Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Events

How to survive Metrocon, Florida's largest anime convention

So you've decided to add your life force to the mass of people descending on the Tampa Convention Center for this weekend's Metrocon, Florida's largest anime convention. In its 11th year, the massive event brings big-name voice actors Janet Varney, Dante Basco and Scott McNeil, veteran cosplayers and rave DJs together for one weekend of fandom celebration. We've got you covered with these reminders of where to go, what to see and what you'll need to make this weekend epic.

Getting Dressed

You bought a ski mask, white wig and bubble vest to top off your costume of Naruto's Kakashi Hatake. But before you hit your front door, consider that you're going to an anime convention in FLORIDA in JULY. Experts recommend you pack a small bag with change of clothes if you plan on walking around outside the Tampa Convention Center. Bay News 9 meteorologists predict a 40 percent or more chance of rain every day, so also toss an umbrella in the bag.

Parking

Early birds will grab the spaces in the Tampa Convention Center garage. Everyone else should stare intensely at a Google map of the area around the Convention Center and memorize where the other city lots and garages are located. Some will require you to walk a couple of blocks, such as the Fort Brooke Garage on Franklin and Whiting streets. However, a short walk is better than coming back to find a bright orange envelope on your windshield because you found a spot on the street and forgot to feed the beast, or worse, being towed because you parked in private lot unknowingly.

Registration

More than 8,000 people attended Metrocon last year. Fewer than 3,000 pre-registered. If you're planning on getting the most out of all three days, get up early on Friday and line up long before the convention doors open at 9 a.m. If you want to get registered and in before anything starts, shoot for being in line by 8 a.m., said Kelly Swartz, who works with Metrocon's registration team.

Sustenance

No food vendors will be on the convention floor, so hungry cosplayers have two options: purchase Tampa Convention Center concessions or take it to the streets. Downtown Tampa offers everything from Italian to Vietnamese to Mexican, but only if you're willing to walk. If walking sounds unpleasant, consider Trolleys American Cafe inside the host hotel, Embassy Suites, 513 S Florida Ave.

Events Not To Miss

First timers, here's your warning shot. Everyone at Metrocon will want to see the Anime Human Chess Match and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog Show. The live-action battle between your favorite characters during the chess match kicks off at noon Saturday and Sunday, so be prepared to stand in line for a while. On midnight Friday going into Saturday, the actors from Crazy Random Happenstance will act out Dr. Horrible, the Joss Whedon cult-classic web musical, right in front of the big screen, like a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Comments
Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Comedy Get Down with Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez, 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $25-$125, on sale at 10 a.m. Friday ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanIt’s been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But he’s about to make up for lost time. On Saturday he’ll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and heist caper ‘American Animals’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and heist caper ‘American Animals’

OPENING FRIDAY:JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOMDinosaurs: Keep them alive or kill them off? It’s a question that haunts the human characters in between fireball-dodging cardio workouts in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the spectacularly ho-hum new ent...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

MARK MAKING: DEFINING BEAUTYBlack, squiggly lines are at the center of multidisciplinary artist Sharon Norwood’s works, an exhibition of which titled "Defining Beauty" opens at Tempus Projects on Saturday. Norwood’s use of the line in a variety of me...
Updated: 2 hours ago
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you can’t get anything to thrive in Florida’s brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Coco Montrese on St. Pete Pride, the Pulse shooting and compassion from police

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Coco Montrese on St. Pete Pride, the Pulse shooting and compassion from police

Coco Montrese is best known as the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 lip-sync queen who came back a record four times to win with fierce performances. But longtime Tampa Bay drag performer Kori Stevens just calls Coco a "hometown girl." As head of entertai...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Like

Like "a beer after a hockey fight," Canada Day hopes to promote friendship between fighting nations

TAMPA — As a Toronto native living in Tampa Palms, Bryan Grimsdale is not at all comfortable with the way political tensions are rising between Canada and the United States."I am a Canadian citizen, but a resident alien. This is my home, but that is ...
Published: 06/19/18