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Lots of Gasparilla goings-on

By AMY ABBOTT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2002

Yo, ho, ho! Invading they will go
A tough band of ruthless pirates will lay siege to Tampa on today. After a brief but spirited defense, the city is expected to surrender and get on with the fun of capture.
Yo ho! The pirates are here! All 700 of them.

Pirates weren't always so welcome in Tampa. Flying cannon balls once greeted them, but times have changed. Now we throw a parade and book bands to entertain them. All for strands of shiny, shimmering beads. And the rascals still plunder our town.

Maybe it's our own fault.

Maybe Tampa is too irresistible.

This year Gasparilla offers several stages of entertainers, a 3.5-mile parade and an arts and crafts show. All topped off with fireworks.

Here's the what, when and where of the weekend long festival:

Saturday Gasparilla Events

  • 10 a.m., street festival with games rides and amusements, Ashley Street.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Gasparilla Brunch, Tampa Convention Center, $38-$48.
  • 11:30 a.m., Gasparilla Flotilla sets sail, Ballast Point.
  • 12 p.m., concerts start (listing follows)
  • 1 p.m., Jose Gasparilla docks, Tampa Convention Center.
  • 1:45 p.m., Gasparilla Parade begins, Bayshore and Howard Avenue going north. Look for the Red Baron Pizza Stearman Squadron flying loops and rolls over the route.

Saturday Gasparilla Concerts

Classic Rock Stage, Bayshore and Platt

  • 12-2 p.m. The Bush Hounds.
  • 2-4 p.m. Station Music and Station Personalities.
  • 4-4:45 p.m. Supernatural.
  • 5-6:15 p.m. The Wholigans.

Ashley Stage, Ashley and Madison

  • 5-5:30 p.m. Dreamtime.
  • 6-6:20 p.m. Transmatic.
  • 6:45-7:45 p.m. John Mayer.
  • 8:15 -9:30 p.m. Better Than Ezra.

Curtis Hixon Park, on Hillsborough River at Ashley and Zack

  • 6-6:30 p.m. DJ Structure.
  • 6:30-6:45 p.m. China Dolls.
  • 7-7:45 p.m. MPress.
  • 8-8:15 p.m. Toya.
  • 8:30-8:50 p.m. City High.
  • 9:20-10 p.m. Uncle Kracker .

* * *

Sunday Gasparilla Events

  • 11 a.m., street festival with rides, games and amusements begins, Curtis Hixon Park and intersection of Ashley Drive and Madison Street.

For more Gasparilla information, call (813) 353-8108 or visit

Goings on

1 Friday

  • Jackie Mason. The original politically incorrect mouthpiece for some of our innermost thoughts. 5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. through Feb. 16, Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. UT Music Department Presents Rick Depirro, Senior Voice Recital. 7:30 p.m. Fri., University of Tampa. Florida Orchestra presents Rachmaninoff's 2nd. Florida Orchestra's musical director, Jahja Ling will conduct with an internationally acclaimed newcomer, 20-year-old Lang Lang, on piano. Delicate Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture, rousing Sibelius Symphony No. 1 and multifaceted Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 are on the program. 8 p.m. Fri., Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Carol Morsani Hall. Call (813) 229-7827.
  • Ratdog. Bob Weir's spinoff project from the Grateful Dead began in 1995 and became his full-time gig when Jerry died. Known for a bluesy feel, they don't hesitate to take a tangent to the trippy side. 8 p.m., $27.50-$29.50. Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 896-2276.
  • Stephen Charles Shortridge. This Impressionist painter, a former cast member from Welcome Back, Kotter, will bring his limited edition paintings to Tampa and hand-embellish them. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., reception at Maggiano's, 7-9 p.m. Galerie du Soleil, International Plaza, 6708 Benjamin Road. Call (813) 249-5880, ext. 13.
  • Going for Baroque. Part of the "Adventures in Good Music" series by multiaward-winning broadcaster Karl Haas, this adventure examines and samples music from the 17th and 18th centuries. 9 p.m., 89.7 FM. Call (813) 974-8700.
  • Friday Night Flight Wine Tasting. This weekly tasting event is a vacation for your taste buds. Each week's tasting features a different wine region. 7-9 p.m. $10-$15. Grand Cru Wine Cellar, 11724 N Dale Mabry Highway (Main Street Shopping Center). Call (813) 269-8463.
  • Martha Masters. Masters brings her classical guitar playing skills, which won first prize at the 2000 Guitar Foundation of America competition, as part of a concert series sponsored by Florida Guitar Alliance. 8 p.m. $9 general admission, free for HCC students. Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, Student Services Building auditorium. $9. Call (813) 988-2734.
  • Regulators. Southern-fried rock reminiscent of ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special. 9 p.m. $10. Centro Asturiano de Tampa, 1912 Nebraska Ave. Call (813) 274-4950.
  • Baseball: UT vs. Lynn. 3 p.m., University of Tampa, Sam Bailey Field, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Call (813) 879-1000.

2 Saturday

  • Bob Dylan and his band. After his latest album, Love and Theft, resulted in rave reviews but didn't turn out to be much of a chart-topper, fans weren't surprised. Dylan has never been about pleasing the crowds, just sitting back and commenting on them. And affecting everything under the sun but the charts. Like it or not. 8 p.m. $29.75-$41.25. Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive. Call (813) 223-1000.
  • Judas Priest with Anthrax. Two '80s heavy-metal heavyweights come together for another round -- sans Priest frontman Rob Halford. Can they hit it hard enough to put the heavy in their metal? 7 p.m. $29.50. Jannus Landing, 16 N Second St., St. Petersburg. Call (727) 898-2100.
  • Saturday Arts for Youth classes. If you think your little tykes are the next Britney Spears or George Lucas, these classes could help steer them in the direction of acting, writing, drawing, mixed media and painting. Sorry, no classes on how to find an honest personal manager. University of South Florida, MHH Building, Room 116. Call (813) 974-2403.
  • Lewis Black. A regular on The Daily Show and Conan O'Brien Show, it's no wonder his brand of edgy comedy isn't a staple on the Great Chinned One's show. 8 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Sun. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. Call (813) 960-1197.
  • Ground Hog Family Day. The only time children under 10 can explore parts of this wildlife sanctuary. They can see many of the smaller to mid-sized cats that have been rescued from circuses, private owners and fur farms, 1 to 3 p.m. Special $10 admission for the day. Wild Life on Easy Street, 12802 Easy St. Call (813) 920-4130.
  • Sarasota Slim. Tampa Bay blues-staple jams at Tampa's live music staple to promote his new CD Boney Fingers. 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $5. (813) 971-0666.

3 Sunday

  • Statler Brothers. Not actually brothers, the four men from Staunton, Va., are still touring their country gospel act after 47 years. Guess the good clean life will keep you going if you don't have the Keith Richards option. 1 p.m. $30-$55. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.
  • Bernstein, Broadway, The Bomb -- The Age of Anxiety. Kickoff party for the monthlong tribute festival to American composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein. Refreshments and performance by UT and other local choir members. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center lobby, 2 p.m. Call (813) 229-7827.
  • French Impressions. Members of the Florida Orchestra and friends come together as Phoenix to start the 2002 concert series like a lamb with quieting works by French composers Claude Debussy and Saint-Saens. 3 p.m. Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 San Jose St. Call (813) 837-8073.
  • Ebony Fashion Fair. Going on 44 years as the largest fundraiser for the Urban League, none of the haute couture is out of date. It's all about glamor, and that never goes out of style. 5 p.m. $30. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call (813) 229-8117.

4 Monday

  • Basically Bernstein: Opera-tunity! Dr. William Wiedrich, music director of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra, discusses what influenced Bernstein's music, life and opera. Musical excerpts will be played. The center's opera team and TBYO will also perform, 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Jaeb Theater. Call (813) 229-7827.
  • Dillinger Escape Plan. This quintet has been in a state of flux that rivals the parameters of their thrash-metal. But with a little lead vocal help from former Faith No More head-mouth, and finally finding a permanent replacement in Greg Puciato, they are back on tour and finishing up new material. 8 p.m. $8. Orpheum, 1902 Avenida Republica de Cuba. Call (813) 248-9500.
  • In Between. If you heard, it you would know it but couldn't put together any kind of synopsis suitable for cocktail party chatter. So tune in to find out the meaning and purpose of internezzo, entr'acte and intermedio. 9 p.m., 89.7 FM. Call (813) 974-8700.
  • Ice Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Ottawa Senators. 7:30 p.m. $8-$80. Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive. Call (813) 301-6600.
  • New Evening Volunteer Group for Florida Orchestra. Want to lend a hand to the Florida Orchestra? Feel like encouraging youth music education? There might be a place for you in this group of volunteers. 6 p.m. The Palm Restaurant, 205 West Shore Plaza. Call (813) 839-3800.

5 Tuesday

  • Spanky. The trip from his hometown of Dallas to the moon was a short one when he was voted the "Funniest Man in Texas," then "Comedian of the Year" and appeared on the likes of ER, Profiler and the Late Show. When he's not shooting the moon, he stops by places like Tampa. 8:30 p.m. Tues.-Thur., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. Call (813) 960-1197.
  • The Spice of Life. Trace the evolution of theme and variations with this first in a series. 9 p.m. 89.7 FM. Call (813) 974-8700.

6 Wednesday

  • Mates of State. A San Francisco husband and wife duo who may remind you of Sonny and Cher as they croon and bat eyelashes at each other. 9 p.m. $6. Orpheum, 1902 Avenida Republica de Cuba. Call (813) 248-9500.
  • Air Lift. Need a little perk to get over mid-week Hump Day? Slip in to some "uplifting" and "serene" tunes and light a candle. Friday is closer than it seems. 9 p.m., 89.7 FM. Call (813) 974-8700.
  • Chamber Music Society. There's more to Tchaikovsky than swans and drummer boys. Check out some of his counterparts, like Prokofiev and Arensky. 8 p.m. $25-$35. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.
  • Basketball: UT vs. Lynn. Men's and women's teams compete. 5:30 p.m. $5 adult, $3 students/seniors. University of Tampa, Martinez Sports Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Call (813) 253-3333.

7 Thursday

  • Florida State Fair. The only place where it's okay to mix corn dogs with flashing neon spinning rides. Travis Tritt kicks off an entertainment lineup expected to include the Marshall Tucker Band (Feb. 11), Merle Haggard (Feb. 12) and a pack of college cheerleaders (Feb. 16). Tritt's show starts at 7 p.m. All concerts $7 plus fair admission. Florida State Fairgrounds. Call (813) 621-7821.
  • The Crucible. Written during the McCarthy witch hunt of the '50s, this play about the mass hysteria in Salem was Arthur Miller's response to his time. Through Feb. 24. 8 p.m. Wed., Thur., Fri., Sat.; 4 p.m. Sun. $15.50-$21.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Shimberg Playhouse. Call (813) 229-7827.
  • Art for Lunch: The Age of Anxiety. Discussion about the current exhibit, "American Art in the Age of Anxiety," displaying works from post-World War II. Brown-bag it. Noon, Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N Ashley Drive. Call (813) 274-8130.
  • Life Drawing. If "Can I draw you sometime?" just sounds like a pickup line, then check out this self-guided class that features a different live model every month. 6-9 p.m., $5-$7. Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N Ashley Drive. Call (813) 274-8130.
  • ABC Wine & Beer Tasting. If fermented grapes aren't your thing, then you'll have more than a dozen beers to satiate your palate. Gourmet foods will be available to keep the night from turning into a binger. 5:30-7:30 p.m. $7. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, 3100 W Gandy Blvd. Call (813) 839-7167.
  • The Pause That Refreshes. Even music needs a break. It's just called pauses, rests and fermatas. Find out why they're an integral part of the life of a composition. 9 p.m., 89.7 FM. Call (813) 974-8700.
  • Ice Hockey: Lightning vs. Panthers. 7:30 p.m. $8-$80. Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive. Call (813) 301-6600.
  • Honors Program Symposium: "Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Control of Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys." Dr. Kevin Beach, UT assistant professor of biology, will direct. 4 p.m. University of Tampa, Macdonald-Kelce Library, AV Room 2, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Call (813) 253-3333.

Next Weekend

  • Julio Iglesias: Feb. 8-9, Ruth Eckerd Hall. Call (727) 791-7400.
  • Dead Kennedys: Feb. 8, Jannus Landing. Call (727) 896-1244
  • REO Speedwagon: Feb. 8, Florida State Fair. Call (813) 621-7821.
  • Owen: Feb. 8, Orpheum. Call (813) 248-9500.
  • Carl Hiaasen book signing: Feb. 8, Inkwood Books. Call (813) 253-2638.
  • Fiesta Day 2002: Feb. 9, Ybor City. Call (813) 223-2752.
  • Ybor Fresh Market Main Street Quarterly Arts & Crafts Show: Feb. 9-10, Ybor City. Call (813) 241-2442.
  • Florida Orchestra kicks off Centro Asturiano centennial celebration: Feb. 9, 8 p.m. Centro Asturiano Theatre. Call (813) 229-2214.
  • Peter Rabbit Tales: Feb. 9. Tampa Theatre. Call (813) 274-8981.
  • Basically Bernstein: Feb. 9-10. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call (813) 229-7827.
  • Gasparilla Distance Classic: Feb. 9, Downtown Tampa. Call (813) 224-1733.
  • Cake: Feb. 10. Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 896-1244.
  • On the Waterfront: Feb. 10. Tampa Theatre. Call (813) 274-8981.
  • Burn the Floor: Feb. 10. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.
  • Walt Willey: Feb. 10. Side Splitters. Call (813) 960-1197.

Looking Ahead

  • Marshall Tucker Band: Feb. 11, Florida State Fair.

- Want to send out an RSVP to the Tampa area? Fax press releases at least 10 days before publication to Amy Abbott at (813) 226-3381, or mail to 1000 N Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602. Amy's phone number is (813) 226-3408 and e-mail is

City Times: The rest of the stories

  • Jose, can you see a pirate?
  • Deed to the party part of the sale
  • On top of the world
  • Datebook
  • The day pirates came to Sunset Park
  • Gorrie Elementary on the grow
  • Developer lived '20s rise, fall
  • On the wings of an Eagle Scout
  • Singing the blues at Gram's
  • Lots of Gasparilla goings-on
  • He redefines 'party' in an exponential way
  • Painting the town
  • A legacy of love
  • Historic preservation calendar
  • Mangrove issue not cut and dried
  • Pulitzer must-haves on the way for have-nots
  • Glam rocks
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