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Plan your weekend Aug. 4-6: Metrocon, Tax-Free Weekend, comedian Erik Griffin, the Isley Brothers


Tax-Free Weekend: So long, summer. This is the last weekend before many public schools in the Tampa Bay area open and it's also the weekend state sales tax is waived on school supplies, clothing and computers. Tampa's Westshore Plaza will have a Back to School Fair on Saturday with workshops, exhibits and speakers for the parents and live entertainment and activities for the kids. The first 500 kids will receive a free book bag. It runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

More Shopping: Four back to school shopping deals and events to check out


Metrocon: This fan convention focuses on anime, the style of flashy Japanese animation and artwork familiar to anyone who has seen Speed Racer or Sailor Moon. Running today through Sunday, the event covers all elements of pop culture that have been influenced by anime, from videos to pop music to games like Pokémon. Voice actors will be there, as will top cosplayers. Don't miss the live fire shows each night on the Riverwalk or Saturday's Anime Human Chess Match, involving anime characters from multiple shows. It runs from noon to midnight today through Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 517-1171. $30-$40 for single-day pass.

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Bolts Brew Fest: Beer fans sample their way around the floor of Amalie Arena where they will find more than 100 craft beer varieties from more than 50 local and national breweries. The taps start pouring at 7 p.m. Saturday. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. VIP is sold out, but a general admission ticket ($50 advance, $60 day of) includes three hours of unlimited beer sampling and a free ticket voucher for a 2017 Lightning preseason game.

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Great Brain Wash: Straub Park will be transformed into a 5K foam pit with slip-n-slides and numerous water obstacles for the Great Brain Wash, a run that benefits the Brain Tumor Alliance. Afterward, there will also be music, dancing, food and beer. The first wave of runners dive in at 8 a.m. Saturday. Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. $35-$40 advance, $45 day of. (727) 781-4673.

More Events: Search any time by date, price and neighborhood


Erik Griffin: A writer and actor whose self-created persona plays a regular guy taking the brunt of things on a never-ending stream of awkward situations, headlines at Side Splitters this weekend. With the debut this year of a comedy album, Technical Foul: Volume One, and a half-hour set on Comedy Central, Griffin is often the target of his own comedy. He muses about his free-floating anxiety around his multi-ethnic heritage. He performs today through Sunday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

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Florida y Cuba: Gateways to the Caribbean: Florida's connection to Cuba dates back 500 years and an exhibit now open at the Tampa Bay History Center reveals the long relationship up to its current state through rare and original maps, lithographs and other documents. The earliest map in the exhibition was first published in 1511 by Peter Martyr, a Spaniard who had traveled with Christopher Columbus. The exhibit also includes contemporary pieces, including a print by Cuban artist Ibrahim Miranda, created at USF's Graphicstudio. Admission is $12.95, $10.95 seniors/students with ID, $7.95 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. 801 Old Water St. (813) 228-0097.

Art: Bekky Beukes delves into 'Debris' show at the Blue Goose


The Isley Brothers: Like a history tour, the band's lineage includes the early hit-filled days of the '50s and '60s, their influence on the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, their second life supplying samples to rappers like Public Enemy (Fight the Power) and the Notorious B.I.G. (Big Poppa). And of course there's 1959's Shout. "That's usually the last song we do, and of course, everybody knows it," Ernie Isley said in an interview. "It's the rock and roll equivalent of Happy Birthday." And at 7 p.m. Sunday, they'll play the Mahaffey Theater (400 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg), performing not just Shout, but also Twist and Shout, It's Your Thing, Between the Sheets and more. $39.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. For more with Ernie Isley, see

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QUICK: Do these things with the kids before school starts 


Plan your weekend Aug. 4-6: Metrocon, Tax-Free Weekend, comedian Erik Griffin, the Isley Brothers 08/02/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 3, 2017 12:46pm]
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