Concerts of note: On Friday queen of country music Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, the hit-making vocal machine bring a strong night of country’s best female artists at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. $34.25 and up. Livenation.com. Speaking of strong females, Kesha will take the MidFlorida stage with Macklemore on Sunday in her comeback from years of legal purgatory. They play at 7 p.m. Sunday$30.50 and up. And Saturday brings the end of an era with the last Vans Warped Tour at Midflorida Amphitheatre. Gates open at 11 a.m. Among the 60-plus bands lined up across six stages are August Burns Red, 3OH!3, the Maine, Pennywise, Senses Fail, Every Time I Die, Reel Big Fish and more. $45 and up. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. V answarpedtour.com.
For more concerts coming up, see our Fall Music Preview, from Taylor Swift to Toto we have more than 50 fall concerts of note coming to Tampa Bay. Read about it at tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/
Tampa Bay Comic Con: Celebrity appearances and numerous tables of comics, videos, toys and collectibles mark the return of Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend. The stars lined up this year include, from left, Val Kilmer (Batman), Rory McCann (Game of Thrones), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter), Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Disney princess voice actors. There’s also a film festival, comedy shows and numerous comic book artists and writers on hand. Noon-midnight Friday, 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $30-$40; $60 three days; 12 and younger free. Additional charge for photographs and autographs (cash only). (813) 451-4559. tampabaycomiccon.com.
Kevin Hart: The prolific comedian, best-selling author and recent media mogul, Kevin Hart is bringing his widely successful Irresponsible Tour to Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Saturday. See the diminutive funnyman at 7 p.m. Saturday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $35-$125. amaliearena.com. Note: Cell phones will not be allowed during the show. So no texting, talking, tweeting, cameras, social media or recording devices of any kind will be allowed inside the arena.
Tax Free Weekend: Before the first bell rings, Florida residents have a chance to do their back-to-school shopping during the annual tax-free weekend Friday to Sunday. The tax break includes school supplies, $15 and under including binders, calculators, colored pencils, compasses, composition books, scissors and tape. Clothing, footwear and accessories, $60 and under include aerobic and fitness, sleepwear, underclothes, uniforms; boots, shoes (including athletic), backpacks and book bags.
Wings of Strength IFBB Professional League Muscle Vodka Tampa Pro: The event brings a bevy of beach bods to the Tampa Marriott Waterside this weekend. Male and female pros from around the globe will be there with some celebrity body builders likely to be on hand as well. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Marriott Waterside, 700 S Florida Ave., Tampa. $30-$140. (813) 221-4900.
Back To School Bash: Always wanted to put your board skills to the test? Saturday’s Back to School Bash All Ages Contest at Skatepark of Tampa is great first step if you’ve never entered a competition. Spectators get in free, and there will be food from the Bricks. Entrants must sign a waiver to compete and those younger than 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign for them. Registration: $25 in advance ($30 for sponsored division) at skateparkoftampa.com; $30 day of event. Doors open at 8 a.m.; contest begins at 10:30. Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive. (813) 621-6793.
Tampa Bay Rays: Remember Aki? The White Sox come to town for a series with games Friday (7:10 p.m.), Saturday (6:10 p.m.) and Sunday (1:10). Of note: For fans who fondly remember “Aki,” the Saturday game’s giveaway is a bobblehead of former Ray Akinori Iwamura and players from the 2008 ALCS championship team that left the “Devil” behind will take part in a pregame ceremony. On Sunday, the freebie is a Kevin Kiermaier lunch box. The Orioles are at the Trop on Tuesday and Wednesday with 7:10 p.m. games. For the week’s complete promotion schedule, visit mlb.com/rays/tickets/promotions. Ticket prices vary by game. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-888-326-7297.
Take the kids
Tampa Bay Youth Sports Expo: Kids, parents, coaches and sports administrators can sharpen their skills while getting ready for school. Activities include interactive skills zones, live demonstrations, DJ dancing, games, food, vendors and a backpack giveaway. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Skills Center, 300 E Sligh Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 703-1324.
Beach Snoballs relaunch: Feel like a little summer sno? Beach Snoballs in St. Pete Beach will host a grand relaunch on Saturday at noon, with celebrity co-owner Desmond Howard, Heisman Trophy winner, Superbowl XXXI MVP and ESPN football analyst, and Tripp Welborne, University of Michigan Wolverines alum and first-team All-American, scheduled to appear 1 to 2:30 p.m. Need more of a draw? This is authentic New Orleans-style snoballs with 65 flavors, including natural and sugar-free options, served alongside a variety of toppings. Adults 21 and up can indulge in “spiked snoballs” infused with vodka, rum or tequila for an extra kick in the pants. Fifty percent of the day’s proceeds go to the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Academy Prep St. Pete. 7350 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.
Gilbert King: The author won a Pulitzer Prize for Devil in the Grove, one of Thurgood Marshall’s most famous cases of racial injustice when four African-American men were falsely accused of rape. His latest, Beneath a Ruthless Sun, is about a December 1957 case of the wife of a wealthy Florida citrus man who wass raped in her home and claimed a “husky Negro” attacked her. What follows is a devasting account of a white, mentally impaired teen who takes the fall for the crime. The author will hold a conversation about his book with [email protected] artistic director Bob Devin Jones and Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft at 5 p.m. Sunday at [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Free; books will be available for sale.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.