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.
Reporters at this bimonthly lifestyle magazine sift through the local dining, art, and social scenes to present the gems to readers on glossy, colorful pages. Each issue carries an expansive dining guide that curates the city's culinary landscape, turning readers on to chic new bistros, hidden gems, and bars that have the most elegant spittoons.
Lauded in its inaugural year by the Tampa Bay Examiner, The Clearwater Film and Music Festival's sophomore showcase spotlights more than 60 films from around the globe alongside diverse musical acts. This year's films include the 2011 Academy Award–winning comedic short film God Of Love, which reveals the romantic adventures of a lounge-singing darts champion, and the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection Challenging Impossibility, which documents the uplifting transformation of one man's mind and body. The upstart festival has developed the steel-ribbon Wavecrest Awards, which honor the best director, best actor, best actress, best slow-motion jump from an exploding hot-dog stand, and more.
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 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.
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.