Maybe it's the long-awaited fantastic weather, but my mind is firmly on the weekend already. So let's look ahead while getting over the hump-day blues.

+ If you're ready to jump in feet first, tonight is the Velvet Sessions concert at Universal's Hard Rock Hotel. The musical guest is Sugar Ray. Festivities begin at 6:30. Go to www.velvetsessions.com for more information.

+ On Friday, Epcot will be home to The Orchestra, which is made up of former ELO members and ELO Part II members. The six-member group will perform at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

+ On Saturday, there are a couple of free opportunities.

The Orange County Regional History Center is recognizing hearth-health awareness month by giving free admission to folks wearing red. Hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., and the same deal is good this Sunday, noon-5 p.m. For more info, go to www.thehistorycenter.org.

Meanwhile, at the Ripley's museum on International Drive on Saturday, there will a sword-swallowing demonstration beginning at 1:30 p.m. as part of World Sword Swallowers Day. The event is marked at Ripley's outlets around the world.

[caption id="attachment_4218" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Elements of many movies make up the jacket of the Arnold statue at Ripley's on I-Drive"][/caption]

While at Ripley's you might see a new exhibit for free as well. In the lobby is a new statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. Sculptor Enrique Ramos created the figure using scenes and images from actors in movie history, including "Jaws," "Rocky," "The Wizard of Oz," Johnny Depp, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne and more. The statue is currently on display in the lobby of Ripley's.

[caption id="attachment_4219" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Miami's Pitbull performs Saturday at Universal Studios."][/caption]

+ Pitbull is the musical guest at Universal Mardi Gras on Saturday. Show time is 8:30, and his show is preceded by the park's Mardi Gras parade. All Mardi Gras festivities are included in regualr park admission.

+ REO Speedwagon, a staple from the 1970s, performs at SeaWorld's Bands, Brew and BBQ event on Saturday. Show time is 4:30 p.m. at Bayside Stadium. It's included with park admission.

+ Busch Gardens' sister BB&BBQ is Sunday and features two groups, the Commodores and the Pointer Sisters at 5 p.m. at the Tampa theme park.