Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Where good, clean fun meets, well, Guavaween.


Pirates, nurses, corpses and rock stars traipsed up and down Ybor City's Seventh Avenue on Saturday enjoying the bands, vendors and parade floats of Guavaween 2008.

Motorcyclist advocate Abate Florida Inc. kicked off the parade with signs urging people to vote for Mama Guava for president.

Most revelers stuck to conventional costumes and in many cases brought back their old Gasparilla pirate costumes for a second celebration.

But a few paradegoers were brave enough to get political.

Gavin Otsuka and Brian Drozdowski of Fort Myers dressed in turbans and Middle Eastern-style robes with ersatz dynamite belts strapped around their waists and American flags in their hands.

"Originally we were going to pass out flyers about 9/11 Truth, and how most terror organizations were funded by the U.S.," Otsuka head.

The duo said the costumes were well received by the crowd, and they'd posed for lots of pictures by 7:30 p.m.

"I think people get it," he said.

Other groups were strictly looking for laughs with their brand of political humor.

Four men dressed in women's bathing suits and garish makeup carried paper flags that said Beijing 2008 and competition numbers labeled "Russia."

"We're just playing into the stereotype," said Michael Lewis, 50, of Key West. "They are supposed to be big, burly women named Olga and Helga but in actuality they're quite beautiful."

And Devery Murphy decided to skip the subtlety and just wear a Sen. Barack Obama mask with a business suit.

"I wanted to promote the democratic message," the Tallahassee resident said. "So far, I've gotten a couple of handshakes and high fives."

Before the sun set and the booze and sexy costumes came out, miniature princesses, fairies and pirates roamed the streets of Ybor City.

Children and their parents played games and made crafts at stations for the Guavaween Family FunFest. One of the most popular stops was the Lowry Park Zoo's table, which may have held the scariest sight at this Halloween festival: A giant African millipede.

One waist-high princess refused to touch it, even though her mom said it was okay. But just a few feet down, a brave young mermaid held out her blue-polished fingers toward a porcupine. No, not this one, the zoo worker said, so Jade Roth, 3, happily returned to her Spree candies.

The games at Relevant Church's booth outside the Italian Club were another popular stop. Kids could fish for candy, do a ring toss and bowl with a small pumpkin.

Two-year-old Jaelyn Castellano carried the pumpkin right up to the empty liter bottles and dropped it. Not quite bowling, but the booth volunteer smiled and handed her gummy candies.

Her dad, David Castellano, said it was a great way to get out as a family and enjoy the good weather, and "it's one more reason to wear the Halloween costume."

There were no political costumes to be seen at the children's event. The most political the event got was when two Orange Grove Middle School students performed a lyrical dance to Pink's Dear Mr. President.

Where good, clean fun meets, well, Guavaween. 10/25/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company


    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.