Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gasparilla weekend: Life does go on, you know?

I suppose in a way it's unavoidable. The arts coverage in Tampa is light enough without any help from political cycles, natural disasters or pirate invasions. Yet it seems every year by the middle of January all eyes start to focus on Bayshore and the Gasparilla parade. Well, all the parades. Isn't there one like every week from New Year's to St. Patrick's Day now? I can't keep up.

One of the greatest misconceptions I've noted though is that people think Downtown is horribly overrun with drunk fruitloops all night long after the big parade and that's simply not true. Downtown's actually a little dead (I mean like, more dead than it normal) that night.

The best theory is that all the amateurs that pour out to get their drink on all day are passed out somewhere from the combination of alcohol and the sun. Those that are still out lighting it up - those people are professionals and by and large you don't need to worry about them.

Ok, so there are bound to be places full of yuck after a hard day of bead tossing and retrieving, but unless you're hanging out on Howard, at The Hub, in Channelside or Ybor - you're not going to have a problem.

We at TBPAC actually have a very full calendar this year for Gasparilla weekend, and if you're itching for something to do that doesn't involve driving around for an hour to find a $40 parking spot and counting how many times you get stepped on or run over by a pram, you should really give us a look. Follow the links for show times and more info:

Monty Python's Spamalot
- Carol Morsani Hall
Marc Salem's Mind Games - Jaeb Theater
This is How it Goes - Shimberg Playhouse
All the Great Books (abridged) - Shimberg Playhouse

I promise you there will be plenty of places to park, and traffic shouldn't be too bad. Take 275 if you're coming from S. Tampa - those side streets down there may be a little congested still - and even if not you're better off driving someplace else. Tampa St. from Tampa/Seminole Heights and even further north than that straight into Downtown will be a breeze.

And if you simply can't agree to do anything else than hunker down in your house all weekend, or if you're dead set and determined to party like the proverbial piratical rock star - why not try drying out here Monday night as the Club Jaeb series presents LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends.

We've got a lot going on, take advantage!


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