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Best bets

What to do this weekend.

By Times Staff
Published January 14, 2005

Who will be top dog?

A toy poodle named Coleman is the dog to watch this weekend as the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships dog show comes to Tampa for the first time. He's the No. 1 dog in the country at the moment, but he has some tough competition, including Buzz, the country's top yellow Labrador; Tommie, the top boxer; and Morgan, a 4-year-old otterhound with 19 best in show titles. The championships also include agility and obedience competitions and a meet the breeds show. It all takes place at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., and the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. The big show is from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (broadcast live on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel), but there are events and competitions throughout the day today, Saturday and Sunday. Adult admission for the two-day championship is $25, $20 for seniors and $10 for children (younger than 2 admitted for free). One-day tickets are $18, $15 and $5. Each day's ticket is good for admission to both the convention center and the St. Pete Times Forum.

Reflections of Monet

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg on Sunday opens "Monet's London: Artists' Reflections on the Thames, 1859-1914," arguably the most ambitious exhibit ever organized by a Tampa Bay area art museum. It contains 150 works, borrowed from 30 venues in the United States and Europe, including a dozen paintings by the French impressionist and works by Whistler, Homer, Pissarro, Hassam and others. Hours and admission beginning Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $12 general, $8 seniors, $5 children. Adult admission is $8 after 5 p.m. Fridays.

Honoring King's memory

Celebrations across the Tampa Bay area honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Saturday through Monday. They range from a poetry slam in Tampa tonight to the gigantic Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Parade in St. Petersburg on Monday.

Take to the sky

Let's go fly a kite . . . or watch the experts do it. The Treasure Island Kite Festival on Saturday and Sunday has master fliers performing aerial ballets, giant kite battles and all sorts of exotic kites. Novices can join in, too, from 10 a.m. on the beach behind the Bilmar Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. Free. 727 596-3431 or (813) 948-0854 or

Busying the battle brigade

The actual July 1864 "battle" in Hernando County was little more than a skirmish, but the commemoration of that event, the annual Brooksville Raid Festival, has grown into the biggest Civil War re-enactment in Florida with more than 4,000 weekend warriors participating. The North and South meet again twice this weekend, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Throughout the festival, spectators can tour Confederate and Union camps and visit the suttlers vendors row. Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday at the Sand Hill Scout Reservation, State Road 50, about 11/2 miles east of U.S. 19, Spring Hill. $5 for adults, $2 for ages 6 to 17. Free for ages 5 and younger and for Scouts in uniform. (352) 799-0129 or

Recreate, vacate in style

The largest RV show in the country, the Florida RV Supershow, rolls into the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend, covering 15 acres and filling every building at the fairgrounds. It's so big that free shuttles will run from exhibit to exhibit. The fairgrounds is on U.S. 301 off Interstate 4, Tampa. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $8 good for two days, younger than 16 admitted for free. Fee for parking. (813) 741-0488 or (813) 621-7821 or

[Last modified January 13, 2005, 14:32:06]

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