PALMETTO -- Artists from around the world will be tatting up local residents this weekend at an annual tattoo trade show featuring music, hot rods and a pin-up calendar competition.
The 14th Annual Tampa Bay TattooFest will again take over the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, running from Thursday to Sunday.
"I got artists from all around the world," said Bruce Ripley, event organizer. "They are all pretty big names."
Featured artists include reality show stars Billy Decola from TLC's "NY Ink," and Tray Benham, Sebas
tian Murphy and Lalo Yunda from Spike TV's "Ink Master."
"I just got the best of the best this weekend. That's what a tattoo convention is all about, so you don't have to travel to the countries where they are from," Ripley said.
Some local artists will also participate.
"I bring the artists that they would not normally see to the show, and I also pay homage to pioneers of the business," Ripley said.
Tattoo legends Philadelphia Eddie, Bowery Stan and Doc Dog will also be present at TattooFest.
TattooFest opens from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday with $5 admission to meet-and-greet opportunities with artists and time to set up weekend appointments.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday admission will be $20 a day with weekend packages available. Friday, Saturday and Sunday combined is $45 and Saturday and Sunday combined is $30.
The convention center will open from noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
An art show also will run through the weekend.
The big tattoo contest highlights Saturday. Registration is from noon to 3:30 p.m. when judging begins. More than 250 participants are expected to enter.
More than 20 live bands will be playing, featuring bands such as Big Blue House, Kadaver Dolls and Lemon Law.
Go to tattoofest.com, contact organizers at email@example.com or call 941-356-9499.
Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7045. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.