CLEARWATER JAZZ HOLIDAY EVENTS

Sweet Sounds at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Four days of swinging jazz surrounded by warm breezes and wafts of sea-salty air . . . what better way to enjoy the most American of music styles than outdoors in sunny Clearwater, Florida? At the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, you’ll not only be treated to a warm atmosphere (not just weather-wise, but people-wise), you’ll also take in the sounds of top musical performers. Past featured artists include the jazzy-bluesy Gladys Knight, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Buddy Guy; plus popular singers and instrumentalists like Sheryl Crow and Bela Fleck.

The 2017 event runs from Thursday, October 19 through Sunday, October 22 with a stunning line up! Thursday, catch the legendary The Four Tops and The Tempations. Saturday, gates open at 1 p.m. and acts include Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Sunday enjoy Anderson East and The Avett Brothers. Single day tickets start at $16 and full weekend packages are available too.

Find all the details about each day below!

All-new Epcot International Festival of the Arts coming in January

Walt Disney World announced today that another festival is coming to Epcot, called the International Festival of the Arts.

The event will run six weekends at the park and will feature a variety of art, including visual, culinary and performing arts.

The festival will also bring Disney Theatrical bringing a variety of musical and Broadway performances to the America Gardens Theatre stage.  Guests will even experience segments from Disney Broadway hits like The Lion King?, Newsies, and Aladdin.

And what would a festival at Epcot be without food?  During the International Festival of the Arts, guests will have a variety of food to choose from.

The event will run Friday – Monday in January at Epcot.

The 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Live-Stream in 360-Degree Video

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be available for broadcast via live, 360-degree stream on YouTube. For the legendary gathering’s 90th event, viewers will be able to watch the 360-degree feed thanks to cameras placed strategically in five different locations along the parade’s path. To support and promote the effort, Macy’s will also publish 360-degree visuals documenting what goes on behind the scenes at the studios that bring the parade’s creations to life.

The 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade festivities will begin on November 24 at 9 A.M. EST; you will be able to watch it from desktop screens, laptops, phones and pretty much any device that can access YouTube. For this year’s event, Marlon Wayans and Olivia Culpo will serve as the show’s hosts. Tune into Macy’s YouTube account on Thanksgiving here.

Grab Your Cape, Tampa Bay Comic-Con Begins Tomorrow!

In the realm of comic book conventions, Tampa Bay Comic Con is something else. Known both for its amazing lineup of celebrity guests and stifling crowds and lines, the convention continues to grow year by year, making it one that fans around the Bay Area can’t avoid even if they want to. Like flies to a light, fans will flock to the Tampa Bay Convention Center for this year’s comic con Friday through Sunday.

This year’s lineup is drool worthy. Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) and Ray Park (Darth Maul) represent the “Star Wars” lineup; Jack Gleeson (Prince Joffrey) will join from “Game of Thrones”; Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock) and Elodie Yung (Elektra) of Netflix’s “Daredevil” will appear, too. Throw in “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus, “Doctor Who” companion Jenna Coleman, and “Lord of the Rings” buddy Sean Astin, and then imagine the crowds and security surrounding each fanbase. It’s a lot to handle.

It’s best to go into a convention like this with a game plan. If you’re obsessed with one of these guest stars, prioritize their events. Each actor will have photo opportunities, panels and autograph sessions. Prepare to spend up to three hours waiting in line for some of the most popular ones. Last year’s Tampa Bay Comic Con hosted Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and waiting for her photo ops ate up five hours of my Saturday.

Here’s an example: Saturday’s “Star Wars” Q&A is set for 10 a.m. It’s immediately followed by Coleman’s Q&A at 11 a.m., which is immediately followed by the “Daredevil” team Q&A at noon. But McDiarmid’s photo ops are also set for noon, and the “Daredevil” photos are set for 12:50 p.m. When you factor in the hundreds of people also in line for these photos and panels, you simply can’t do them all. As a fan of both “Star Wars” and “Daredevil,” I will have some tough choices to make.

If you’re going for the whole weekend, I’d recommend spacing out activities and panels you want to attend. Focus on a panel one day, and a photo op or autograph the next. The full Tampa Bay Comic Con schedule is available online, along with guides on where to park (come very, very early if you want a spot in the convention center’s parking garage) links to buy tickets online, and a list of policies and rules. Photo ops and autographs are cash only, so hit up an ATM beforehand.

Celebrity panels aren’t the only thing you’ll want to check out. Tampa Bay Comic Con also has a massive dealers room, which sells a bunch of fan merchandise, both commercial and handmade fan items. The Tampa chapter of the professional “Star Wars” cosplay group, the 501st Legion, will be present on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 4. They always have some great replicas on display, as well as hosts in full “Star Wars” cosplay regalia. When celebrities aren’t at photos or panels, they’re usually hanging around their autograph tables, which is the best way to have more than a 30-second conversation with someone you admire.

This con is meant to be family-friendly and meant to be fun, but it can be a disaster if not planned correctly. It would be a shame to miss out on some of the improv events, movie screenings and discussion panels that are hosted in the evenings. Tampa Bay Comic Con definitely promises an action-packed weekend. Make sure you don’t get burned out early so you can enjoy it all.