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Oddly alluring

The music of Mark Castle, Young Egypt, Laser Coffins and Lars Warn sets the tone for Queery, an art installation with works by Mia Culbertson, Emily Miller and Prisilla 3000 to benefit the Metro LGBT Welcome Center. 7 p.m. Friday $5. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Pete. (727) 895-6620.


Yes, you Kon!

Khaotic Kon is a giant anime, video game and sci-fi convention with fan-hosted panels, dance parties, theatrical productions and more. Special guests include voice actors Scott McNeil (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing), Quinton Flynn (Final Fantasy VII Advent Children) and David Vincent (Bleach). Sheraton Tampa East, 10221 Princess Palm Ave., Tampa. (813) 388-7155. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. $20-$25 daily, $45 weekend; $10 daily, $30 weekend (child).

It's Kirk and Spock!

William Shatner, the original Star Trek captain, will appear at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore for the Away Mission sci-fi convention, along with guests including Kevin Sorbo, John DeLancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13) and others. Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy will also make a presentation via Skype. Unlike huge comic cons, Away Mission sci-fi conventions are planned around a more relaxed and sociable atmosphere of autographs, photo opportunities, panel discussions and entertainment, promising not to be one long line after the other. As a result, many of its packages are already sold out. A check of the event's website,, showed very limited general admission tickets available for $39 and most VIP packages sold out. If available, tickets will be sold at the door. The show runs 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 N Lois Ave., Tampa.


Premium plush

Some of the mascots found around Tampa Bay will be stopping by for lunch during Saturday's Munchies with Mascots, including the Rays' Raymond, the Threshers' Phinley, Dunedin Blue Jays' DJay, the Chick-Fil-A Cow, Chuck E. Cheese, Largo's Captain Play and many more. Parents should bring cameras. $6 advance, $9 at the door (children); $2 (adults). There will be snacks and games at Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. (727) 518-3016.

Come on, party animals

Join the area's top business and community leaders at Karamu XXVI, Lowry Park Zoo's annual gala, where guests will enjoy cocktails, up-close animal encounters, dinner, auctions and live entertainment in a "jungle boogie" atmosphere. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $300-$5,000. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552.

Pick a Pixar person's mind

A story consultant to Disney, Pixar and Twentieth Century Fox, Bobette Buster will discuss and sign her new book Do Story: How to Tell Your Story So the World Listens. Free. The Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. 2 p.m. Saturday.


Princely ponies

For the first time ever, riding master Rene Gasser brings his world-renowned equestrian tour, Gala of the Royal Horses, to Tampa. Gasser has recreated a show for this tour only previously seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain. The royal horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters. The show will celebrate the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures. The show will include a demonstration of fine flamenco dancing combined with dressage by Arabians, Spanish Andalusians, Lipizzaners and Friesians. The show is at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $25-$55.

Picnic in the Park

Hyde Park Village transforms into a festive food party for Taste of South Tampa, with samples from an array of area restaurants, beer, wine, a kid's zone and a pet zone with wading pools. Bring canned goods to benefit Metropolitan Ministries. 1-4 p.m. Sunday. $35; $20 seniors/20 and younger; 9 and younger free (advance); $45; $30 military/20 and younger, 9 and younger free (day of). Hyde Park Village, 1621 W Snow Circle, Tampa. (813) 637-0156.

5 under $5

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5 under $5

FREEThe kids love the annual H&R Train Show competition, now in its 66th installment, with a judged layout competition and exhibits of every scale of model railroading. There will be lots of train-related vendors, how-to classes, seminars, demonstrations, children's activities, a wooden derby race, train painting and door prizes. And it's all free from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at H&R Trains, 6901 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park. (727) 526-4682.

FREEThe SPCA Adopter's Reunion is open to any dog adopted from the SPCA. Bring them out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday for a day of doggie fun including dog park play time, tips from trainers, hot dogs for humans and a commemorative group photo. It's free at Walsingham Park, 12615 102nd Ave. N, Largo. (727) 586-3591, ext. 112.

FREELast year Springfest, now entering its second decade, transformed itself into a more magically themed celebration of spring with fairies, nymphs and wood sprites wandering about Clymer Park in Gulfport and a labyrinth offering a twisty challenge for all who dared enter. This year there will be a costume contest, Maypole Dance, live music and a beer garden from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, so round up your ogres and head to Clymer Park at Gulfport and Beach boulevards. Free.

$3The Sun 'n Fun grounds at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport will be screaming with ice cream fans this weekend at the Florida Ice Cream Festival, expanded to two days this year with Christian and country bands, vendors and activities. The big draw will be the World Ice Cream Eating Championship at 4 p.m. Saturday, which was won last year by professional eating superstar Joey Chestnut. He will defend his title and try to break last year's record of eating 14.5 pints of ice cream in six minutes. It runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Sun 'n Fun, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland. $3 for ages 6 and over.

$5More than 70 vendors and numerous plant club members provide low-maintenance plants and information for attracting butterflies to your yard at the Spring Plant Festival. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. $5, 11 and younger free. University of South Florida Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2329.