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Office parties, so we're told, are intended to foster inner-company relationships while promoting employee appreciation. But really, anyone who's had to endure one of these occasions knows that sometimes things can get pretty awkward, particularly when alcohol and the holidays are involved. (We like watching co-workers get drunk and stupid, but we're twisted like that.)

Not to worry: On June 16, Bay area professionals are invited to kick back, hang out and sip a cocktail at "Tampa's Largest Office Party," which takes place at the XO Club in the St. Pete Times Forum. Here, guests can enjoy all the elements of an office celebration without the pressure of desperately trying to sober or be pleasant to the boss.

The first 500 guests to arrive receive a complimentary Bacardi drink, and half-priced drink specials run throughout the evening. There's also a drawing for prizes, like tickets to upcoming shows at the Forum, an array of merchandise and tons of gift certificates. A portion of the proceeds benefits the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes for low-income families in the community.

Tampa's Largest Office Party, 5:30 p.m. Thurs., June 16, at st. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 813-223-1000.

-Leilani Polk

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