1 Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids! Is your tail getting a little ratty? Trying to make the most of your underwater world? Help is on the way. Mer-Palooza, an international mermaid convention that claims to be the largest gathering of mermaids and pirates (now you're talking) in the world, will take place Aug. 9-11 at the Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa.
What else is there to do at a mermaid convention besides buy mermaid tchotchkes? Well, there's a MerKing and MerQueen pageant, a mermaids awards show and gatherings at Hogan's Beach restaurant (located in the hotel). You also can listen to speakers on topics such as special effects.
Or you can take excursions to places like Weeki Wachee Springs. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $30 for the weekend or $10 for just the trade show (if a new tail is all you need). Go to mer-palooza.com for tickets, additional information and the schedule.
2 Mad Beach Bike Fest: Bike enthusiasts will show their classic, antique, new and customized motorcycles at this festival with chance drawings, a bikini bike wash and people's choice awards. Benefits BIKERSCAP to provide recycled computer systems to the needy. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 18. 15004 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach.
3 Tomorrow? Yes, Annie: With equal parts pluck and positivity, a little orphan named Annie charms everyone's hearts as she tries to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of the New York City orphanage from which she escaped. Annie Jr., a youth production based on the famous comic strip, will be presented Aug. 9-11 at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11. Tickets are $12 ($14 day of the show). Get details at carrollwoodcenter.org.
4 Comic connection: Stars from HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Walking Dead will be on hand to greet visitors at the second Tampa Bay Comic Con of 2013, which will be Aug. 23-25 at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. The extremely popular convention (people were turned away from the one held in a smaller venue earlier this year because it was packed beyond fire safety) has something for just about every comic fan — comic books, magazines, toys, games, anime, manga, artwork, sketches and apparel. A one-day pass is $20; a three-day pass is $45. tampabaycomiccon.com.
5* And one in July: Have you turned or are you turning 65 this year? You share the 1948 birth year with a pretty special fellow, Snooty the manatee, who lives at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. So, happy birthday to you! Through the end of the month, you can get into the museum, planetarium and aquarium free if you bring a driver's license or photo ID that shows you were born in 1948. You can raise a glass to Snooty but don't expect to clink his glass. Poor fellow. No opposable thumbs. southfloridamuseum.org