Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, March 25-31 

click to enlarge Mega Con

Mega Con

Thursday-Sunday, 26-29



Over the past 23 years, MegaCon has grown into one of Florida's premier pop culture events, mirroring the explosion in popularity of so-called "geek" culture. It got so successful, in fact, that it was sold last year to Informa Canada, the company that produces the popular FanExpo group of conventions across the U.S. and Canada. While some were wary of the acquisition, it looks like the convention is benefiting from the extra connections and experience of the FanExpo family. This is the first year that the convention has been scheduled for four days, and the list of celebrities attending is pretty impressive; in addition to comics legends like Frank Miller and Peter David, you can get close to stars like Adam West (Batman), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO from Star Wars), Lena Headey (Baddest Bitch in the Seven Kingdoms Cersei from Game of Thrones) or even Star Trek's original Capt. James Tiberius Kirk, William Shatner. But whether you come for the panels, parties, shopping or celebs, it's great to see MegaCon enter a new era with such a strong lineup. – Thaddeus McCollum

4-9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday | Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive | | $20-$100

Thursday, 26

Destroy! All! Poets! IV!


Has your $10-an-hour job at Disney given you enough material for three sonnets on ridiculous tourist requests? You can debut all your poems on work angst on Thursday in the "Destroy! All! Poets!" poetry slam battle at the Milk Bar. This is the first battle of the 2016-2017 season, and categories tonight include elegies, nature poems, blue- collar poems and Sapphic stanzas. If you want to compete, you have to attend, volunteer or participate in the Orlando Fringe Festival, or be a part of the Poetry Vending Machine. Buy your rhyming dictionary now! – Monivette Cordeiro

8 p.m. | The Milk Bar, 2424 E. Robinson St. | 407-369-1701 | free

Friday-Saturday, 27-28

Central Florida's BBQ Blowout


Come empty to this weekend's BBQ Blowout. You're going to want room for all the samples of delicious barbecued chicken, ribs, brisket and pork you'll get to try from professional and backyard teams (it's free to attend, but you'll have to purchase "BBQ Bucks" to eat). There's so much stuff going on, you'll need two days to process it all. For children, the event features water rides, bounce houses and a Kid-Que competition on Friday. While you get messy with the BBQ sauce, listen to several musical acts, including locals Dakota Hurley and Eli Mosley. – MC

6-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday | Oviedo Mall, 1700 Oviedo Mall Blvd., Oviedo | | free

Friday, 27

Tropical Pig Roast


This may be a terrible week to be a pig (see the above Selection on Central Florida's BBQ Blowout), but it's a great week to be a pork enthusiast. Lucy Bleuz kicks off a series of Foodie Fridays – showcasing culinary creations from associated catering company Incredibly Edible Catering – with a tropical pig roast to start the summer season right. Best of all, your first serving of pig is free (as long as you order a couple of drinks). Once you get your fill of the big pig, walk off the calories by taking a trip across the street to check out the gorgeous Old Florida style of the train station across the street. And hey, if you're too stuffed to drive safely, maybe even take a SunRail home? – TM

7-10 p.m. | Lucy Bleuz, 1321 Sligh Blvd. | 407-835-6899 | | two-drink minimum

Friday, 27



Outsider guitarist Buckethead occupies such a strange place in the rock music landscape that we feel almost duty-bound to make this a show selection for the week. A virtuoso guitarist with undeniable classical chops, Buckethead is never seen without a white Michael Myers-esque mask and a bucket of some sort (often of the KFC chicken variety) perched atop his long mane. He also is known to get down with nunchucks during his performances. A creative workaholic who has recorded over 200 albums of his own work, he has collaborated with Bill Laswell and Bootsy Collins, but on the other hand he was a member of Guns N' Roses during the Chinese Democracy years (bucket firmly on head the whole time). Although we suspect that years from now we'll find out that he had everything meticulously planned out, like a hybrid of Michael Schenker and the Residents, in the meantime, just enjoy the show. – Matthew Moyer

8 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $20-$30

Friday-Sunday, 27-29

Country 500


Even though a certain other famous rock music festival held at a racetrack didn't end all that well (Google "Altamont Festival" for some light reading), that's no reason to shy away from this country juggernaut. Over Labor Day weekend, you can hang out at the storied Daytona International Speedway and let your lil' ears run the gamut of country music, from legendary icons like Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam to cult favorites like Marty Stuart to country rapper Colt Ford to current chart-toppers like Florida Georgia Line and Lady Antebellum. Hey, how about throwing Kid Rock in there? Sure why not. This is going to be utter insanity. – MM

2 p.m.-midnight Friday-Sunday | Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach | 407-222-9732 | | $199-$225

Sunday, 29

Milk District Market


"Another market? Whatever," you might be thinking. After all, how many unique, beautiful, locally handmade and vintage items can a person buy in one lifetime? The thing about this market, though, is that it's in the Milk District. So that means it's almost guaranteed to be a fun day out, whether you indulge in retail therapy or not – because if there's one thing they do right in the Milk District, it's throw a party. Whether they're calling it a "Man Cave Pre-Father's Day Event" or "Freaktoberfest Halloween," you can count on decent bands, tasty food-truck eats, and cute puppies and kids running around underfoot. At this party, er, market, presented by Etoile Boutique and Spacebar, you can expect Pasty Cline headlining a six-band schedule; food from La Empanada, Wandering Wonton and other trucks; zines and an art installation by Adam Lavigne and Anna Cruz at the Milk Bar; and all the sweet bikes you can gawk at, courtesy of sponsor Standard Motorcycle Co. See? Not just another market. – Jessica Bryce Young

1-7 p.m. | The Milk District Pavilion, 2432 E. Robinson St. | free

Monday, 30

State Champion


Louisville's State Champion take that disgraced subgenre, country rock, and restore it to its rightfully fucked-up, hazy, ramshackle roots. This is not careerist crossover; this is boozy and deeply weird Americana (we probably shouldn't even use that word anymore, but oh well). Raleigh's Naked Naps should be a don't-miss act for those who attended the recent Hop Along/Speedy Ortiz show – their take on indie rock is angular and adventurous, full of unexpected sharp edges and frenzied dashes for an invisible finish line. Jacksonville's Fever Hands (formerly Memphibians), no strangers to Orlando, are along for the ride, and they get vicious. Local support is ably provided by Radicalized Youth and Sad Jeremy. – MM

with Naked Naps, Fever Hands, Radicalized Youth, Sad Jeremy | 9 p.m. | Uncle Lou's, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009 | $5


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