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Guavaween turns Ybor City into a wanderland

TAMPA — Saturday night's Guavaween was much more party than parade.

For the second year, Mama Guava's Stumble Parade had no motorized floats — leaving the marchers to distinguish themselves from the crowd however they could.

The crowd wasn't barricaded onto the sidewalks, so wandering guests caused major gaps in the parade.

Mama Guava made her grand entrance carried in litter ahead of a drove of Alices, White Queens and rabbits slinging beads into the crowd.

The theme of the 25th Annual event was Alice in Wonderland.

Mad Hatters and Red Queens of every size and shape loitered the streets.

Some went the distance to fall in line for the theme. Scott Crofoot, 46, of Pinellas Park, wore the signature orange wig and top hat of the beloved children's character as he prepared to skate with his wife in the parade.

"It's my favorite holiday," he said. "When else can you dress up like this and get away with it?"

Behind the Wonderlanders, a group called the Tea Partiers of Seventh Avenue carried signs that read: "I am not a wizard" and "Vote 4 Sale."

Once the brief march was over, the crowds dispersed toward the nightclubs and event stages set up on opposite ends of Seventh Avenue.

In between the stages, revelers strutted under the bright lights to show off their often raunchy costumes.

A man dressed as a giant male appendage and his wife dressed as a companion accessory got stopped for photos every few feet.

Mike and Ty Pletcher decided to come as Hooters girls with authentic waitress pouches.

"It's iconic," Ty Pletcher, 23, said. "Why not?"

Some fans of the event were disappointed by the parade, but still enjoyed the evening overall.

Mac and Belinda McKenzie drove down from Oxford, Ala., to take part in Guavaween dressed as Chucky and his bride. They've been celebrating here since Mac was stationed in Tampa in 1995.

"We love it," Belinda McKenzie said. "We hope to stay out as late as we can tonight and have a great time."

Guavaween turns Ybor City into a wanderland 10/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:06pm]
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