Guavaween turns Ybor City into Halloween heaven

What a bewitching year for Guavaween. On one hand, it actually falls 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 Saturday. • This year's guest host is Ivonna Cadaver, right, a tantalizing Los Angeles celebrity ghoul whom you might have seen on the nationally syndicated show Macabre Theatre. Look for the diva of darkness to pop up around Ybor City. • Insider tip: Guavaween 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 (crazy + drunk), here are eight reasons why the 24th annual Guavaween is still worth checking out. (All except the preparty are included with your admission ticket.)

m 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." The parade starts at 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 20th Street. It will travel along Seventh Avenue and end at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street. It is 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: 5 p.m., SoulSwitch; 6:15 p.m., Psykill; 7:30 p.m., Future Leaders of the World; 8:45 p.m., Soulidium with Vicious Angelz; 10 p.m., Nonpoint; and 11:30 p.m., Sevendust.

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

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.? (School TBA.) 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, 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.

For the little boos

Guavaween after dark is probably not the best place for kids. Instead, take them 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.

. Guavaween: If you go

The party starts at 2 p.m. Saturday and runs until 3 a.m., with the Mama Guava Stumble Parade at 8:30, in downtown Ybor City. Advance tickets are $12 at Features Costumes, 3015 W Barcelona St., Tampa. Day-of tickets are $17 at the gate. (813) 242-4828; cc-events.org.

. Ultimate Players' Ball Pre-Guavaween Party

Gangsta rap legend Ice-T and his wife, voluptuous Playmate Coco, will host this Friday night soiree at Encore, 1920 E Seventh Ave. Doors open at 10 p.m.; Ice and Coco are scheduled in the building from midnight until the bash ends at 3 a.m. General admission is $25 and VIP tickets are $35. Both will be available at the door, but only the first 100 advance ticket holders will get a photo op with the couple. The duo will also judge a costume contest; first place wins $500. As for themselves, we hear Ice-T will be dressed as a pimp, and CoCo will have something sexy — so basically, they're coming as themselves. Around 1:30 a.m., Ice will perform a 10- to 20-minute set of old and new tunes. DJ Prostyle of 106 & Park fame will spin all night, and for good measure, the Guavettes will be in attendance. tinyurl.com/yj4wj5o; (813) 526-8081.

Guavaween turns Ybor City into Halloween heaven 10/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 3:37pm]

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