Do It Today: TattooFest, Eco.lution expo, meet authors Frances O'Roarke Dowell, Peter Meinke and Dorothy Allison at book readings across the Bay

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Get ready for Earth Day a month early by going green with the Urban Charrette’s weekend of Eco.lution events. Kick-off comes in the form of the Eco.expo, a green products trade show at The Ritz Ybor offering environmentally conscious goods for homes and businesses alike. Saturday’s Eco.festival in downtown Tampa is a green-themed outdoor party packed with live music, local food, wine tastings, green products, educational seminars and children’s activities. Finally, Paint the Town Green lets participants be carbon-friendlier by ditching their cars to ride the HART Green Line and the TECO Streetcar in downtown Tampa and Ybor to explore various bars, galleries and destinations. March 25-April 2, Eco.expo, 4-8 p.m. Thurs., March 25, The Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Tampa, free with advance registration at or $5 day of event; Eco.festival 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., March 27, Lykes Gaslight Park, 410 N. Franklin St., Tampa; Paint the Town Green, 6-10 p.m. Fri., April 2, $10 event passport, visit for full list of locations. —Katie Machol

Book signings take over Tampa Bay today. First, meet Frances O'Roarke Dowell, the author of tween fave Falling In, as she discusses the story of Isabelle Bean -- an "ultimate misfit, an outsider extraordinaire, and not a witch!" Visit for more info.  Next up, Peter and Jeanne Meinke guest star at The [email protected]'s Writers & Authors Series. St. Pete's first Poet Laureate (and CL's poet-in-residence) Peter Meinke and wife/illustrator Jeanne offer a reading of new original works and a display of artwork. Visit for more info. Finally, best-selling fiction author Dorothy Allison hosts Writers at the U. The self-described feminist, working-class story teller, Southern expatriate, sometime poet and happily born-again Californian discusses her life, times and recent works. Visit for more info. Frances O'Roarke Dowell, Thurs., March 25, 5 p.m., Inkwood Books, Tampa; Writers & Authors Series, Thurs., March 25, 7:30 p.m., The [email protected], St. Petersburg, pay-what-you-can admission; Writers at the U, Thurs., March 25, 8 p.m., Plant Hall, University of Tampa, Tampa, free.

The "international Celtic roots sensation" Mac Talla Mor takes the stage with Highland bagpipes, piano, vocals and bodhran for a mix of traditional Celtic, rock, calypso, blues and jazz. Visit for more info. Thurs., March 25, 8 p.m., Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, Tarpon Springs, $20, $18 TSPAC members and students.

Tampa is a multicolored mosaic of people with tatted-up arms and legs, backs, shoulders and rib cages, flashing everything from koi fish to twirled tribals etched artistically into skin. With hotties and notties, moms, dads and grandparents all flaunting professional ink, Tampa visibly embraces the tattoo culture — which is why it makes an ideal place to host TattooFest year after year. The 11th annual event revels in the ink-on-epidermis artistic medium with four days of buzzing tattoo machines, contests, artistic vendors, drinks and tons of tattooed Tampa boys and girls baring their ink-covered bodies for all to see. I’ve attended the past two fests, and have even gotten tattooed. Getting inked in the middle of a packed convention definitely adds to the rush, and looking at all the colorful characters and creative stimuli that make up the tattoo counterculture is an entertaining way to pass the time while sitting for a tattoo. So, if you are dying to get something permanently etched into your skin and want to blow through some of that extra tax return money, here’s your chance. Besides, March (when the weather is oh-so fine) is the perfect time to show off fresh ink in the FL.  March 25- 28, 6-11 p.m. Thurs., noon-midnight Fri.-Sat., noon-8 p.m. Sun., Doubletree Hotel Convention Center, 4500 W. Cypress Street, Tampa, Admission is $5 Thurs., $20 Fri.-Sun., $35-$45 weekend pass, —Amber McDonald

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