Plus, a new doggie waterpark opens this week
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Today’s Forecast

74º | Sunny | 0% chance of rain | Sunrise: 7:22 a.m. | Sunset: 5:49 p.m. | Tides | Old Tampa Bay | High: 11:16 a.m. + 10:01 p.m. | Low: 2:58 p.m. | Clearwater Beach | High: 6:59 a.m. + 6:21 p.m. | Low: 12:16 p.m.

 
Calling all parents
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Mayor Welch poses with a group of kids. | Screenshot via the City of St. Petersburg
School’s out forever... Okay, just for the summer.

The school year draws to a close tomorrow + St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch just announced multiple efforts geared toward the community’s children.

First, the mayor launched a new program called “Not My Child,” according to a release. Formerly known as “Not My Son,” the initiative seeks to “encourage positive enrichment for youth, share strong anti-violence/pro-community messages, and promote safe neighborhoods.”

“It is up to us to create a safe environment where our residents can feel secure, while ensuring that our youth and families can make their voices heard and access the resources they need to thrive,” Mayor Welch said in the release.

The program will host its first neighborhood walk this Friday, May 26. Meet at the Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church (4000 5th Ave. S.) at 6 p.m. for a canvassing walk letting residents know about local education and other opportunities.

Can’t make this week’s walk? The group will hit the pavement every Friday this summer.

The city will also host a new set of town halls, “It Takes A Village - Community Conversations with Mayor Welch.” The series of conversations (and smaller meetings) will include other elected officials, kids, parents, teachers, nonprofits, and other folks that touch the lives of young people. The city will use the intel and conversations to inform future youth efforts.

Plus, Welch reminded residents of the slew of programs to keep the kids engaged and busy all summer long. Offerings include more traditional programming like golf and swimming, but also interests like gardening and tech. Check out the listings.

Still looking for the right option for your family? Never fear, we pulled together a roundup of kid-friendly activities, water parks, and summer camps to check out.
 
 
Events
 
Wednesday, May 24
  • Yoga at Sunken Gardens | Wednesday, May 24, Thursday, May 25, Monday, May 29 | 10:30-11:45 a.m. | Sunken Gardens, 1825 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg | $18-$20 | Get your flow on in the scenic botanical garden.
  • Melissa Coss Aquino | Wednesday, May 24 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Oxford Exchange, 420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa | $5-$32 | Join the author for an in-person book discussion + signing of her coming-of-age novel “Carmen and Grace.”
  • Blue Jays vs. Rays | Wednesday, May 24-Thursday, May 25 | Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg | $10-$253 | Head over to the Trop to root on the Rays and maybe nosh on a little soft serve.
Thursday, May 25
  • “ALICE” | Thursday, May 25-Sunday, June 4 | Times vary | The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Pl., Tampa | $45 | Take in Jobsite Theater’s cabaret spectacle based on the work of Lewis Carroll with music, puppetry, and circus arts.
Friday, May 26
  • Hiking with Heroes: Honoring Memorial Day | Friday, May 26 | 9-11 a.m. | Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg | Free | Join fellow veterans and their families for a guided hike at Weedon Island Preserve — please wear clothing or a hat showing your branch of service.
  • Dodgers vs. Rays | Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28 | Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg | $40-$187 | Chow down on a ballpark frank while watching the teams face off.
Saturday, May 27
  • Best Damn Race 5K, 10K & Half Marathon | Saturday, May 27 | 6 a.m.-12 p.m. | Water Front Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Ln., Safety Harbor | $0-$155 | Register to run or bring a sign to cheer on your sweaty brethren.
  • Raymond James Pops A Night at the Oscars | Saturday, May 27 | 8 p.m. | The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Pl., Tampa | $50-$65 | The legendary Florida orchestra performs tunes from “Out of Africa,” “E.T.,” “The Lord of the Rings” and the “Titanic.”
  • Monthly Authentic Flamenco Dinner Show | Saturday, May 27 | 8-10 p.m. | Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar, 513 N. Tampa St., Tampa | $15 | Enjoy live music performed by Sombras Flamencas and dancing from trained Flamenco dancers.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
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Finance
 
7 secrets comfortable retirees know about hiring a financial advisor
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Smart retirees know a thing or two — and you should, too. | Photo by SmartAsset
Research suggests people who work with a financial advisor could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.1 Read: A lot of margaritas.

That’s because they know the seven secrets to hiring a financial advisor, like never hiring the first advisor you meet. (Rookie mistake.)

The ultimate tip? Answer a few questions in this free, five-minute quiz to match with vetted financial advisors serving your area who can help optimize a retirement plan for you.*
 
News Notes
 
Sports
  • The Bulls are one step closer to an on-campus stadium. Yesterday, the university’s board of trustees’ finance committee approved the $340 million finance plan — of which USF would pay $140 million. The plan still needs approval from the whole board of trustees. (Tampa Bay Times)
Announced
  • We can’t let it go. Idina Menzel is headlining this year’s St. Pete Pride. The acclaimed Broadway actress and singer takes the stage at Jannus Live on Friday, June 23 — the night before the parade. (St. Pete Catalyst)
Development
  • The second phase of The Place at Channelside is incoming. A local developer just bought the half-acre along Channelside Drive needed to complete the project. Plans for the site include a 32-story tower. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
Ranked
  • No. 2. That’s where Familydestinationguide.com ranked Shell Key Preserve on its “America’s Favorite 100 Secret Beaches” list. Looking for other unique slices of coast? Check out our secret beaches roundup. (That’s So Tampa)
Plan Ahead
  • Calling all Lightning devotees. The team’s Locker Room Sale — where you can score used equipment like hockey sticks and gloves — is booked for Saturday, June 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (That’s So Tampa)
Pets
  • The pool is almost open for the summer. Mutts & Martinis, St. Pete’s newest dog bar and waterpark, opens Friday, May 26. Memberships + passes aren’t required for the opening weekend, but make sure to bring your pup’s shot records.
Show
  • St Pete’s freeFall Theatre just released its 2023-2024 lineup. Highlights include the musical revue “At Home With Ethel Waters,” the premiere of “Nightsweat,” and a holiday production of “Miracle on 34th Street.” (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
Drink
  • Hey, craft beer lovers: Publix GreenWise Market’s Tap Takeovers just might become your new favorite tradition. See what happened when our City Editor Brad checked out a Tap Takeover event — and get the lowdown on his fave sips + why he thinks this could be the best deal in town.*
The Buy
  • Turn misplaced keys into a thing of the past with the Apple AirTag. The button-sized tracking device can give you step-by-step directions to your lost keys (or phone…or wallet…) and has a battery life of one year. Pro tip: Put one in your checked luggage and never worry about lost baggage again.*
 
 
Travel and Outdoors
 
Tampa, city of love… bugs
Two black bugs with red heads connected by the ends cling to a white flower.
Isn’t it romantic? | Photo via Judy Gallagher on Flickr
What are all these black bugs with red heads flying around and cluttering our cars? They’re lovebugs and we’re in the midst of one of their semi-annual flights.

April-May and August-September is lovebug mating season. During this time, lovebugs attach to each other facing opposite directions and remain attached for as long as 12 hours until the mating ritual is complete. The male detaches and dies while the female lays the eggs in moist, damp areas. It’s not dinner for two at Mise En Place, but if it works for them…

Lovebugs are lovers, not fighters, so they don’t bite and are totally harmless… but be sure to clean them off your car or they could damage your paint.
 
The Wrap
 
Bailey Lefever in a park near a pond Today’s edition by:
Bailey
From the editor
Have you checked out Water Street’s CRISP & GREEN yet? Tomorrow, May 25, the healthy eats gem is hosting a community spotlight event from 5-8 p.m. with live music, giveaways, and a ‘smoothie bike’. We have some questions about that one.
Plus, the first 20 guests will get a $15 giftcard to the eatery.
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