GEEK OUT: Tampa Bay Comic Con
Now in its seventh year, Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Kate Beckinsale, left, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the "inconceivable" Wallace Shawn, right, from The Princess Bride. Val Kilmer canceled on Tuesday. 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. With a packed schedule of Nerdy Speed Dating, a Harry Potter musical tribute, panels and celebrity Q&A sessions, you need to plan in advance to make the most it. This is the first year without a printed program. Instead, schedules for panels, contests, registrations and a list of celebs and their Q&A sessions are at tampabaycomiccon.com or on the event's free app. It opens at noon Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.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.
BASEBALL: Extras for fans
It's a lot easier to take your crew out to the old ball game this weekend.
You can get 25-cent hot dogs and fireworks at the Clearwater Threshers games this weekend against Daytona Torugas. On Friday, Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce Night features that deal on hot dogs as well as the ThreshersCon Costume Contest, $14 all-you-can-eat tickets and a post-game concert by the Black Honkeys. If you go Saturday, stick around for post-game fireworks. Both games are at 6:25 p.m. at Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Field), 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. $6-$10. (727) 467-4457. threshersbaseball.com.
The Tampa Bay Rays are out of town playing the Yankees on Sunday. But you can catch the 1:05 p.m. game at the Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach. There will be a giant screen set up on the sand, 620-AM WDAE will broadcast live and the Rays Street Team will have giveaways. Try the Triple WipeOut Surf Simulator there for $4. 6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Free, $10 parking. (727) 367-6461.
LIME TIME: Margarita Wars
Back for its fourth year, Margarita Wars features more than 15 of Tampa Bay's best mixologists will wage a tequila battle to claim the top prize. To give you an idea of the creativity at work, the 2016 winner was Datz mixologist Morgan Zuch's drink that featured edible flowers, prickly pear and Tidal Boar Ginger Beer. Zuch also won in 2014 with a strawberry smoked rose margarita. 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.