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THE PLANNER

Friday

Putter around

Put on your spiffiest golfing attire for the golf-themed Duffer's Ball with a contest for best "duffer duds" and dancing. The Gulfport Casino will be transformed into a miniature golf course. 7-11 p.m. $20. 5500 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport. (727) 592-1933.

Costumed and classy

Heroes, Villains and Vixens is a chic Halloween-themed cocktail party featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment, cigar rolling, psychic reader and a freaky fashion strut. Benefits Goodwill Industries. 7 p.m. $75. Kapok Special Events Center, 923 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 523-1512, ext. 1050.

Live the VIP life

The airport hangar at the Tampa Jet Center will be transformed into a luxury showroom for Cars & Couture, a display of exotic cars, couture fashions, music, auctions, fine wine, cigars and more, all to help raise funds for Autism Speaks. 6-11 p.m. $50 advance; $65 at the door; $125 VIP. Tampa International Jet Center, 4751 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa. (813) 319-8000.

saturday

Go on a quest for science

Nerds are taking over St. Petersburg's Bayboro Harbor on Saturday as the annual MarineQuest open house at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and the adjacent Science Festival at the USF St. Petersburg campus turns the waterfront into a science playground. Thousands of people will turn out to work on a Lego robot, pet a stingray, see how scientists get electricity from spinach, operate a remotely operated underwater vehicle - and don't miss the touch tanks, where you can find out what a shark's skin feels like and touch horseshoe crabs, sea stars, spiny lobsters and other marine critters. There will be food trucks, and visitors can board a research vessel in the harbor. The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Ave. SE, in downtown St. Pete.

FRiday-SUnday

Here, there be dragons

Necronomicon, a convention of sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans, is now in its third decade. This year's theme is "The Dragons are Coming," and their guest of honor is Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle series. Featured events include a Necronomi-Prom, an "Eye-Scream" social, evening masquerade, gaming, beer tasting, costume contest, trivia contest and an art show. Admission is $20-$25 daily; $35-$50 weekend at the Embassy Suites Tampa-USF, 3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa. Noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. See necro2013.com for a full schedule.

All's fair in Hillsborough

The Hillsborough County Fair is back, with midway rides, carnival-style foods, livestock shows, live music, a chili cookoff and a ranch rodeo. It runs noon to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7, $5 students, $4 seniors, 5 and younger free. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and State Road 60, Brandon. (813) 737-3247.

Fill your honey-do list

Guests can shop, compare and save on affordable ways to organize, repair, remodel, refurbish and landscape their homes at Florida's Largest Fall Home Show. They can see and try products, talk to experts and get information at more than 900 exhibits. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $8, $7 seniors, 11 and younger free. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 677-6925.

Beer at the track

One of the bay area's larger Oktoberfest celebrations, the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Oktoberfest, takes place under a huge Munich-style tent with music, German food, festival foods, a carnival and games including stein holding, log sawing, barrel rolling and keg tossing. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. $5, 11 and younger free, $18 carnival wristbands. Tampa Bay Downs, 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. (813) 855-4233.

5 under $5

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5 under $5

FREE Katherine Boo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers will give a free talk Wednesday at Eckerd College where she will discuss her dramatic account of living in the slums of modern India and her exploration of the issues of poverty, class, globalization and environmental sustainability. The talk is 7:30 p.m. at the college's Fox Hall, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

FREE The small Pasco County town of San Antonio has been putting on its Rattlesnake and Music Festival for more than four decades, with live snake and reptile shows, mechanical gopher turtle races ($1 per heat), hundreds of handmade craft booths, live entertainment, car and truck shows, a corn toss tournament and more. It runs 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, with free admission and parking in San Antonio City Park in east Pasco, 32810 Pennsylvania Ave.

$5 The beach behind Treasure Island's Thunderbird Resort will be filled with sport kites this weekend as they duel for judges' favor and show newbies how to get into the sport at the Fall Fly at T.I. Kite competitions are like figure skating, with competitors being judged on their performance, how well they fly, prescribed compulsory figures, as well as a "ballet," which involves artistic interpretation of music. Competition runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will be big and small kites, kite aerial photography rigs, as well as kids' activities, food and raffles. The city is offering $5 all-day parking at the Treasure Island Community Center near Gulf Boulevard at 106th Avenue.

$5 Wolfman Mac Kelly's Monster Matinee features Wolfman and his famous sidekick Boney Bob live in person as they entertain with jokes and skits and then present the horror and sci-fi movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. It also includes a costume contest and autograph session. 1 p.m. Saturday. $5; $3 ages 5 and younger. Tampa Pitcher Show, 14416 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 963-0578.

$5 This $5 Day at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry will have a Safety Saturday theme, where families can learn how to stay safe with the help of Safe Kids Tampa, the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. Exhibit galleries include the largest children's science center in the nation and more than 450 hands-on, interactive exhibits. Admission to $5 Day also includes entrance to the IMAX film Great White Shark. MOSI is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. See mosi.org.

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