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Top 15 Tampa Bay area events for the week of July 25-31

Show off your costume at Tampa Bay Comic Convention, or yuck it up with a Pee-wee Herman-themed beerfest.
Alex Melvin and Chelsea Criner pose as characters from Fallout 3 at the 2018 Tampa Bay Comic Convention. The event returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend.
Alex Melvin and Chelsea Criner pose as characters from Fallout 3 at the 2018 Tampa Bay Comic Convention. The event returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend. [ LUIS SANTANA | TIMES | LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Jul. 25

Tampa Bay Comic Convention: People dress like their favorite comic character and come out in droves for this annual convention with photo ops with stars including Paul Bettany (Vision in the Marvel movies), William Shatner (”Star Trek”), James “Murr” Murray (”Impractical Jokers”), RJ Mitte (”Breaking Bad”), Ross Marquand (”Walking Dead”) and more. $60-$125. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. 813-274-8511.

Celebrate Pee-wee's Beer Adventure at Beerfest Saturday at Tampa Theatre.
Celebrate Pee-wee's Beer Adventure at Beerfest Saturday at Tampa Theatre. [ GREGORY BULL | AP ]

BeerFest: Hop on your Schwinn and join Pee-wee’s Beer Adventure with food and drink by area breweries and restaurants. Costumes inspired by “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” are encouraged. Benefits theater upkeep and educational programs. $55-$75. 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. 813-274-8286.

Kendrick Lamar: The Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper performs, with special guests Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. $59-$179. 7 p.m. Wednesday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6500.

Flip Circus: World-class clowns, acrobats, jugglers, aerialists, hand-balancers and daredevils display their talents up close. (No seat is more than 50 feet from the ring.) $25-$65. 7:30 p.m. Friday, noon, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Sunday. Westfield Brandon, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive. 877-829-7839.

1982 Summer Movie Series: The Summer Classic Movie Series celebrates the 40th anniversary of select films.

  • “The Thing” (R, 109 minutes): A group of researchers encounters a parasitic extraterrestrial. 7 p.m. Friday.
  • “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (R, 114 minutes): A town’s sheriff, and regular patron, fights to keep a historic whorehouse open. 7 p.m. Saturday.

Each film is $5, $30 four-pack (includes four drinks and four popcorns). Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

Last Friday turns into the wizarding world of Hogwarts for the Harry Potter Birthday Celebration in McCall Park in Plant City on Friday.
Last Friday turns into the wizarding world of Hogwarts for the Harry Potter Birthday Celebration in McCall Park in Plant City on Friday. [ Tampa Bay Times (2017) ]

Last Friday in Downtown: Last Friday turns into the Harry Potter Birthday Celebration with a visit to Platform 9 3/4, a wizarding scavenger hunt, kids art, an extreme gyro-sphere, giant water slide, market, ax throwing, food, butterbeer and a Harry Potter-themed costume contest. Free. 5-9 p.m. Friday. McCall Park, 100 N Collins St., Plant City. 813-358-8898.

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Clearwater Beach Dogs: Threshers players and staff take the field in Beach Dogs uniforms and fans can join in by rocking their favorite Beach Dogs gear. Beach Dogs Fridays are also dog-friendly, so you can bring your pooch. Dog tickets are $7 and available for walkup purchases. Dog tickets benefit a different local pet charity that will be on site. Human price varies. 6:30 p.m. Friday. BayCare Ballpark, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. 727-467-4457.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday: Area retailers offer tax-free shopping for families as children prepare to go back to school. Tax is waived on clothing, shoes, some school supplies, learning aids, jigsaw puzzles, personal computers and certain computer-related accessories. Price restrictions apply on all items. The sales tax holiday runs through Aug. 7. Free. Hours vary by individual retail location across the Tampa Bay area.

Be sure to take advantage of the tax-free holiday in Florida for back-to-school items your returning student will need.
Be sure to take advantage of the tax-free holiday in Florida for back-to-school items your returning student will need. [ stock ]

Summer Circus Spectacular: Heidi Herriott serves as master of ceremonies for a Cirque-style show of comedy, hand balancing/adagio, contortion, aerial/dance and rolla bolla/balancing. These performers have been seen in Las Vegas, at Walt Disney World, at traveling circus festivals and on TV. Runs through Aug. 13. $18, $12 ages 12 and younger. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-360-7399.

Dutchman: Set in New York City, this Obie Award-winning play about race and identity in America focuses on the struggles between African Americans and white Americans. $20 and up. 7-9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-823-1600.

Back-to-School Fair: The first 500 children get free backpacks at the 15th annual fair with face painting, games, photos with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ThunderBug, drawings, contests, performances and tax-free shopping. Free. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. WestShore Plaza Mall, 250 WestShore Plaza, Tampa. 813-773-0045.

B. Simone: The comedian-actor-businesswoman who’s a long-standing cast member of MTV’s hit series “Wild N’ Out” performs. $35-$45. 8-9:30 p.m. and 10:15-11:45 p.m. Friday, 7-8:30 p.m. and 9:45-11:15 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. 813-864-4000.

Back-to-School Skateboarding Bash: An all-ages contest with divisions for ages 8 and younger, ages 9-12, ages 13-15, women’s, ages 16-20 and 30 and older. Noncontest skaters get half off skating during contest hours. Spectators free. 8 a.m. Saturday. SkatePark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive. 813-621-6793.

Summer Glow: It’s the last week to spend your day at the beach and still have time to spend with rescued animals at the aquarium. Clearwater Marine Aquarium extends its hours to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Activities include steel drum music, live entertainment, animal interaction and free boat tours. Included with admission. 4-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 249 Windward Passage. 727-441-1790.

Score some free promotional items at the Tampa Bay Rays home games this Saturday and Sunday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
Score some free promotional items at the Tampa Bay Rays home games this Saturday and Sunday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays face the Cleveland Guardians this weekend.

  • All fans get a free Brett Phillips Devil Rays basketball jersey while supplies last. 1:10 p.m. Saturday.
  • Fans 14 and younger get a free Brandon Lowe cereal bowl and cup set while supplies last. 1:40 p.m. Sunday.

Ticket price varies by game. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. 888-326-7297.

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