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Sup? Parrot Head Party and Gavel & Grapes, both on Saturday

Two events to make you smile take place Saturday.

If you dream of margaritas and cheeseburgers in paradise, then a Parrot Head Party in Old Palm Harbor is for you.

But if Jimmy Buffett ditties and frozen concoctions aren't your style, head to the Gavel & Grapes wine tasting and auction in Tarpon Springs.

Both events include live music; admission is free.

Parrot Head Party

Quaint downtown Palm Harbor will be teaming with Buffett fans as Old Palm Harbor Main Street throws its eighth annual Parrot Head Party from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The event features music by the Caribbean Chillers, food, drinks and a kids area with bounce houses and a trampoline bungee jump.

Expect extreme enthusiasts to arrive with parrot heads, plastic fins, coconut bras and such.

What, no feathers? Then Hawaiian shirts and shorts will do — even a pencil-thin mustache can make a statement.

Robin Husbands-Cauchi, executive director of the nonprofit organization that promotes the economic redevelopment of the historic downtown district, said the group expects a crowd of about 15,000 this year. That's about 5,000 less than the year before but a respectable number considering the current economic conditions.

"Statewide, event attendance is down about 30 percent," she said, "but this is a well-established event, our biggest of the year, and we're expecting a huge turnout."

Land Shark Lager beer, produced by the Margaritaville Brewing Co., will bring its beer mobile.

Restaurants and bars will churn out margaritas. And because of a change in the open-container law, patrons can leave an establishment with their drinks as long as they stay within the street enclosures.

The event is bounded by Nebraska and Michigan avenues, and U.S. Alt. 19 and Omaha Street (County Road 1).

Singer and guitarist Mike Nichols will warm up the early bird crowd from 1 to 2 p.m. on the stage between the Thirsty Marlin and Peggy O'Neill's Irish Pub.

Expressions, a band with a Latin flair, will play from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Caribbean Chillers, a Buffett tribute band, will entertain from 6 to 10 p.m.

Cheeseburgers will be for sale, along with pizza, Greek food and turkey legs.

About 40 vendors will offer island-theme decor, apparel and jewelry. You just may find that shark hat you've been searching for.

"We hope people will come out, relax and enjoy the day, Buffett-style," Husbands-Cauchi said.

Gavel & Grapes

Libations take the limelight Saturday during the 11th annual Gavel & Grapes wine tasting and auction from 5 to 10 p.m. in the antique district, on Tarpon Avenue from U.S. Alt. 19 to Ring Avenue.

"We get a lot of people at this event, your wine enthusiasts who have five hours to sample wines for $20, your classic-car fans, people who want to pick up a good buy at an auction," said Tim Dorr, president of the Tarpon Springs Business Alliance, which is presenting the event.

And shoppers.

"The stores stay open until 10 p.m. and have lots of sales," he said.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit business alliance as well as the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary and the Tarpon Springs Historical Society.

A boat show has been added this year, and the vintage car show has expanded, Dorr said. Dozens of arts, crafts and food vendors are slated to attend.

Four tents will feature wines from different regions of the world. Guests will also be able to sample premium distilled spirits.

A live auction of antiques, collectibles and gift baskets will begin at 7 p.m. Patrons need to register before the auction starts.

Reps from the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary will give talks and demonstrations with animals.

Ron and the Classics will perform from 4:30 to 7 p.m., and the '60s Groove band, from 7 to 10 p.m.

"This event usually draws 3,000 to 6,000 people," Dorr said. "It's a fun environment and a big night for businesses."

Have a Diversions idea? Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com

if you go

Parrot Head Party

When: 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The rain date is Sunday.

Where: Historic downtown Palm Harbor.

Admission: Free. Food and beverages will be for sale. Bring pets, a lawn chair and sunscreen; no coolers, please.

For information: Contact Old Palm Harbor Main Street at (727) 787-4700 or visit online: oldpalm

harbormainstreet.net.

Gavel & Grapes

When: 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Tarpon Avenue in historic downtown Tarpon Springs.

Admission: Free, but there is a cost to participate in wine tasting. Wristbands for unlimited wine tasting are $20 ($35 for couples). A $100 package includes two unlimited wine tasting tickets and a Saturday night stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Tarpon Springs.

For information: Visit gavelandgrapes.com or call (727) 485-4852.

Sup? Parrot Head Party and Gavel & Grapes, both on Saturday 06/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:29pm]
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