PALM HARBOR — Just in time for hurricane season, flocks of Parrot Heads and Parakeets (Jimmy Buffett fans and their kids) are expected to migrate to downtown Palm Harbor today.
It's the ninth annual Parrot Head Party, eight happy hours (2 to 10 p.m.) of margaritas, music and mingling on Florida Avenue and adjoining streets.
"It's a big event for our small downtown," said Robin Husbands-Cauchi, executive director of Old Palm Harbor Main Street, the nonprofit organization that helps preserve and promote the historic district. "It's our biggest all year."
She said they typically attract close to 20,000 people during the day and night, "some from as far away as Missouri."
"People actually plan their vacations around this event. We start getting calls in December," she said.
It's fin- and feather-optional, with some hardcore enthusiasts showing up in full costume as parrots or sharks; others walking with pet parrots on their shoulders.
If you're a mascot minimalist, however, Hawaiian shirts, Bermuda shorts and flip-flops will help you get your Buffet on.
So will the Margaritaville station, which will serve up plenty of frozen concoctions in mango, strawberry and lime.
Wine and Land Shark lager beer will be available also.
Trop rock food includes barbecue, seafood and Ritter's frozen custard ice cream. Greek and festival food also will be available.
The musical lineup includes three groups this year:
2 p.m.: Steel Drum Ernie Hahn.
4 p.m.: Nightly Blues.
6 p.m.: Jimmy Buffet tribute band, the Caribbean Chillers.
About 50 vendors are slated to sell their tropical wares such as hand-painted fish and jewelry made from sharks' teeth.
Parakeets will enjoy a children's area with inflatable bouncers, bungee-jumping, and, new this year, miniature golf.
Free chair massages also will be offered.
"It'll be a great day to relax," Husbands-Cauchi said, "and enjoy a free event Jimmy Buffett-style."