Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the "inconceivable" Wallace Shawn from The Princess Bride. But best of all is a huge hall packed with overflowing tables of comic books and collectibles and chances to mingle with cosplayers, celebrities and artists. See tampabaycomiccon.com for each day's schedule or on the event's free app. It opens at noon Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday and runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the convention center, 333 S Franklin St. $30 Friday or Sunday, $40 Saturday, $60 for a three-day pass. Kids 12 and younger are free.
Lady Antebellum: The trio returns after a family hiatus they certainly earned in their decade-long career, which has reaped seven Grammys for hits like Need You Now and I Run to You. Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young open at 7:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, $26.75 and up. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com. Read our interview with Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley at tampabay.com/soundcheck.
Margarita Wars: More than a dozen of Tampa Bay's best mixologists will wage a tequila battle to claim the top prize. There will also be Mexican-inspired bites from local restaurants and a photo booth. 7-10 p.m. Friday at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St., Tampa. $50 advance, $60 day of. $75-$85 VIP adds an extra hour of line-free sampling, extra cuisine and Margarita Wars swag. (813) 739-4879. cltampa.com/margaritawars.
Kevin Farley: The brother of the late comedy icon Chris Farley is also a Second City alum and has appeared alongside his brother in the films Black Sheep and with Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. He presently co-stars with Billy Ray Cyrus on CMT's Still the King and is on the Netflix animated series, F is for Family. He performs stand-up today through Sunday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $10-$16.50. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Susanne Bartsch at the TMA: The Tampa Museum of Art will open a fashion-focused exhibition on Sunday, featuring the couture designs and looks worn by tastemaker Susanne Bartsch whose SoHo boutique in the early 1980s was one of the first American shops to carry designs from Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. She went on to become famous for her legendary undergound parties. The exhibit will feature more than 35 looks spanning Bartsch's career, including designs by Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Galliano, Westwood and corsetmaker Mr. Pearl. The exhibition opens at 11 a.m. Sunday at 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. Admission is $15; $7.50 seniors, groups; $5 students; university, college and higher education students with valid IDs and children ages 6 and under free.
Tampa's Fourth Friday: The monthly party in downtown Tampa has special programs at multiple locations. It will bring out photographer MK Foltz to discuss her series, "Emerging from the Soviet Grid," at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts at 6 p.m. Admission is pay as you choose at 400 N Ashley Drive. There will also be a pop-up gallery of mural work at Le Meridien Tampa Hotel, 5-8:30 p.m. at 601 N Florida Ave. Find a full schedule at fourthfridaytpa.com.
Take the kids
Back to School Bash: It's only a few weeks before schools start up in mid-August. The Back to School Bash at Westfield Countryside Mall on Saturday will have information on school resources, health and wellness services, after-school programs, learning centers and safety resources. Kids will enjoy meet-and-greets with area mascots, princesses and superheroes as well as entertainment, hands-on activities and free school supplies. The first 250 kids to complete a scavenger hunt get free full-sized backpacks. The free event happens 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 674-1464.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.