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Best things to do in Tampa Bay: Warrior Games, 'Greatest Showman' and steam punks gather

In this 2018 photo, W. Charles Ivory, who goes by the name Sir Charles, attends Aethertopia at Tampa’s Florida State Fairgrounds. The steampunk convention will return this weekend. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times (2018)]
Published Jun. 27

FINAL STRETCH: Warrior Games

It has been an emotional and inspiring week already as the Warrior Games took over numerous Tampa athletic fields. There's more to come this weekend, as well as the closing ceremonies with comedian Jon Stewart and country artist Sara Evans performing at Amalie Arena. The end of the games is marked with the deliverance of the "heart of the team" award and a parade of some 300 athletes. $15. 7 p.m. Sunday.

But you can still catch the competitions, all free for spectators and a way to cheer on military athletes. The highly competitive wheelchair basketball finals are from 3-8 p.m. Friday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. That's also where you can see wheelchair rugby (originally called Murderball) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Sitting volleyball, in which a player must have some part of the upper body (bottom to shoulders) in contact with the floor at the moment of ball contact, will be in finals from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Yuengling Center at the University of South Florida, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. The convention center will also have shooting, with competitors using air pistols and rifles on a stationary, electronic target from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Men's and women's swimming is the one competition in Pinellas County. It will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Long Aquatic Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater. See for a schedule.

STEAM CON: Aethertopia Canceled

This weekend's second Tampa fan gathering just for steampunks, Aethertopia. was canceled on Wednesday, just days before it was to set up a cross between a Renaissance festival and a fan convention. But vendors and steam punk fans are turning their attention to two pop-up steam punk markets this weekend, instead. Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. will be Steam Market Day at the SpookEasy Lounge in Ybor City, 1919 E Seventh Ave. And on Sunday the Waypoint 6 Tavern & Geekery at 9057 Ulmerton Road, Largo will host the Tampa Bay Steamp Punk Society's costume competition and Steam Market Day from 12:30-6 p.m.

Aethertopia, steeped in Victorian clothing, steam-powered gadgets, the science fiction of Jules Verne, post-apocalyptic stories or the Old West, will return, organizers said. But the biggest change will likely be ticket price. It had been set at $39-$169; concert-only $40 for the Saturday-Sunday event, but event creators they are now looking for a way to make general admission low-cost or free. Statu tuned.

SING ALONG: The Greatest Showman

We know that next week Hugh Jackman is bringing his showy world tour to Tampa's Amalie Arena on July 5. But we can get our pipes in good shape for that this weekend. On Saturday, Tampa Theatre presents one of its most popular sing-along screenings with The Greatest Showman. Sing along as the Oscar-nominated, Tony- and Emmy-winning Jackman plays P.T. Barnum in the 2017 musical celebration of the life for an original American entertainment pioneer. "Tampa Theatre patrons were so excited about the sing-along version of The Greatest Showman last year, it sold out multiple shows, and we've had fervent requests to bring it back ever since," the theater announced. "So what better time to do so than days before ... entertainment tour de force Hugh Jackman makes a live appearance at Amalie Arena?" We might as well warm up on some This Is Me among friends first. Tickets are $13, $10 members. 3 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286.


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