On the Radar: 11th annual Tampa Bay Tattoofest

buzzing tattoo machines, contests, artistic vendors, drinks and tons of tattooed Tampa boys and girls whisking around the Doubletree, baring their ink-covered bodies for all to see. I have attended the event the last two years, and have even gotten tattooed, as have many of my friends. Getting tattooed 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, the Tampa Bay Tattoofest is a perfect opportunity to check out artists and a sweet place to get tattooed. 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 p.m.-11 p.m. Thurs., noon-midnight Fri. - Sat., noon-8p.m. Sun., Doubletree Hotel Convention Center, 4500 West Cypress Street, Tampa, Admission: Thurs. $5, Fri. $20 for the day or $45 for the weekend, Sat. $20 for the day or $35 for the weekend, Sun. $20, tattoofest.com.

Welcome to On the Radar, where we preview upcoming events to mark your calendar for. Tampa is a multicolored mosaic of people with tatted up arms and legs, backs, shoulders and rib cages, flashing everything from Koi fish to cherry blossom trees, Japanese waves, detailed portraits, twirled tribals and countless other personal vignettes etched artistically into skin. With hotties and notties, moms, dads and grandparents all flaunting professional ink around a town full of tattoo shops and artists, Tampa visibly embraces the tattoo culture — which is why it makes an ideal place to throw a tattoo bash year after year.

The 11th Annual Tampa Bay Tattoofest revels in the ink-on-epidermis artistic medium with four days of

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