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What to do this weekend in Tampa Bay

A group of butterflies in the air
Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

🏚 Saturday Block pARTy: Check out the Studios at 5663's haunted interactive exhibit, which might even feature a spooky Bob Ross. Plus a costume contest.

Downtown planners discuss future of streeteries

A Parklet outside the Pint and Brew in downtown Tampa.
A parklet outside the Pint and Brew in downtown Tampa. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

Two years into a pandemic-altered lifestyle, downtown planners have learned people really love one temporary change — outdoor dining at "parklets" or "streeteries."

  • The future of parklets was a hot topic at this week's 67th annual International Downtown Association convention in Tampa.

How to step up your Halloween display

Peter Schorch's Halloween display at his St. Pete home, with red and purple lights everywhere.
Peter Schorch's Halloween display at his St. Pete home. Photo: Allison Davis

Florida Politics editor Peter Schorsch loves putting up Halloween displays at his St. Petersburg house but didn't realize how much his neighbors loved the tradition until he heard someone ask, "Is the big pink house doing Halloween lights?"

  • That's when he knew he had to step up his game.

Rethinking Tampa's "blank canvas"

A shot of vacant Marion Street, a bus artery through downtown Tampa, on Wednesday morning.
A shot of vacant Marion Street, a bus artery through downtown Tampa, on Wednesday morning. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

There's a nearly vacant boulevard that cuts right through the heart of downtown Tampa featuring beautiful shade trees, wide sidewalks, very little traffic ... and virtually no activity.

  • Designed in the 1980s, Marion Street is a transit artery for city buses through the middle of downtown that is closed to cars. And since there's no car traffic, there's also been no business development.
  • No sidewalk cafés, shoe-shine kiosks or newsstands. It's an urban canyon lined by the bare backs of buildings.
Selene San Felice
Oct 21, 2021 - News

Brian Laundrie's items, possible remains found

The T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve.
The T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie as well as potential human remains were found in Carlton Reserve yesterday, FBI officials announced.

Driving the news: Laundrie's notebook and backpack, along with the possible partial human remains, were in an area that had been underwater until recently, FBI Tampa Special Agent Michael McPherson said at a press conference.

Selene San Felice
Oct 21, 2021 - News

You ask, we answer: Graffiti on the Hillsborough

Rowers' art on the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge.
Rowers' art on the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge. Photo courtesy of Lydia Harvey Hamilton

The first question in our What Are You Wondering series comes from a St. Pete reader.

  • What’s with all the crew graffiti on the Hillsborough River? Why did that become a thing? Do crew teams graffiti other sea walls in other college towns?

What we found: Crew team graffiti has been part of the Hillsborough River's history for half a century.

Ben Montgomery
Oct 20, 2021 - News

Florida environmentalists turn to cattle ranchers for help

Photo of a man in a cowboy hat riding a horse in the sunrise.
Photo: Carlton Ward Jr.

The Florida cowboy is a dying breed, but we need them to survive to keep Florida healthy.

Driving the news: Environmentalists want to help cattle ranchers preserve their swaths of land and be a line of defense against sprawling development, protecting watersheds and wildlife's habitat and migrations.

Ben Montgomery
Oct 20, 2021 - Sports

Dick Vitale preps for cancer fight

Dick Vitale sits with a microphone in front of his face smiling.
Sportscaster Dick Vitale broadcasts on March 9, 2020. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Beat this one, baby.

What's happening: Dick Vitale, a longtime Bradenton resident and colorful sports commentator, was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in a few months, he announced in a blog post.

  • Doctors removed melanoma from his nose this summer and have now detected lymphoma.