Born of a mysterious union between Jose Gaspar and a scrub palmetto, Mama Guava, our lady of perpetual fruit, returns to Ybor City, the place of her birth, to lead the Stumble Parade that begins Guavaween, an annual celebration of her juicy greatness. In truth, Guavaween is a Mardi Gras-style Halloween street party held as a fundraiser for the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce. And it's a splendid opportunity to play dress up, drink yourself silly and overhear cool things like "Are your guavas real?" and "Can you hold my wig while I puke?" The following is a rundown of Guavaween events taking place in fair Ybor on Oct. 25.
GUAVAWEEN FAMILY FUNFEST
Pint-size pumpkins and their kin can wear themselves out on amusement rides, midway games and interactive exhibits by Bay area attractions like Busch Gardens, MOSI and the Florida Aquarium. The action takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around Centro Ybor and Centennial Park. Radio Disney 1380 pumps "Monster Mash" remixes. Mix 100.7 FM hands out safe trick-or-treat bags. Creatures of Delight, an art studio that specializes in whimsical figures, offers a workshop. And Southwest Airlines holds a children's costume parade and contest worth two free plane tickets, presumably to Transylvania.
MAMA GUAVA STUMBLE PARADE
Mama Guava marshals this motley procession down Seventh Avenue at 6:30 p.m. Floats idle, bands Sousasize and drunks stagger from 20th to 14th streets, then north to Ninth Avenue and east to 19th Street. Kids, don't dash out in front of those floats barreling down on you at 0.05 miles per hour. And ladies, plastic beads are worthless everywhere other than Southeastern outdoor booze fests. Keep your tops on.
NIGHT OF COSTUMED REVELRY
Bacchanal breaks out within 28 loosely contained commercial blocks. Costumed revelers may take part in an Adult Trick-or-Treat by visiting 10 Ybor City establishments to see what they get; details and maps are available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Weekly Planet booth in Centennial Park. Carnival freaks inhabit the alley behind Pleasure Dome, eating fire, offering tarot and palm readings and warping fragile little minds. Add to that, all the better bars and nightclubs are at maximum capacity.
Five stages offer live music beginning at 5 p.m.
98 Rock/Southern Comfort Stage
(Located on Seventh Avenue between 14th and 15th streets)
93.3 FLZ Stage
(Located on Ninth Avenue between 13th and 14th streets)
Weekly Planet Local Stage
(Located at Centennial Park on Eighth Avenue between 18th and 19th streets)
Life of Pi
Star 95.7 Stage
(Located at Centro Ybor on Eighth Avenue between 15th and 17th streets)
Thunder 103.5 Stage
(Located on Seventh Avenue between 17th and 18th streets)
Blue Oyster Cult
PARKING AND SHUTTLE INFO
Want to let someone sober get you to and from Ybor? Bus shuttles cost $7 round trip, or $17 including admission to Guavaween. The last bus leaves Ybor at 3 a.m., though, which means you have to actually obey last call. Park and ride locations as follows:
Florida State Fairgrounds
Located at U.S. 301 and Orient Road. Use Orient entrance. Buses begin running at 10 a.m.
Raymond James Stadium
Located at 4201 N. Dale Mabry. Enter off Tampa Bay Blvd. Buses begin running at 4 p.m.
Tampa Port Authority
Located at 1101 Channelside Drive, within walking distance of Ybor. Buses begin running at 4 p.m.
USF Sun Dome Parking Lots
Located on the USF-Tampa campus, at 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Buses begin running at 4 p.m.