What a bewitching year for Guavaween. On one hand, the Saturday festivities actually fall on Halloween this year, so the party should be prime. On the other, the new ban on motorized floats and cars in Guavaween's main event, the Mama Guava Stumble Parade, means organizers have lined up a quirkier-than-usual cast of characters to keep the revelers entertained. This is about as wild as it gets in Ybor, so don't be a prude and go with an attitude. If you need a less chaotic place to pop into for respite, try the Tampa Bay Brewing Co. in Centro Ybor. Quiet no, but sane, maybe. For those of you who prefer to get crunk, here are seven reasons why the 24th annual Guavaween is still worth checking out. (All are included with your admission ticket.) — Dalia Colón firstname.lastname@example.org
Mama Guava Stumble Parade
Organizers are promising zombies, vampires, Gothic and vampire models and Gypsy equestrians with crowd-trained horses drawing zombie "floats." Plus, for your amusement there will be contortionists, jugglers and circus performers. The Tampa Bay Derby Darlins will barrel down the street on quad skates, passing out beads, and a hodgepodge of wrestlers will also take part, including WWE's Sinn Bodhi; Blind Seed, "the world's only blind stuntman;" and Titan, "the world's largest midget." One guest will be the Elvira-esque Ivonna Cadaver, host of the nationally syndicated program Macabre Theater. The parade starts at 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 20th Street. It will travel down Seventh Avenue and end at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street. Open to all ages, but minors are subject to age restrictions at clubs along the parade route.
Features' Costume Contest
Show up about 10 p.m. at the Honey Pot, 1507 E Seventh Ave., to compete for unique prizes in categories including Most Elaborate, Best Cross-Dresser, Best Couple or Pair, Best Group of 3 or More People. The winners from each category will compete for $2,000 and the title of Best Overall Costume.
98 Rock Stage
Catch live rock music at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 14th Street. Here's the lineup, with approximate start times: Sevendust (11:30 p.m.), Nonpoint (10 p.m.), Soulidium with Vicious Angelz girls (8:45 p.m.), Future Leaders of the World (7:30 p.m.), PsyKill (6:15 p.m.), SoulSwitch (5 p.m.).
U.S. 103.5 Stage
The country station presents Cavallo Equestrian Arts performing on Seventh Avenue at 15th Street. Fresh off the parade route, horses will take part in a Renaissance-style jousting and acrobatic performance immediately after the Mama Guava Stumble.
Live music at Gaspar's Grotto
Who needs coffee when you can wake up to a high school drum line at 10:30 a.m.? Then at 2 p.m. catch teen rockers The Perfect Fifth. The main event kicks off at 6 p.m. with Thomas Wynn & the Believers, Basic Rock Outfit (right), The Trunk Band and more. All ages before 7 p.m. Ages 21 and up after 7 p.m. 1805 E Seventh Ave., (813) 248-5900; gasparsgrotto.com.
Saturday Night House Party at Honey Pot
93.3 FLZ DJs Brian Fink and Jaime Ferreira will spin house music, broadcasting live from 7 to 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., enjoy a mix of top 40 and rock tunes in the 13,000-square-foot, three-level club. Must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink. 1507 E Seventh Ave., (813) 247-4663; myspace.com/tampahoneypot.
For the little boos
Guavaween after dark is probably not the best place for little pumpkins. Instead, take the kids to the Guavaween Family FunFest, starting at 10 a.m. in downtown Ybor. It features safe trick-or-treating, Spooky Story Time, hands-on activities, pumpkin giveaway, pet costume contest, children's costume parade and contest and much more. It's free until 2 p.m., when the big scary people start arriving.