Kat here, Labor Day holiday means the end of summer vacations, barbeques and summer fun… or does it?  Don’t think I am letting summer end yet!  Good news is that Tampa has 361 days of sunshine, which means summer can be extended through the other seasons and most locals just get to enjoy another 3 day weekend! 

Whether your weekend plans include barbecue, pool time, family time, party time here are a few ways you can enjoy your three day weekend.

Friday

Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week: Tonight night is your last chance to dine at any of the 98 Dine Tampa Bay Restaurants.  This flavorful tradition offers three course, prix-fixe menus priced at $25, $35 and $45.  A great time to try a new restaurant or visit an old favorite.  More info and a full list of restaurants: www.DineTampaBay.com.

Blake Shelton at the MidFlorida Credit Union: Who could forget Blake Shelton’s spectacular performance at The Florida Strawberry Festival back in March.  Married to kick-butt, pistol-packing Miranda Lambert and star judge on NBC’s hit show, The Voice, Blake has become one of the biggest stars in all music genres and is prepped to pack the Amp tonight at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets start at $25.

D.L. Hughley at the Improv in Ybor:  Funny guy D.L. Hughley, star of the sitcom The Hughtleys will be knocking back jokes during his stand-up comedy act Friday and Saturday night at the Improv in Ybor.  Shows are at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.  Tickets are $30.  More information visit: http://www.improvtampa.com

Saturday

Ybor is the place to be!  There is so much going on during Saturdays in Ybor, in fact you should plan to spend the whole day there.  Rise and shine at 9:30 a.m. for “Yoga in the Park”, a free (donation based) class that welcomes beginners and taught by trained professionals.  Located in the Ybor City State Museum Gardens, a beautiful and peaceful environment and the perfect place to start your day.  After Yoga, head over to Centinnial Park in Ybor for the “Ybor City Saturday Market”.  The largest continually operating outdoor market in the Tampa Bay area.  Expect to find treasures like locally produced items like art and gourmet foods only unique to the Tampa Bay area. The market is every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For an extra special treat that includes Fido, be sure to check out “Pets on the Patio” at Gaspar’s Grotto.  Every first Saturday of the month, Gaspar’s Grotto hosts a pet friendly event from 4 p.m. to 7p.m.  Home to an amazingly delicious Cuban sandwich and the famous $2 shot and beer special, enjoy other drink and food specials while your furry friend plays and makes new friends.

World’s Largest Food Truck Rally: The Florida State Fairgrounds will try to take Miami’s title and win the Guinness World Record for largest rally with more than 100 food trucks across the Southeast.  The event is FREE, but does cost $6 to park.  Entertainment will include 15 bands that kick off at 11 a.m. and a boat load of food trucks!  Those who are feeling generous, be sure to bring non-perishable food donations to support Feeding America until 8 p.m.  For more information visit: www.facebook.com/GenerationFoodTruck

SoHo Food Truck Rally:  Trucks are rolling out in SoHo at MacDinton’s Irish Pub (405 S. Howard Ave., Tampa) from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature a great variety of trucks for foodies to enjoy!  Some trucks attending the SoHo food truck rally are: Dub and Jimbo’s, Just Smokin BBQ, Lucia’s Gelato, Nico’s Arepas Grill, Rollin Zoinks and the Cheesery and introduces some new trucks to the SoHo Food Truck Rally crowd. Alaska Mike’s Yukon Fry Bread, Lizzy Cakes, Pasta Bowl Food Truck, Pocket Rockets, and Thai One On will all be making their SoHo Food Truck Rally Debut.  This event is FREE!  The SoHo Food Truck Rally takes place every last Saturday of the month at MacDinton’s.  We know some of you are sad that Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week is over, so join us at the SoHo Food Truck Rally to celebrate.  More information on the SoHo Food Truck Rally: http://www.tampabayfoodtruckrally.com/

Sunday

Neon Xtreme: Calling itself “the world’s largest glow-in-the-dark party,” 50,000 glow sticks will light up this party as it hits Ybor City’s nightclub, The Ampitheatre with music by DOCO, DJ Flaco, Dempseys and more!  Doors open at 10 p.m. and  FREE if you get there before 11 p.m., after 11 tickets start around $19.05-$29.55. For more information check out : http://www.amptampa.com/events/event-neon-xtreme-1-20-13.html

End of Summer Boat Parade & Fireworks:  We all know Labor Day signals the end of summer, but don’t let that ruin your day.  Continue celebrating summer this Sunday during the Boat Parade and fireworks show in downtown Tampa.  Grab a spot at The Sail Pavilion (bar outside of the Tampa Convention Center) and watch the lighted and blinged out boats move through the Bay along the Tampa Riverwalk.  Live entertainment starts begins around 6 p.m. and the boats launch around 7:30 p.m. with the fireworks show kicking off at 8:30 p.m.  This is a FREE event folks!  If you are looking for something more kid-friendly, head over to The Florida Aquarium who is offering a discounted admission of $15 after 5 p.m.  From there you will also have a great view of the boat parade and fireworks!  Information on the Boat Parade can be found here: www.FunInTampaBay.com and on the Florida Aquarium: http://www.flaquarium.org.

Stay tuned for more ways to unlock summer fun in Tampa Bay!