Plan your weekend
Tampa Bay Comic Con In its 13th year, Tampa Bay Comic Con is back with interactive elements, including Nerd Trivia and speed dating. While open to cosplaying, Comic Con prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere while catering to various fan bases. This year's big event is a panel featuring Lauren Cohan and Emily Kinney, stars of AMC's The Walking Dead. Cohan appears between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday only, and Kinney appears Saturday and Sunday. Also appearing both days is Drake Bell of Drake & Josh. It runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 4 on Sunday at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 4500 W Cypress St., Tampa. Tickets are $15 for one day and $25 for two. Kids 12 and younger are free. See tampabaycomicon.com for more details.
Sake Bomb Two Year Anniversary The 600 Block has some great venues and shops on what was once a desolated, lonely stretch of Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete, but any night owl will tell you that there is a plethora of watering holes that deserve equal credit for pumping blood back into The 'Burg's entertainment backbone. One of those places is Sake Bomb, which will celebrate with a free show by Jensen Serf Company, Kid Aids, Just Satellites and DJ Fader. It starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Sake Bomb, 548 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 542-8893
Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt Folk singer Tift Merritt and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein make beautiful, if unlikely, music together. Merritt, 38, is a pop and folk singer-songwriter from North Carolina. Dinnerstein, 40, is a classical pianist from New York. They have joined forces to play concerts and put out an album together, Night, named for a Patty Griffin song on the CD that was just released on the Sony label. They perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $28.50. (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org.
Chillounge Cuddle up with your honey on chic, South Beach-style furniture in Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa on Saturday, with a lovely view overlooking the Hillsborough River. Nothing but fireworks. As in real fireworks, along with a Brazilian samba parade, fashion show, DJ dancing and live music. Plenty of food vendors and cash bars, too, all starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. $25 advance, $30 at the gate, $95 VIP. Toll-Free 1-888-695-0888.
Take the kids
Bay Area Renaissance Festival The festival gives its last huzzah this weekend, closing with a High Seas Adventure featuring barbecue championships, free wine tasting, a tattoo expo and a pickle-pie eating contest. You can also buy one of the many fairy houses on display in the fairy garden. The auction will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the final day of the festival. Fairy houses will be on display at the front gate. Advance: $15.95, $7.95 ages 5-12. At the gate: $18.95, $14.95 seniors, $10.95 ages 5-12; $10 pets. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-601-4848. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Rays and Rowdies It's the middle of the season's first home stand for the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend and the Tampa Bay Rowdies have their first home opener of the season Saturday. Look for the David Price Cy Young figurine at Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game. And the first of the Rays Family Fun Days is Sunday, when kids 14 and younger will get an Evan Longoria wall cling. There's also free parking Sunday for cars with four or more passengers, and activities for kids for the 1:40 p.m. game, and kids can run the bases after. Tickets start at $14. For details, see raysbaseball.com. The Rowdies — the reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions — will host the Carolina RailHawks at the home opener at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Al Lang Stadium, 180 Second Ave. SE in St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $16 at rowdiessoccer.com. You can't miss their rowdy, drum-beating fans, Ralph's Mob, but do notice the east-side Beer Garden has an expanded its selection of craft beers.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne [email protected]