LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival
For its fourth go-round, the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival promises more shade and seating in Curtis Hixon Park. Also new are cashless wristbands designed to make lines move faster and an entrance setup under the shade with more staff to get partygoers in faster. Feeling ambitious? Earn your drinking calories at the Margarita Run on the Riverwalk starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. The 21 and older, 2.5-mile run includes admission to the festival, T-shirt, a bottle opener medal and one drink ticket. $50 at active.com. Once in the gates from noon to 11 p.m., you'll find 40 margarita types in a range of flavors — bacon and chocolate surfaced in past years at the Extreme Margarita station — and live music, with Blues Traveler as the headliner, plus local acts including the Black Honkeys and Mighty Mongo. The night ends with a fireworks show. General admission ($20, $25 at the door if available) allows in and out access to the festival. Add-on treats include a $20 tequila tasting (2-6 p.m.). $100-$125 VIP tickets are only sold in advance. tampamargaritafest.com.
PARODY PARTY: The Realish Housewives of South Tampa
The actual Real Housewives from Bravo TV's most popular reality franchise lend themselves to self-parody. But alums of Chicago's famed Second City improv troupe, Kate James and Tim Sniffen, found ample material locally for their traveling show that sends up the famous ladies. The Realish Housewives of South Tampa, a parody coming to Tampa's Straz Center, tells the story of the vaguely foreign baroness Rovanka, shady Claudia Louise, neck model Desiree, tycoon Brooke and everyman Gwen with hometown flair set in Tampa's ritzy enclave. There will be no shortage of brawls, booze and Botox. It opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and runs through June 5 in the Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35-$45. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
NERD ALERT: MegaCon returns
MegaCon, one of Florida's largest fan conventions, returns this week for four days of geekery. The four-day celebration of all things comic book, fantasy and horror at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is expected to draw more than 80,000 fans. Stocked with celebrities, the lineup includes creator Stan Lee, director Kevin Smith, actor John Cusack, a Star Trek 50th anniversary celebration with William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei and actors from the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars and comic book legends. That's not to mention the thousands of cosplayers.
Fans of AMC's The Walking Dead will get to meet Tom Payne, left, who plays the show's newest fan-favorite Paul Rovia, a.k.a. Jesus.
Payne recently talked with the Times about joining The Walking Dead family, and what he looks forward to in the next season.
"I think this is the biggest con I've been to so far, so I'm excited," he said. Payne is stoked to stay in the Orlando area so he and his girlfriend can visit Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.
"I've never worked on a show like this, and I'm not sure I ever will again," Payne said about his joining The Walking Dead.
As for Season 7, Payne is excited for the show to take a different direction. "Like (his character) said in the show — your world is about to get a whole lot bigger." To read the full interview, click here
Megacon runs Thursday through Sunday at 9899 International Drive, Orlando. $20-$129. megaconvention.com.