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Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things To Do. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595

Email: wynne@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SharonKWn

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  1. The winner of 'Survivor: Game Changers?' It has to be Jeff Probst

    Blog

    The winner of Survivor: Game Changers is ... Jeff Probst. Because after 34 seasons, this show is still great and creates great arguments. And good ole cool as a cucumber Jungle Jeff steers it all masterfully.

     ...

  2. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    Heading into Wednesday's finale of Survivor: Game Changers, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper said his fans need to know there are still plays to make before the end zone.

    "There's a lot of Survivor left before they get down to three," Culepper, now an attorney, said in a telephone call from his downtown Tampa law office. He was wrapping things up before heading to California for Wednesday's finale. "I can say that the next Tribal Council has something that's never happened before in the history of Survivor."...

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  3. Plan your weekend: Memorial Day, Sunset Music Fest, comic Pablo Francisco, sci-fi writer Jeff VanderMeer

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Holiday

    Memorial Day: Monday is the day to honor those who died serving their country, and the Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony will have Fox 13 anchor Alcides Segui as emcee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and musical performances starting at 10 a.m. at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg. But first, on Sunday, the Light Up Tampa Bay celebration in Channelside Bay Plaza will have live music, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Fireworks have been canceled this year, however, because of the Hillsborough burn ban. It runs 6-9 p.m. Sunday at 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free. For more Memorial Day events and parades, see Tampabay.com/thingstodo....

  4. 6 essential things you'll need before going to a theme park this summer

    Florida

    With Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, we're back with a new a guide to what's new or noteworthy in Central Florida attractions.

    For our annual Theme Park Guide, we checked out Disney World, Universal Orlando, Legoland and other attractions fighting for your vacation dollars this summer. This year, count Disney's Pandora and Universal's Volcano Bay among major newcomers....

    Guests make their way toward the entrance of Universal Studios Florida, a theme park at Universal Orlando Resort, in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. The park, which has an entertainment industry theme, features rides and attractions related to movies and television series.
  5. 2017 Florida Theme Park Guide: A look at this summer's top attractions

    Attractions

    Florida's theme parks are getting ready for their busiest season with new rides, shows and perks, and we have rounded up a guide to the best new things to see.

    With more than 112 million visitors in 2016 (a record), Florida remains the top travel destination in the world. We have some of the world's prettiest beaches and waterways, but also five of the 10 most-visited theme parks. Record sales have inspired the industry to spend millions on ever-more-exciting attractions....

    The newest fireworks presentation at Magic Kingdom uses lasers, lights, projections and pyrotechnics showing characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films. [Walt Disney World]
  6. These days, don't hit the theme park without an app and a phone charger

    Florida

    Emile Crawford stocks two back-up phone battery chargers these days when she takes her kids to Disney World. But she dare not venture into a theme park without a smart phone app, an accessory becoming as necessary as sunscreen in Florida theme parks.

    "Look at today," the Orlando mom said on a recent stop in Animal Kingdom. "It's 11 a.m. and already I'm at 30 percent."

    It can be draining, literally. But if you want to make the most of your time at a theme park these days, a smart phone app helps. In the last three years, theme park companies have invested millions to turn apps into must-have tools to reserve a spot in line, buy tickets and even order your dinner. Disney and Universal, each with new attractions opening this week, are at the forefront....

    A wristband visitors will wear at the new Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, Florida. The wristband, called Tapu Tapu, tells you when it's your turn to get on a ride. It also lets you pay for food so you don't have to carry a wallet and opens lockers so you don't have to  carry a key. (Universal via AP)
  7. James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and more appear at Disney's Pandora

    Florida

    ORLANDO — As he stood on a stage at Disney World Wednesday, director James Cameron revealed his teenage dreams.

    He was 19 when he first envisioned a bioluminescent world of strange creatures and floating mountains, he said. Now, he was standing under one to dedicate a new land in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Pandora — the World of Avatar.

    Disney CEO Bob Iger joined Cameron on stage in Orlando "to honor the best of both our worlds" in dedicating the new land in the zoo-like theme park estimated to have cost $500 million....

    Joe Rohde, design and production leader for Pandora-World of Avatar land attraction, explains about the caverns and the meaning of the cave drawings of the Na'vi, the native inhabitants of the planet Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. [Associated Press]
  8. Best bets for fun this weekend: Margarita Festival, science fiction writer Jeff VanderMeer, comic Pablo Francisco

    Events

    LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival

    Get ready for summer with your favorite blender drinks at the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival, headlined by the Barenaked Ladies (One Week) with opener Cowboy Mouth. Also new this year is a cashless wristband. There will be more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks, including Sriracha strawberry, bacon and even jalapeno Cabo. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. $15-$25, $30 at door (if available); $85-$150 VIP, $175 at door (if available). It runs from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (727) 452-6984. tampamargaritafest.com....

    Best-selling author Jeff VanderMeer will celebrate the release of his novel Borne with a talk at Tampa’s Oxford Exchange on Sunday, May 28.
  9. 5 things to do under $5: Memorial Day, Corvettes in the Park, kids' fishing derby

    Events

    1 Memorial Day: Monday is the day to honor those who died serving their country, and the Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony will have Fox 13 anchor Alcides Segui as emcee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and musical performances starting at 10 a.m. at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg. But first, on Sunday, the Light Up Tampa Bay celebration in Channelside Bay Plaza will have live music, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Fireworks have been canceled this year, however, due to the Hillsborough burn ban. It runs 6-9 p.m. Sunday at 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free. For more Memorial Day events and parades, see Page 5....

    Bay Pines VA’s Memorial Day Ceremony will have Fox 13 anchor Acides Segui as emcee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and musical performances.
  10. Famous Lego exhibition coming to Tampa for a free show courtesy of the Viniks

    Events

    Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, have a fondness for modern, whimsical art. And Vinik and his partners have laid out plans to transform Tampa's Channelside area into a dynamic urban center full of parks, public art and amenities.

    A famous Lego art exhibition coming to downtown Tampa this summer will snap those two sides of the Viniks together.

    The Vinik Family Foundation is announcing today that it will sponsor a free, family-friendly art installation from June 23 to Sept. 4 called "The Art of the Brick." It's a touring exhibition of imaginative Lego creations by Nathan Sawaya that has been drawing huge crowds around the world since 2007....

    Sawaya has received raves for his replicas, like this transformation of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.
  11. Survivor recap: Can ex-Buc Brad Culpepper make it to the end zone?

    Blog

    Watching  ex-Buccaneer Brad Culpepper at the end of  Wednesday night's penultimate episode of Survivor: Game Changers all I can hear in my head is ESPN's Chris Berman. "Culpepper's got the immunity ... He's headed to the finale!... And the final 6! ... He ... could ... go ... all...  the.... way!"

    But really, could he? Will people who have starved and scraped and fought for more than a month on a desert island award $1 million to a prominent lawyer and ex-NFL star?

    It's been a much different season so far for the Tampa lawyer who was famously flipped off and cursed out ("Eff-you Brad Culpepper!") the last time he played Survivor: Blood vs. Water in 2013 with his wife, Monica. He was portrayed as the ruler of a dude-ocracy that pushed the little ladies aside....

    Survivor host Jeff Probst awards Brad Culpepper with the Immunity Necklace on the thirteenth episode of Survivor: Game Changers, ensuring that the Tampa lawyer will be in the finale May 24 among the season's final six
  12. Heading to finale, how did Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper do on 'Survivor' last night?

    The Feed

    Brad Culpepper heads to 'Survivor' finale

    Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper once again outlasted the other players on Survivor: Game Changers and is headed to next week's season finale, where one castaway will win $1 million.

    He won a critical Immunity Challenge to be safe from eviction and will be among the final six players when the finale airs from 8 to 10 p.m. May 24, followed by a live reunion show on CBS. ...

    Brad Culpepper, a former NFL player and contestant on the reality show "Survivor,"  in his law office in downtown Tampa on Monday, May 8, 2017. Culpepper is currently appearing in his second season on the show.
  13. 5 things to do under $5: Bicycle rides, RV show, Bands and Beer By the Bay

    Events

    1 National Bike Month: There are several free bike rides — some for a good cause — to choose from this weekend for National Bike Month. On Friday, cyclists will meet at 8 a.m. at Station Square Park, 612 Cleveland St., Clearwater, for a leisurely 4-mile Bike Your City ride that includes free bike lights, a T-shirt, safety information, bike checkups, food and drink. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m., cyclists 18 and older will meet at the Sierra Club Office, 1990 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, for a bicycle ride on the Pinellas Trail to St. Pete Beach to participate in Hands Across the Sand, a worldwide show of support for ocean-friendly environmental policies. Helmets required. Or join the regular weekly Sunday Bicycle Rides, this week taking a tour of Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. Meet at Shelter 5 at 7:30 a.m. Sunday for a 25-mile ride along the waterfront to Upper Tampa Bay Park and back. Helmets are required. (727) 415-8993. ...

    There are several free bike rides — some for a good cause — to choose from this weekend for National Bike Month.
  14. This week's best bets: Vivica A. Fox and friends, hip-hop violinist Damien Escobar

    Events

    PULLING STRINGS: Damien Escobar

    The streets of Queens were the first stage for Damien Escobar, who at age 9 busked with his brother as the hip-hop violin duo Nuttin' but Stringz. Escobar, a classical music prodigy, graduated from Juilliard at age 13. Before the duo dissolved in 2012, Nuttin' but Stringz made it to the finals of America's Got Talent, played for presidents and toured the world. Escobar, now 30, has said he had a tough transition on his own but eventually took up his instrument again. His covers of songs by Alicia Keys and John Legend went viral. Now touring behind his solo album Boundless, he takes the stage at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com....

    Author Morgan Parker recently published a collection of poems called, “There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonc?.”
  15. Defying the norms of graphic novels, 'My Favorite Thing is Monsters' dazzles critics of all stripes

    Books

    It's unheard of in the comic book world for something like My Favorite Thing Is Monsters to be sold out everywhere.

    But this gorgeous book has been getting buzz since it surfaced at last year's Comic-Con in San Diego. When it finally arrived in stores in February, critics swooned — and not just the kind of reader you'd find in every Kevin Smith movie. Real, bona fide literature-loving critics from the New York Times and London's Guardian called it a dazzling story with beautiful cross-hatched art worthy of a museum....

    The cover for “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.”