Paul's Travel Pictures

Guavaween Festival - Ybor City - Tampa, FL
Pictures from the Guavaween Festival at Ybor City with Halloween costumes and beads in Tampa Florida.

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Guavaween Costumes
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Huge Mardi Gras Beads

Guavaween is a celebration of Halloween that takes place each year in Ybor City, Florida.

The Guavaween Festival draws thousands of locals and tourists in colorful Halloween costumes to the Tampa Bay area to enjoy parades, food and drinks.

I've read that the beginnings of Guavaween started in the 1800's when a Spanish businessman went to the Tampa area looking for Guava tree forests so that he could create and sell tasty guava jelly and other guava based products.

His guava processing factory never got off the ground, but his story was talked about for many years. Then a writer for a Tampa area newspaper, inspired by the story, suggested "guava" as the theme for an October festival and the idea took off.

So since the late 1970's, the Guavaween Festival has been a annual event in the fun loving city of Tampa.

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Scary Halloween Mask
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The mythical Mama Guava starts off the Guavaween Festival with daytime events tailored for families and children including a Family Fun Fest with trick or treating, scavenger hunt, rides, spook story time, children's Halloween costume contest & parade, pumpkin giveaway, and other family friendly entertainment.

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Space Girl Costume
Once the sun sets, the more risqué costumes begin to appear in the streets of Ybor City and live music fills the air. Other night time events at Guavaween include the Halloween costume contest, cooking contest, and Mama Guava Stumbling Parade.
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Bathroom Guard
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Bathrooms were in heavy demand at the Guavaween Festival.

The lines for the port o' johns were exacerbated by the delay while people removed the appropriate parts of their costumes.

The easiest way to find a bathroom during Guavaween was to purchase something in a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, or souvenir shop.

Then you became a paying customer with a receipt and the bathroom security guards would happily whisk you towards the facilities.

They would even offer to hold your Halloween costume accessories while you were in the restroom.

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Guavaween Festival Crowds
This year for Guavaween my friend and I wore our 7-11 employee costumes with big goofy hats and funny accents.

Everyone always seemed to really enjoy our "act" so we wore those Halloween costumes for about three years in a row at different Halloween events or parties.

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Firestone Tire Blowout
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You're probably wondering what the last two pictures have to do with this gallery of Guavaween Pictures. After we left Ybor City and drove out of Tampa, my car suffered a Firestone tire failure on I-75 at 75mph.
 
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