block of the Cleveland Street District, with live music from Mark Farner and Stormbringer. This free, family-friendly street festival is sponsored by Bright House Networks and features a variety of vendors, food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. For information, call 791-7400 or visit www.blastfridayclearwater.com.

» Saturday — Party with Q105 at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. Gates open at 1 p.m. Live rock music performance schedule for the day:

• 1:30 p.m. – Kirk McEwen Band

• 3 p.m. – Orleans

• 4:45 p.m. – Atlanta Rhythm Section

• 6:35 p.m. – The Romantics

• 8:25 p.m. – Eddie Money

» Sunday — Sun Toyota Fun ‘n Sun celebration will be presented by WQYK at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. Gates open at noon. General admission tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event. Weekend packages and VIP ticketing are also available. Call (800) 514-ETIX, ext. 1.

The concert will feature performances by:

• John King at 12:45 p.m.

• Blackjack Billy at 1:40 p.m.

• Natalie Stovall & The Drive at 2:40 p.m.

• LoCash Cowboys at 3:40 p.m.

• Swon Brothers at 4:55 p.m.

• Cole Swindell at 6 p.m.

• Rodney Atkins at 7:15 p.m.

» Monday — No scheduled events.

» Tuesday — Boz Scaggs will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street. Tickets may be purchased at RuthEckerdHall.com. Tickets start at $85. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com.

Santana will perform at 8 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Rd. Tickets may be purchased at RuthEckerdHall.com.

» Wednesday — A Health Expo will be held 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Rd. The expo includes free health screenings by BayCare, health tips, vendors, exhibits, and pre-game one-mile wellness walk.

Tickets to the 1 o’clock baseball game between the Threshers and the Brevard County Manatees are $5 each. Call 467-4457.

Following the game, the Threshers will host a Home Run Happy Hour from 5 to 9 p.m., at Frenchy’s Tiki Bar. Food will be provided by Abe’s Place Tap & Grill.

The happy hour will also feature a Home Run Derby contest starting at 6. The winners of the derby will win a chance to host a party in the Thresher’s suite during a future game. To participate, a $20 entry fee is required. A portion of the proceeds will benefit charities of Phillies Florida. To register for the derby contest, call (727) 712-4316 or send an e-mail to Doug Kemp at dkemp@threshersbaseball.com.

» Thursday, May 1 — No scheduled events.

» Friday, May 2 — A nostalgic drive-in movie experience starts at 8:15 p.m. in the parking lot of Joe DiMaggio Field, 2450 Drew St., 8:15 p.m. The movie “FROZEN” will be projected on a four-story inflatable movie screen. Seating with speakers will also be available. A $5 admission fee is suggested.

» Saturday, May 3 — Laughs & Draughts, a comedy and beer tasting event, will begin at 6 p.m. at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. Comedian Shawn Wayans headlines the event. His opening act includes Julian McCullough and Boomer Nichols. This event is for adults age 21 and older. Guests will be required to present identification at the gate.

Beers from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company will be available to taste including Cigar City Maduro, Cigar City Jai Alai, Cigar City Helles, and Cigar City Florida Cracker.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Ticket price includes four beer tasting tickets and general admission to the comedy show.

» Sunday, May 4 — The last day of the 10-day festival will wrap up at Pier 60 Park in Clearwater Beach. The daily Pier 60 sunset celebration, a free family event that features artisans, crafters, street performers and musical entertainment, a movie and fireworks show are planned. 

Visit www.sunsetsatpier60.com