The fair features midway rides, livestock shows, live music, chili cookoff, horse show and greasy food galore, 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and State Road 60, Brandon. $7, $5 students age 6 through high school, 5 and younger free. $1 admission and $1 rides on Wednesday. Thursday is wristband day with $15 ride wristbands good from open to close. Call (813) 737-3247.
Tampa Bay Boat Show: Three-day show offers displays, boating and fishing supplies and plenty of other seaside accessories, 10 a.m. today to Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N. Free. Call (813) 621-7821.
Benefit sale: The annual USF Graphicstudio sale offers more than 100 works with discounts of up to 60 percent off. Proceeds benefit Graphicstudio research and educational programming, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the USF Graphicstudio/Institute for Research in Art, 3702 Spectrum Blvd. Free. Call (813) 974-3503.
Lunch on the Lawn: The weekly event features live entertainment and express lunches from nearby restaurants, 11 a.m. at Lykes Gaslight Square Park, 410 Franklin St. Call (813) 221-3686.
Oktoberfest Tampa: Enjoy live music and the Oktoberfest Games, featuring events that include keg toss, stein holding, "carry the wench" and corn hole, 4 to 11:59 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive. $8, $20 weekend, $45 VIP. Also 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 397-8722.
Death Angel: The thrash metal band performs. Threat Signal, Bonded by Blood and Wretched also play, 6 p.m. at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. Call (813) 248-9500.
Film festival: The Gasparilla International Film Festival features the Iraqi film Qarantina, about a sullen assassin living above a dysfunctional family in Baghdad, as part of the Global Lens Series, 7 p.m. at the Tampa Museum of Art, 120 Gasparilla Plaza. $8, $5 students, seniors and Museum of Art members, GIFF members free. Call (813) 514-9962.
ZooBoo: The Halloween event features haunted houses and trails for older visitors, boo houses and seasonal lights for little ones, and unlimited zoo rides in the dark, 7 to 11 p.m. today and Saturday at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave. $17 adults, $14 children. Also 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday and Thursday. Call (813) 935-8552.
Poetry reading: J.D. Scott, winner of the Peter Meinke Prize named after the St. Petersburg poet, reads from his poetry collection Night Errands, 7 p.m. at Cafe Hey, 1540 N Franklin St. $5 suggested donation. Call (813) 221-5150.
Howl-O-Scream: Busch Gardens celebrates its 13th Halloween with haunted houses, scare zones, roller coasters in the dark and spooky live shows. Thursday events remain open until 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday remain open until 2 a.m. Not recommended for small children, 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Thursday at Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave. $44.99 advance at participating locations, $79.99 general, $35 additional for Front Line Fear, $50 additional for Front Line Fear Extreme. Call (813) 987-5600.
"You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!": Actors and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn give a humorous 75-minute look inside a relationship that seemed doomed by opposing personalities from the start, 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday in the Jaeb Theater at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place. $25. Also 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 7 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 229-7827.
Journey with Pat Benatar, Loverboy: A combined concert of '80s greats provides plenty of "I remember" moments, 7:30 p.m. at 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N. $32-$133. Call (813) 740-2446.
Florida Orchestra Masterworks: Pianist Sara Davis Buechner explores pensive to spirited jazz-laced motifs in Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety. The concert also includes Beethoven's Egmont overture and Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Symphony No. 2, Adagio, 8 p.m. in Carol Morsani Hall at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place. $15-$45. Call (813) 229-7827.
"The Colored Museum": The 1986 George C. Wolfe play uses stereotypes and satirical sketches to follow 200 years of African-American history, 8 p.m. today, Saturday and Thursday at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd. $26. Also 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, Call (813) 251-8984.
"Hairspray": The musical follows Baltimore teenager Tracy's dreams of making the Corny Collins Show, 8 p.m. today, Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday at University of South Florida Theater 1, 4202 E Fowler Ave. $15-$20. Also 3 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 974-3867.
Brews by the Bay: Stroll through the aquarium to view the exhibits and dance to live music while enjoying food from local restaurants and more than 85 craft beers to sample, 8 to 11 p.m. at the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive. $50 advance, $60 day of event. Call (813) 273-4000.
"And Then There Were None": In Agatha Christie's murder mystery, 10 strangers are marooned on an island in a house where each succumbs to a diabolical avenger, 8 p.m. today and Saturday in the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place. $23, $18 students, seniors and military. Also 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 229-7827.
"Phoenix": The play about two strangers makes its regional premiere, 8 p.m. today and Saturday at the Hillsborough Community College Studio Theatre, 2204 N 15th St., Ybor City. $20; $15 students, seniors and military. Also 3 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Call (813) 253-7000.
"Picnic": The University of Tampa puts on a production of this William Inge play, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was Paul Newman's Broadway debut, 8 p.m. today and Saturday at Falk Theatre, 428 W Kennedy Blvd. $15, free UT students and staff. Also 2 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 253-6243.
Guy Torry: The comedian and St. Louis native, seen on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam on HBO and movies including The Last Stand and American History X, performs, 8 p.m. at Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave. $15-$17. Also 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Shows are 21 and older, except 10:30 p.m. Friday, which is 18 and older. Call (813) 864-4000.
Film screening: The screening of Bear City 2: The Proposal, part of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, is a sequel to the 2010 gay romantic comedy, 8:45 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St. $10. Call (813) 274-8982.
Fundraiser: Auto?Automatic??, Rec Center, Will Quinlan and the Florida Kilos play this show for the family of Ryan Fujiki-Hastings, the Candy Bars drummer who was killed in a September motorcycle crash, 9 p.m. at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St. $10. Call (813) 241-8600.
Wattfest: Pilots from across the state bring micro and giant scale aircraft to this all-electric fly-in. There will be a buy, sell, swap vendor area, a play area for kids, and concessions, 8 a.m. today and Sunday at Triple Creek R/C Club, 12705 Balm Boyette Road, Riverview. Spectators free; $25 landing fee. Call (813) 390-4062.
Craft show: The outdoor show under shade trees features the works of numerous artists and crafters, a cookout, baked goods and a "Man Cave," 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bayshore Christian School, 3909 S MacDill Ave. Free. Call (813) 786-9997.
Temple Terrace Reads: Celebrate the power and pleasure of reading at this event with interactive literacy booths, arts and crafts, live music, games, storytelling, face painting, a book exchange and guest authors, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Temple Terrace Elementary School, 124 Flotto Ave. Free. Call (813) 987-6903, ext. 228.
Weekend fall plant festival: Find plants including orchids, begonias and tropical plants, garden accessories and decor from more than 60 vendors and plant clubs. Also includes a scarecrow display, kids activities, and workshops (Saturday only) on vegetable gardening and herb growing, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Drive. $5, kids under 12 and members free. Also 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 974-2329.
Animal blessings: In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, bring animals of all shapes and sizes for a blessing ceremony. Also includes free and low-cost animal services, pony rides and face painting. Donations of pet food, used cell phones, printer cartridges and small electronic gadgets benefit the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Big Cat Rescue, Animal Coalition of Tampa Bay, Haley's K-9 for Veterans and other animal organizations, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, 8401 W Hillsborough Ave. Free. Call (813) 884-1232.
Tampa Bay Vegfest: The festival includes healthy vegetarian and vegan foods from local restaurants, live music, eco-friendly exhibits and vendors, and kids activities. Companion animals on a leash welcome at park, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St. Free admission. Call (727) 656-8368.
Film screening: Let's Get Real On Bullying, part of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, includes the shorts Let's Get Real and Courage in the Face of Hate, as well as viral videos, 10 a.m. Free. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St. (813) 274-8982.
Antique evaluation: Skilled appraisers will tell you if you've got a treasure or junk. Bring heirlooms to the Music Room in Plant Hall for a verbal evaluation. Limit of four appraisals per family, 10 a.m. at the University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. $5 per item. Call (813) 258-7302.
Fall farm festival: Celebrate the season with activities for children including hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, games and a pumpkin patch, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday at Horse Power for Kids, 8005 Racetrack Road. $10 children, $8 adults. For more information, call (813) 855-8992.
Bridal expo: Exhibits of everything a bride might need to prepare for a wedding, honeymoon and setting up a new home, noon at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. $16 advance, $10 at the door (if available). For more information, call toll-free 1-800-422-3976, ext. 1.
Headbangers Furball III: Metal bands such as Brutality and Generichrist come together for a show benefiting cat rescue efforts spearheaded by Donald Tardy of Obituary, 4 p.m. at the Brass Mug, 14811 N Florida Ave. $10 21 and up, $12 under 21, $1 off admission with canned cat food donation. For more information, call (813) 972-8152.
Tampa by Twilight: Hear stories of never-ending love, untimely deaths and betrayal on a guided 90-minute walking ghost tour of Oaklawn Cemetery and downtown Tampa, 5:30 p.m. at Oaklawn Cemetery, 600 E Harrison St. $15, $10 ages 4-12. Call (727) 398-5200.
Food festival: Explore cuisine from England, India, the Caribbean, Spain and Hawaii, along with a raffle and nonperishable food drive. Benefits Save the Children, Heifer Foundation, Smile Train and other charities, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brandon Junior Woman's Club, 129 Moon Ave., Brandon. $15, or $25 per couple. For more information, call (813) 610-6898.
Planter's Ball: Dine and dance under the stars with live music by Unpainted Souls. Bring a meatless covered dish to share and enjoy salad of farm-fresh produce, bread, dessert, and organic beer and wine for purchase, 6 to 10 p.m. at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, 6942 W Comanche Ave. Free admission, bring meatless potluck dish, donations accepted. For more information, call (813) 887-4066.
"Love or Whatever" screening: This Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival closing film offers a traditional romantic comedy in nontraditional circumstances. The director and an actor will be in attendance, 7:30 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St. $10. Call (813) 274-8982.
Warrant, Firehouse and Trixter: Three '80s mega-glam rock groups blow up the stage with hits including Heaven, Don't Treat Me Bad and Give It to Me Good, 8 p.m. at Lakeland Center Jenkins Arena, 701 W Lime St., Lakeland. $31. Call toll-free 1-888-397-0100.
HRVST Project: More than 20 local artists combine to create a multisensory happening include performance art from Vince Kral, dance from SPEC Performance, and music from Sleepy Vikings, Alexander and the Grapes and DJ Brian Oblivion. Benefits Think Small to Think Big, a microgrant program for ambitious Tampa Bay arts projects, 8 p.m. at Pyper Paul + Kenney, 1102 N Florida Ave. $5. For more information, call (813) 496-7000.
Behind the Myths: Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman bring Discovery Channel's scientific series Mythbusters to life on stage with this show including onstage experiments, audience participation and behind-the-scenes stories, 8 p.m. at the University of South Florida Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave. $38-$200. Call (813) 974-3002.
Congorock: The Italian dance musician has won praise by everyone from David Guetta to Diplo, 9 p.m. at Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. Call (813) 873-8368.
Film Wrapture: As the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival closes with Love or Whatever at the Tampa Theatre, the wrap party offers music by Halycon, DJ Jalil Z and DJ Irene, as well as Miami dancers and ladies of the Peekaboo Lounge, 9 p.m. at Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave. $10 advance, $15 day of. Call (813) 247-2664.
Pink Party: Plus-sized women and men should dress to impress or put on their best pink outfits for a party with dancing to mixed music by DJ Ninjai, prizes for best pink attire and drink specials until midnight. Proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Suncoast Florida, 10 p.m. at Club Plush, 4350 W Waters Ave. $5, $10 after 11 p.m. For more information, call (813) 842-7942.