GET OUT: Weekend Events Preview March 9-11

A Hillbilly Hoedown, classic car show and pet expo are on tap this weekend.

It’s Thursday, and you’ve got no idea what you’ll do for the weekend.

Patch is coming to the rescue. We’ve got the best bets for your done-work-outta-here time. Check our picks for the holiday activities to hit.

WHERE/WHEN: As part of its Fish Fry World Tour, Spirit FM 90.5 will visit the Lenten Fish Fry at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico, March 9 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

WHY GO: Church fish fries are competing for the title of "World's Best Fish Fry." Tune in Monday morning to see how St. Stephen scored. St. Stephen is offering fish, shrimp, fries and cole slaw (cheese pizza for the kids) each Friday during Lent. Drive-through is available. Call 813-689-4900.

WHERE/WHEN: The Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, will present a seminar on No-Fuss Foods: Creative Tacos Friday, March 9 at 10:30 a.m.

WHY GO: Cooking creative, delicious and nutritious meals does not need to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Join Rowena Sjovall of No-Fuss Foods as she demonstrates creative taco recipes that explore possibilities beyond the typical ground or shredded beef fillings.

This free program is for adults. Participants must register in advance at the Ask Me Kiosk or by calling 813-273-3652. There is a limit of 10 participants.

WHERE/WHEN: Car lovers are invited to gather at the International Independent Showmen's Association Saturday, March 10, for Rods on the River 2012, hosted by the High Rollers Car Club.

The third annual charity fundraiser and car show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Showmen's Association, 6915 Riverview Dr., in Riverview. The show will benefit Hand to Hope of Riverview.

WHY GO: Car owners will vie for a chance to win 30 trophies including best "rat rod." In addition, spectators can vote on the People's Choice winner.

The event also will include valve cover races at noon, a 50/50 drawing, music by Music Etc. and food and beverages.

The preregistration fee is $15 and registration the day of the show is $20. Dash plaques will be distributed to the first 100 cars registering. For preregistration information, visit www.hr-carclub.com.

WHERE/WHEN: RVR Horse Rescue of Riverview hosts its first Hillybilly Hoedown and BBQ Saturday, March 10. The event will take place at the horse rescue, 12611 Hayes Clan Rd., Riverview.

WHY GO: There will be a family time from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. featuring pony and hay rides, a hillybilly costume contest, a horseshoe tournament, games, prizes, drawings, food and entertainment by the Trail Dogs Bluegrass Band. A professional photographer will be on hand to take photos of all the activities. In addition, there will be jewelry and crafts booths to peruse.

The fun continues for adults after 6 p.m. with bluegrass music, square dancing, a battle of the banjos, an auction, raffles and door prizes. Adults can bring beverages to the evening event.

Admission is a $10 donation. Food tickets are $4 for kids for hamburgers and hot dogs and $7 for adult barbecue dinners.

For directions and more information, call 813-500-1071.

WHERE/WHEN: Park Square Cellar, 16132 Churchview Dr., Lithia, will host its seventh annual Spring Wine Fest Saturday, March 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11 from 1 to 4 p.m.

WHY GO: There will be 100 wines to taste, light appetizers served and 15 percent off six bottles or more of wine. Call 813-689-4560.


WHERE/WHEN: O'Brien's Irish Pub, 701 W. Lumsden Rd., Brandon, will host its sixth annual St. Puppy's Day Sunday, March 11, starting with a parade of pups at 4:30 p.m.

WHY GO: There will be a dog show and prizes for the best-dressed dog and owner, Irish dancers and drawings. Proceeds will go to animal charities.


WHERE/WHEN: The Tampa Bay Pet Expo 2012 will take place Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 S., Tampa.

WHY GO: Shorty Rossi, star of "Pit Boss" on Animal Planet, will be on hand for autographs. Animal rescue groups will be on hand with adoptable pets. There will be vendors, obedience and agility demonstration, exhibits, giveaways, entertainment and a veterinarian on hand to answer questions. Bring your pet with proof of vaccinations for free nail trimming, microchipping, heartworm and flea preventive. In addition, there will be a pet costume contest at 5 p.m.

Admission is free but parking is $5. Use the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entrance to the fairgrounds.


WHERE/WHEN: The Village Players community theater troupe will host its annual "Raise the Roof" talent show Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, at 8:15 p.m. at the James McCabe Theatre, 506 5th St., Valrico.

WHY GO: The event will showcase singers, musicians and dancers from the community with a children's show on Friday night and an adult show on Saturday night. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will go to the building fund to help preserve and restore the 1915 theater building.


WHERE/WHEN: The 20th annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts will take place Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the TECO Southshore Community Events Center, 302 Noonan Branch Rd., Apollo Beach.

WHY GO: This event will showcase fine arts and crafts from around the country in addition to a free kids' creativity center, food court and adult beverages. Tickets are $5 and kids under 12 are admitted for free. Call 813-645-1366 for information.




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