Established in November of 2011, Clearwater Beach Uncorked invites established chefs, vintners, and brewers from near and far to congregate for a weekend of sun, fun, and delicious dining. The festival is always ripe for culinary adventures: in its inaugural year, the beach featured such sights as a “sand castle” made out of cake and rice-crispie-treat crumbs, a flash mob, and countless realizations that, despite popular opinion, vegetables aren’t yucky after all.
The Fanboy Expo, like stepping through the screen of a blockbuster superhero movie, brings comic and movie fans face-to-face with their favorite characters, actors, and artists. For two days, costumed attendees hob-nob with the Highlander, talk shop with Jerry "The King" Lawler , or chat with Lorenzo Lamas about his much publicized transition from starring in Renegade to opening his petting zoo, Lorenzo Lamas' Llamas. In addition to meeting celebrities from silver and small screen sci-fi and fantasy hits, comic book fans can also pick their favorite artist and creator's brain, snagging an autograph in the process. Should they find themselves in need of a new action figure or collectable t-shirt, fans can make their way to a number of merchandise and memorabilia dealer booths throughout the event space.
Cupids Bar Crawl invites ladies and gentlemen—single or paired up—to express their devotion or disdain for the holiday of lovers by hitting eight hot spots across the city. The crawl begins at 6:30 p.m. at Tequilas on Valentine's Day, and ventures to seven other locations, where participants revel in free shots and swag from Fireball Whisky. At the end of the three-hour crawl, partiers return to Tequilas to soak up the libations with light food and to nurse any wounds from Cupid's arrow. Proceeds from Cupids Bar Crawl benefit the Michael Agana Memorial Scholarship at USF.
The India International Film Festival (IFF) of Tampa Bay selects a small sampling of more than 1,000 films produced in India each year to demonstrate that the most prolific film industry in the world is more than just masala musicals. Like the culture from which they spring, the films speak in a lush polyglossia of English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Nepali, Kashmiri—but the common language of humanity unites them all, whether the subject is Down syndrome, terrorism, patriotism, or simply losing yourself to spiritual bliss. Opening-night ceremonies and filmmaker Q&As round out the schedule of events, offering a more immersive movie experience than watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 3-D.
Located near I-75 at 11315 N. 46th St., the annual fair (now in its 32nd year) features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Shop for old-fashioned wares including leather, metal, and musical instruments, or gorge on traditional turkey drumsticks, ye olde foot-long corn dogs, and roasted corn. This year's festival marks the introduction of the Medieval Monster Museum, where guests will come face to face with fairies, trolls, and vampires while marveling at archaic creature-fighting weaponry. Prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, offering a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for an early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly dancing, limericks, comedy, and sounds.
The Sunscreen Film Festival celebrates the celluloid efforts of the sunshine state, bolstering awareness and support of the invaluable asset of local filmmaking. The festival starts its sixth year with a slew of hand-picked flicks representing the works of local and international auteurs, along with informative workshops for future sun-stroked Speilbergs and panel discussions for fledgling Eberts. With two one-day passes, film fanatics can bask in the sunless glow of projectors as they cram a smorgasbord of short films, documentaries, music videos, and feature-lengths into their eyeholes. Day passes also grant access to panels and workshops. The passes may be used by one moviegoer for two days of the fest or split between friends for one day of movie gorging.