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Best Bets: Fun stuff to do this week

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 12:57 AM

Can't decide what to do? Don't worry, we figured it out for you. Here are our editors' picks, including Rock the Vote and the IMPACT Film Festival.

Can't decide what to do? Don't worry, we figured it out for you. Here are our editors' picks, including Rock the Vote and the IMPACT Film Festival.

AT THE MOVIES

(Opening Friday)

When a New York bicycle messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up an envelope at Columbia University, a dirty cop becomes desperate to get his hands on it and chases the messenger through the city in "Premium Rush." Also new: "Hit & Run" and "The Apparition."

YOUNG VOTERS UNITE

(Friday)

Music and politics come together at the Rock the Vote kickoff for the Republican National Convention aimed at empowering young people to get out and vote. The free Centro Ybor event includes voter registrations and the promoters promise a "musical surprise" at 7 p.m.

BEAT THE BLACKOUT

(Friday)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on defending AFC conference champions New England Patriots in a preseason matchup at Raymond James Stadium. The 7:30 p.m. game will not be televised due to blackout restrictions. Tickets are $30 to $400.

SOHO WELCOMES THE RNC

(Friday)

The Hyde Park Café hosts the RNC SoHo Kickoff Party to welcome early-arriving convention visitors to one of Tampa's prime party districts. There's free shots for women, and music from DJs Jaime Ferreira, Shaykee, Santana and Ma*Chino. Women get in free before 11 p.m. or $10 after. Men are $10 before 11 p.m. or $15 after.

QUITE AN IMPRESSION

(Friday through Sunday)

Comic and impressionist Frank Caliendo, known for his impressions of actors and politicians, brings his cache of characters to the Tampa Improv. You can bet he'll do some political big-wigs.

A COMEDIAN AND A CONSERVATIVE

(Saturday)

Comedian Adam Carolla, who once co-hosted a cable show that featured buxom women jumping on trampolines, doesn't think of himself as a conservative; but he has become a hero in some Republican circles. He'll team with Dennis Prager for a show at the Straz Center.

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR

(Saturday)

Musicians Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds are among the groups jamming at the 7 p.m. Hippiefest at Ruth Eckerd Hall. There will also be a marketplace of goodies. Tickets are $45 to $79.

BIG TIME BOY BAND

(Saturday)

Big Time Rush, the bubblegum pop-rock band that grew to fame on the Nickelodeon series of the same name, will bring its all-ages friendly Big Time Summer Tour to the 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. Emerging Australian pop singer Cody Simpson will open. Tickets are $20 to $65.

DIGITAL DEMOCRACY

(Saturday)

Democracy 2.0 will feature panelists from the world's top social media outlets discussing the impact of social media on worldwide politics. A VIP meet-and-greet with delegates from Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yelp starts at Relevant Church, 1704 North 16th St.,  Tampa, at 5 p.m., with the main event at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $25.

THE DUDE ABIDES

(Monday through Wednesday)

Channelside Cinemas will host the IMPACT Film Festival, screening movies on topical social issues such as voter rights, child hunger and drug policy. Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges (AKA "The Dude" in "The Big Lebowski") will be there, as well as TV personality Mo Rocca and other special guests. RSVP for tickets at filmfund.org.

VOTING ON THE DANCE FLOOR

(Tuesday)

Electro house DJ/producer Steve Aoki will be spinning during the Rock the Vote Celebration at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City to promote voter registration during the Republican Nation Convention. (Delegates and news outlets can probably find their missing interns here.)

SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK

(Tuesday)

The 26th president of the United States shares his experiences as a guest at the Tampa Bay Hotel as part of a tour of the Tampa landmark (yes, he's an actor). Guests can even ask "Lt. Col. Roosevelt" questions at the Henry B. Plant Museum.

ON THE FREE AND CHEAP

Caladium Festival: Take a drive to Lake Placid, the Caladium Capital of the World to enjoy the celebration of these beautiful and varied plants, along with some good old-fashioned festival entertainment; 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday; free; Stuart Park, 132 E. Interlake Blvd., Lake Placid; (863) 465-4331.

Tasting Tampa: Sample some of the best mobile eats that Tampa has to offer along with music and family fun at this South Tampa food truck rally event; Saturday 4 to 8 p.m.; $5 to $10; Hyde Park Presbyterian Church, 1309 W. Swann Ave., Tampa; (813) 253-0069.

Spelling Bee: Kids age 8 to 11 can register to win prizes with their mad spelling skills at this annual Macy's event, registration limited to first 50 kids; Saturday 2 p.m.; free; Macy's Citrus Park, 7801 Citrus Park Town Center, Tampa; (813) 926-7300.

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