[Times photo / illustration sunset photo: Jamie Francis]
Theres fun as far as the eye can see, with Gasparilla, classic rockers, teen pop stars and parties aplenty, all leading up to the Big Game. Click for PC wallpaper of this St. Pete Beach sunset, the basis for this photo montage.
Welcome to Tampa Bay
So much to do in one Weekend
Whether you've just arrived in town for the Super Bowl, or you've lived here for years, we think you'll find this a weekend to remember.
Get ready to play
Weekend-long events for the Super Bowl crowd.
Go early, enjoy the hoopla
Game day tips
Ybor City is NFL party central
Welcome to historic Ybor City, Tampa's entertainment district. A hundred years ago, this was where immigrants rolled cigars, worked, socialized and raised families who became the roots of Tampa.
It's party time for pirates
TAMPA -- Gasparilla is to Tampa what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans. It's our time to parade, throw beads, celebrate.
Some genuinely super Florida spots
Super Bowl visitors who tire of the mobs and hoopla may want to punctuate their visit with glimpses of down-to-earth Florida. Here are 10 sites that offer much diversion for little expense.
Get Away: Down the road
Events to watch for; details in future editions of Weekend.
Tampa's SoHo -- It's to dine for
From upscale spots to suit the rich to pizza joints for the average Joe, there's an eclectic flavor about the culture -- and the appetizing cuisine -- in Tampa's Soho to appease all taste buds.
The Gasparilla song you'll never hear
Contract issues may mean a song recorded just for the famed Tampa celebration will never be released.
Madness in the Method
What if they made a vampire film and a vampire was really the star? Shadow of the Vampire brings this eerie idea to spine-chilling life as it portrays the bizarre star of Nosferatu.
The Tampa Theatre
No sparks in 'Wedding Planner'
Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey trade too much on their star power to make this predictable story into a sweet romantic comedy.
Also in theater
You are cordially uninvited
Family Movie Guide
The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children.
Persall's Top Five
Recent releases recommended by Times film critic Steve Persall
Pop provides the score
If you think Tampa Bay's music scene during Super Bowl XXXV weekend is all about teen pop and classic rock -- well, you're right.
k.d. lang is one of many performers in town this weekend for the Super Bowl, Gasparilla and other related events.
Team Pop Trivia
This week's winner: Kathy Carufel of Brooksville knew that singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (andFred Foster) wrote Me & Bobby McGee, with which Janis Joplin scored a hit after she died.
Pop: On the horizon
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones -- Feb. 1, Ruth Eckerd Hall: $29.75.
When art's the goal
A special day for museums and galleries in St. Petersburg, plus exhibits in Tampa and Sarasota, offer Super Bowl fans plenty to see away from the game.
Art: Best bets
Art critic Mary Ann Marger's recommendations for this weekend. Please refer to the Art Calendar for details.
Tackle a few football flicks
Stage On the horizon
Recital -- Violinist Dmitri Berlinsky performs Brahms, Paganini, Tchaikovsky and Ravel on Feb. 4 at the Museum of Fine Arts. $7 and $15.
There's drama off the field
Whether it's a Wallace Shawn play or a Verdi tribute, the bay area is brimming with theatrical and musical offerings.
What a trip
People on holiday like to take home mementos of their trips, usually things that will fit into carry-on bags or already-stuffed suitcases. Super Bowl XXXV souvenirs (watch out for fakes) and Gasparilla beads abound, and so do beach-themed T-shirts and caps. Here are more tropical treasures.
The malls have it
But don't stop there. From Sarasota to Orlando, the stores are primed for you.
Shop: In the market
The NFL cooks
Off the field, players' interest in the restaurant business is picking up, and the Tampa Bay area is benefiting from it.
The party's at Ybor
For businesses serving food, we use the following price guide based on meals for two: