INK SPOT: Tattoo Arts Convention
The Villain Arts crew is back for its third Tampa Tattoo Arts Convention this weekend at the Tampa Convention Center. You can get tattooed on site by world famous artists, see sideshow acts and meet television celebrities like Ink Master contestants James Vaughn, Kyle Dunbar, Big Ceeze and Mark Longenecker. There will be 200 artists at the event, plus entertainment such as burlesque performances, Half-Pint Brawlers (dwarf wrestling) and live human suspension, which is not for the squeamish as people hang from hooks pierced through the flesh. You'll also see the Enigma, the guy who turned his body into a sort of tattoo jigsaw puzzle who was featured in an episode of The X-Files, and daily tattoo contests in more than 40 different categories. Admission is $20 per day, $40 for three-day pass; ages 12 and under free at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8511. 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
BUSCH GARDENS: Arturo Sandoval
Cuban jazz icon Arturo Sandoval will be the second artist in Busch Gardens' new Red Carpet Series, bringing a more theatrical-style evening event inside the 1,100-seat Moroccan Palace Theatre after the theme park closes. There will be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for purchase, and Sandoval takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. $30 and up at buschgardens.com. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
PUNDIT TALK: An Evening with David Brooks
Part of the St. Petersburg College Foundation's Distinguished Speaker series brings something for political junkies. Widely acclaimed political and social analyst David Brooks, a bestselling author (The Road to Character), will be discussing present-day politics and the spirit of the times at 7 p.m. Sept. 21. Tickets are $55-$65 at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.
OKTOBERFEST: Prepare for the wurst
It may only be September but as true fans of Oktoberfest know, the tapping of the first Oktoberfest beer barrel by the Munich mayor will take place this weekend. So naturally, the Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg, a franchise unit of the original Hofbrauhaus built in Munich in 1589, will have an Oktoberfest Kickoff party Friday. Tampa Bay Rowdies players will serve as guest bartenders as the Bavarian beer hall celebrates its first anniversary with food and drink specials and entertainment by Gulf Coast Enzianer Schuhplattler Verein, a local troop of Bavarian dancers. It starts at 11 a.m. Friday at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg, 123 Fourth St. S. (727) 898-3333. hofbrauhausstpetersburg.com.
ARRRR YOU READY? Talk Like a Pirate Day
Polish your peg leg: Monday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a day when the land-lubbin' laws o' grammar are made to walk the plank. You can get some practice 6-10:30 p.m. Friday when Gaspar's Grotto hosts a party for pirates and pirate wannabes to dress, talk, walk and drink like pirates at a party with live entertainment, drink specials, food and pirate contests. $20 advance at the Tampa Bay International Talk Like a Pirate Day Facebook page ( facebook.com/TampaBayTalkLikeaPirate), $25 day of. Ticket sales benefit area hospices, so they aren't total scalawags. Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 495-9039.