Guavaween, Fantasma Fest keep the Halloween spirits alive in Ybor

The parade may be a thing of the past but Seventh Avenue remains a fine place to scare up some fun. And you’ll see some real characters.

Times (2011)

The parade may be a thing of the past but Seventh Avenue remains a fine place to scare up some fun. And you’ll see some real characters.

Guavaween isn't what it used to be. The once raucous parade and party is now a costume contest.

But Ybor City still aims to be the place to be on the weekend before Halloween with lots of events for Fantasma Fest. (Fantasma is the Spanish word for ghost.)

Gone are the fences and admission charges. Alcohol will be contained to Ybor merchants. But there are events Friday and Saturday leading up to a bed race down Seventh Avenue, a free outdoor concert, a costume contest and more.

The lineup includes:

Guavaween: Original Mama Guava Kathi Grau hosts this Monster Mash-themed costume contest with a $1,000 cash prize. Local alt-rock band Scilter will perform starting at 7 p.m. in Centro Ybor, followed by the costume contest at 9 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Fantasma Fest

Story Time, Volume 8: Ghost Stories: Local writers, historians and celebrities share spooky tales. Included are Maureen Patrick, Frank Strunk III, Ranney, Paul Guzzo, Velva Lee Heraty with mistress of ceremonies Melissa "Mel Suzelle" Carroll. $5. Creative Loafing Event Space, 1911 N 13th St., Tampa. (813) 739-4800. 7-9 p.m. Friday.

Zombie Crawl and Zombie Fest: Zombie costumes are required for this six-stop pub crawl through Ybor. Stops include the Dirty Shame, Boneyard, Coyote Ugly, the Dog's Bollocks, Reservoir Bar and the Honey Pot. Zombie artists will be available at the Dirty Shame beginning at 4 p.m. Free. The Dirty Shame, 1929 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. 7-9:30 p.m. Friday.

Little Monsters Promenade and Pumpkin Patch: Costumed kids can choose a free pumpkin to decorate, with trick-or-treating among the Centro Ybor merchants, 1600 E Eighth Ave. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Big Monsters Bed Bash: Teams have designed wheeled beds to race down Seventh Avenue between 15th and 17th streets. It's free for spectators, with the race starting at 3 p.m. Saturday. It's a $100 entry fee per team. (813) 453-9048.

Witchcraft Beer and Music Festival: With more than 50 craft beers and bands playing at 12 venues, including New World Brewery, Cuban Club, the Market and Crowbar. Wristbands are available for $30 at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

Hell on Wheels: A motorcycle rally and poker walk on Sunday with registration at 1 p.m. at the Bad Monkey, 1717 E Seventh Ave. Price: $15, $25 for two. It runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Halloween Ball: Taking place on Halloween night at the Castle (which opened on Guavaween in 1992), the nightclub hosts the Fantasma Fest Halloween Ball starting at 9 p.m. at 2004 N 16th St., Tampa. $8.

Staff writer Kelly Stefani contributed to this report.

Guavaween, Fantasma Fest keep the Halloween spirits alive in Ybor 10/21/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:34pm]

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