1 Treasure Island Kite Fest: It may be chilly on the beach in January, but there will be creatures swimming — though they will be high in the air behind the Thunderbird Resort on Treasure Island. Last year it was a giant mermaid and merman who appeared to be paddling through the blue sky, next to a giant squid with its head aimed at the clouds. Kites of all shapes and sizes take flight in a weekend-long show of tricks set to music, precision flying, huge themed kites and amateur fliers. Bring your own kite; vendors will also be on site selling kites and supplies. Weather permitting, there may be giant bubbles and a night kite-flying session. It's all free from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday behind the Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd. (727) 320-9463.
2 Florida Manatee Festival: One reason Crystal River is such a popular kayaking destination is the mobs of manatees that make their way there each winter to gather in the magnificent Kings Bay. To celebrate the sea cow that put the town on the map, the Manatee Festival will have an arts and craft show as well as manatee-related events and tours of Three Sisters Springs. Admission is $4, 12 and younger free, in downtown Crystal River, U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue. The festival runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
3 Brewery Grand Opening Celebration: Pair O' Dice Brewing has been mixing up craft beers for local bars and restaurants for more than a month now, but it officially opens the doors to its tasting room with a party including live music from local band Fowler's Bluff, from 6 to 9 p.m., five limited release beers, two nitro beers and Der Wurstwagen food truck serving up brats and German street food for sale from 4 to 9 p.m. Free admission (food/drink additional) at Pair O' Dice Brewing on the edge of Pinellas Park at 4400 118th Ave. N, Clearwater. (727) 755-3423. The party runs from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
4 '80s Hair Metal Party: Get out the Aqua Net and dress like your favorite '80s rocker for a party at New World Brewery that will rock you like a hurricane with prizes for best hair and costumes and music by DJs Cub and CatMat. The unskinny bopping starts at 9 p.m. Saturday and entrance is free at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Tampa.
5 Gulfport Arbor Day Celebration: The rest of the country may celebrate Arbor Day in the spring but here in Florida, it's the third Friday in January. Gulfport gets into the act this Friday by handing out free pecan and myrtle leaf holly seedlings to take home, while they last, as well as free refreshments. Children from the city's School Year Child Care Program will be there to read excerpts, the Gulfport Teen Council will provide refreshments and a new tree will be planted. The free event starts at 10 a.m. Friday at the Michael J. Yakes Recreation Complex, 5730 Shore Blvd. S.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer