Top things to do this weekend: Comics Celeste Barber and Gilbert Gottfried, Death by Chocolate and more

Our editors picks for the best things to do this week in Tampa Bay.
Published December 5 2018
Updated December 5 2018

BOWTIE BALL: Lester Holt

Like Tampa Bay’s very own nerd prom, the Bowtie Ball on Saturday celebrates journalism in this fundraiser for the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times. This year the gala honors NBC anchor Lester Holt, and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of the New York Times Co.

Holt will receive the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism for his award-winning work and contributions to the craft. Sulzberger, the New York Times publisher for 25 years, will be given Poynter’s Distinguished Service to Journalism Award. Holt is coming off a hot streak, having been named anchor of the most-watched news program in 2015. The party is sold out, but visit to contribute to the cause and be first for future events.


Cringe comics, the kind who “go there” and make you hate yourself for laughing so hard, are filling Tampa Bay stages this weekend. Celeste Barber's parodies of Kardashian selfies on Instagram have gone so viral that the Australian comedian and actor now rubs elbows with the very people she spoofs, which she’ll recount in her live show at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. $19.50-$29.50. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

Gilbert Gottfried: Don’t let the voice behind Aladdin’s Iago and the Aflac duck fool you. Gilbert Gottfried has a filthy mind. He told the big one in The Aristocrats, a documentary about the world’s dirtiest joke. He is revered by other comics for his fearlessness, and he performs at various times Thursday through Saturday. $20-$25. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

COCOA: Death by Chocolate

You can say it’s charity driving you to Death by Chocolate on Friday at Largo’s Central Park Performing Arts Center. And what a way to go. Indulge in delectable chocolate creations from local restaurants and chocolatiers under the twinkling lights, with free Champagne to sip with the delicacies and desserts. And have you seen the lights in Largo Central Park? It’s a fabulous display with a Ferris wheel and a carousel. New this year is “selfies with Santa.” It all benefits the city’s youth programs put on by the Largo Rotary. $20 advance, $25 day of. 7-9 p.m. Friday. 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793.


In the Spirit: More than 100 things to do in Tampa Bay for the holidays


Free and Cheap: 5 things to do under $5 this week


On stage: Palladium Players' Bach and Schubert, 'Wizard of Oz' at Ruth Eckerd Hall


Shopping Events: Shop Gulfport, and where to get handmade and music gifts


Art Events: Second Saturday Art Walk, Tour de Clay


Food Events: Golden Spoons, movies at Paul's Landing and giant gingerbread house