This weekend the Tampa Convention Center will be filled with geeks, cosplayers, comic book lovers and plenty of Whovians celebrating all the great things about living in the nerddom.
In its first year in Tampa Bay, MegaCon is expecting about 30,000 people to stream through the convention center doors dressed up as their favorite fandom characters.
Some of the most anticipated celebrity guests slated to appear at MegaCon are David Tennant and Billie Piper (Doctor Who), "The Fonz" Henry Winkler (Happy Days), LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Graham McTavish (The Hobbit, Outlander) and Will Friedle (Boy Meets World).
Some notable comic guests include Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and Wonder Woman: Rebirth writer Greg Rucka.
MegaCon Tampa Bay runs 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. Tickets start at $25 per day or $60 for the weekend. Autographs and photos may be extra. megacontampabay.com for information, celebrity schedules and tickets.
Shopping and artist alley: Snag deals on vintage comics and nerd swag, and meet some artists and creators. This is your chance to get a sketch done by a favorite artist, buy some one-of-a-kind creations and shop for all those comic books you've been eyeing.
Death Star garbage smasher: You won't want to miss the chance to get your photo taken inside a replica of the Death Star trash compactor from the original Star Wars. Visit the 501st Legion booth on the exhibit floor, and watch out for the Dianoga monster.
Sci-fi speed dating: Your potential soul mate could be a member of the First Order or in a different Hogwarts house. See megacontampabay.com/schedule for speed dating times and rooms.
Halloween Horror Picture Show film festival: Tampa Bay's Horror Film Festival started in 2002 and has screened hundreds of independent shorts and feature films. For the first time, the festival will be held inside MegCon, running 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Schedule at megacontampabay.com/schedule.
Buffy's "Once More, With Feeling": Join the members of CRH as they shadowcast Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode. 2 p.m. Saturday.
Screening: Scream Bloody Murder: Part of the film festival is a special screening of the 1973 cult classic shot in the Tampa area followed by a Q&A with director Robert Emery. 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Improvengers Live: The comedians make up new adventure stories based on audience suggestions, creating new superheroes and supervillains on the spot. 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Live Shadowcast: Enjoy a full-length screening of the cult classic while the Cheap Little Punks perform and encourage the audience to sing along and throw props. 5 p.m. Saturday.
Pokémon Go lure party: Just outside the convention center main entrance. 5 p.m. Saturday.
MegaCon after party: The party hosted by some of the guest cosplayers starts at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum in Ybor City. DJs will be spinning all night and there's a costume contest at midnight. Tickets, $15, are limited. 18 and up only. megacontampabay .com/tickets.
Comic book bootcamp: Cartoonist and educator Ty Templeton (Batman Adventures, Batman '66) introduces the basics of creating comic books. 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Ink-Fusion Empire Tattoo: Book a session with the only professional tattoo program with a license agreement with Lucasfilm. They work alongside television and film celebrities to create one-of-a-kind ink. Book at megacontampabay.com/guests.
Chelsea Tatham, Times staff writer