Come Monday may be a Jimmy Buffett song, but to enjoy Palm Harbor's 10th Annual Parrot Head Party you'll have to come Saturday or miss the fun. Anything and everything Buffett-style will be part of the party Saturday, from stuffed parrot hats to the real thing perched on the shoulders of men wearing Hawaiian shirts and board shorts. The tropical, laid-back island lifestyle of Buffett will rule the day with margaritas and Land Shark beer flowing, among other beverages.
Florida Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic so partygoers can enjoy the festivities without worrying about cars.
"We usually have unique vendors, but this year more so than usual," said Robin Husbands-Cauchi, executive director of Old Palm Harbor Main Street. "You'll still find beaded T-shirts and bags, and this year we have people who will create jewelry with your name on it or with a message on the jewelry."
Picturesque downtown Palm Harbor easily transforms into the tropical paradise Buffett touts in his songs. Last year the event drew more than 18,000 Parrot Heads and Parakeets (children of Parrot Heads) with some people staying a few hours and others making a day and night of the street party.
On Saturday, vendors will fill Florida Avenue with the aromas of freshly cooked cuisine, from seafood to barbecue and Greek food to arepas (corn cakes often filled like sandwiches), and of course, cheeseburgers in the paradise of Palm Harbor.
Plenty of water and nonalcoholic beverages will be available to ward off dehydration. But in honor of the event's 10th anniversary, the Margaritaville area will serve 10 kinds of margaritas in 10th anniversary commemorative cups.
Of course, this year, as in years past, admission is free. Fun is the main goal, but the Parrot Head Party has a more serious side. The event is also one of the main fundraisers for Old Palm Harbor Main Street, the nonprofit organization that works to preserve and promote the historic downtown district. Profits from food and beverage vendors go to maintain the historic district all year long.
Rumorhazzit, a local band, will open the show, jamming with modern and classic rock for the tropical tribute party. At 6 p.m., the Jimmy Buffett tribute band Caribbean Chillers will play. Both bands will create a tropical ambience any daughter or son of a sailor would enjoy.
A children's playground will be open in the back yard of East Gate Masonic Lodge No. 355 on Florida Avenue.
Parking will be available on portions of 12th Street, in the Harbor Hall lot at 1190 Georgia Ave., and in the vacant lot at County Road 1 and Omaha Circle. The north and south side of Omaha Circle will not be blocked off, and handicapped parking is available there and in the Harbor Hall lot.
"We want people to come out and forget about their woes," Husbands-Cauchi said. "We want them to come out, sit back, relax and enjoy the tropical-themed event."