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Guavaween offers frightful fun

For the fifth year in a row, thousands of people will dress up in their most creative Halloween costumes and head to Ybor City for Guavaween, Tampa's own version of Mardi Gras. The event was named after the crazy Mama Guava, who will lead a parade of costumed revelers down the streets of Ybor City at 8 p.m. to begin the party. The public is invited to join in.

Ghosts and goblins, black cats, witches, scary monsters and masked individuals will gather to drink, eat, dance and listen to music to benefit the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and the New Playmakers, the revived theater group.

Those who want to listen to the bands must have a ticket to gain passage to the venues. Tickets are $15 and are available at any Ticketmaster location. A $2.50 service charge will be added at the time of purchase.

Musical groups will be performing simultaneously at four locations. Bands will begin playing at 9 p.m.

Paul Wilborn and the Pop Tarts, Liz Back on Booze and Midnight Brass will perform at Ybor Square.

Radio station WYNF-FM (94.9) will present Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, Bobby Friss Band and Exploration X at El Pasaje Plaza.

The Johnny G. Lyon Band, Factory Black, Men From Earth, Bleeding Hearts, Autodrive, Forgotten Apostles, Infinidad and the Mike Pachelli Band will perform at the Cuban Club.

Power 93's "Pig Park," at Ninth Avenue and 17th Street, will feature Rob Base, (It Takes Two), Trinere, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Timmy T. Doc Box and B Fresh (Slow Love) and Tracie Spencer.

WFLA-AM (970) will have a stage at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street with Airtight and Tragic Rabit. Webbed Feet will perform at Ninth Avenue and 16th Street.

The city will spray the area with insecticides to help control mosquitoes that might carry encephalitis. And the colder weather predicted for the weekend should be enough to stop the insects altogether.

Because more than 150,000 people attended the event last year, coordinators have arranged for shuttles to take people from downtown to Ybor City. Buses will run from the Marion Street Parkway until the late hours of the night. Buses also will run from the Costco Parking lot at the Crosstown Expressway and 22nd Street from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The cost will be $1 round-trip.

Don't forget to be at the WFLA stage at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street at 10 p.m. for the judging of the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded. Registration for the contest will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at Ninth Avenue and 18th Street.

Saturday's Pick runs weekly highlighting an event open to the public. If you are planning an upcoming event on a Saturday, let us know by writing to: Saturday's Pick, St. Petersburg Times Tampa Edition, 101 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1140, Tampa 33602.