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Here come the streetcars

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 18, 2002

After a 56-year absence, red and yellow electric streetcars return to Tampa's thoroughfares in a parade, beginning in Ybor City, winding through Channelside and into downtown Tampa.

Tampa residents will be re-introduced to what was once a way of life for those traveling to Ybor City, Ballast Point, Hyde Park, Sulphur Springs and points beyond.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park in Ybor City, where Mayor Dick Greco, and other longtime streetcar supporters speak, followed by the parade at 10 a.m.

On its way toward downtown Tampa, the lead streetcar will ceremoniously burst through a grand opening banner at each of the 10 station stops.

After the parade, catch closing remarks at the west end of the line at Southern Transportation Plaza, near the Tampa Convention Center.

* * *

There are also plenty of special events throughout the weekend, including:

Channelside Fall Festival, entertainment for kids from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and live music from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, with a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, clowns and face painters.

Check out Tampa's original 1923 Birney Safety Car No. 163 at Ybor Station from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Centro Ybor's Oktoberfest features German music and beer on the plaza from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.

An art show featuring Tampa artists takes place in the Channel District from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

The Henry B. Plant Museum is hosting a free open house Saturday.

The St. Pete Times Forum, Centro Ybor, the Fresh Market and the downtown Tampa library also plan to have special events.

In 1946, rides cost a nickel. Nowadays, the regular ride fare is $1.25, one-way.

For more information, call 254-4278 or visit


GODSPELL: The 1971 Broadway play Godspell was a contemporary musical version of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Starting today, the University of Tampa presents an updated version at Falk Theatre, 428 W Kennedy Blvd. (across from UT). 8 p.m. today; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. $10 general, $5 seniors and non-UT students. Call 253-6243.

DIVAS, DYKES & DUMB BLONDES: Heart & Soul Productions presents the workshop premiere of Divas, Dykes & Dumb Blondes, an alliterated musical by local playwright Janet Scaglione. She boldly goes where many others have gone before by taking on society's stereotypes of women. Scaglione exposes universal truths of women, warts and all, and explores dreams, passions, goals and grandeur. Through Oct. 27. 8 p.m. today and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; Catherine Hickman Theater of Gulfport, 5501 27th Ave. S; $20-$25. Call 265-3437.

MACABARET: Musical review by Scott Keys and Robert Hartmann, presented by new St. Petersburg Fringe Theater Company. Runs through Nov. 3. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday, special Halloween performances at 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Central Stage, 2235 Central Ave.; $18. Call (727) 327-7529.

THE MOODY BLUES: During the band's extraordinary career, the Moody Blues have warranted a place at the top of the music charts, both with singles and albums. The Moodies have also received numerous awards and appeared all over the world to sold out audiences. The band has produced a box set of five CDs and various live and compilation albums since the release of the studio album Keys of The Kingdom in 1991. 8 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; Sold out.

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: MANCINI AND MORE. The Grammy-award winning pops conductor of the Dallas Symphony, Richard Kaufman, pays tribute to Hollywood film scores of Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther, Touch of Evil) and Elmer Bernstein (To Kill a Mockingbird, My Left Foot). 8 p.m. today, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Also 8 p.m. Saturday, Mahaffey Theater at Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $20-$42. Call 286-2403.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE: ATLANTA THRASHERS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. 7:30 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $8-$155. Call 288-2658.


OCTOBERJAMZFEST: A music festival encompassing a large array of different activities for the young and old alike, the Fifth Annual Octoberjamzfest's lineup includes a diverse group of performers from R&B, hip hop to gospel. Kids can enjoy the Children's Village, a play area with different activities. noon to 7 p.m.; Al Lopez Park; free. Call 620-1300.

PET MASQUERADE: Halloween doesn't have to be exclusively bipedal. Dress up your four-legged friends -- dogs, cats, hamsters -- and satisfy their sweet canines Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. while trick or treating through the streets of Old Hyde Park Village. A pet costume contest at 2 p.m. will feature three categories: scariest, funniest and most original. Throughout the month, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay benefits monetarily from its first Pumpkin Patch at Old Hyde Park Village. Call 251-3500.

OCTUBAFEST: If the hearty tone of the tuba gives you the jollies, and brings to mind German Wiener schnitzel, bratwurst and beer, the Octubafest may be your best bet. The studio of Jay Hunsberger performs a smorgasbord of the finest musical works written for tuba, promising to titillate musical taste buds. 8 p.m.; University of South Florida, Music Recital Hall; free. Call 974-2311.

ROCKTOBERFEST: Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, fresh off a cross country summer tour, headlines Rocktoberfest featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meatloaf, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Firehouse and others. A variety of food and beverage vendors will be on site. No coolers, pets or chairs permitted. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 19, Fantasy of Flight, exit 44 on Interstate 4, Polk City. $79.95-$250. Call 264-0455 or visit

MICHAEL BOLTON: After knocking off Percy Sledge's When a Man Loves a Woman, Michael Bolton lands on the billboard charts with his Only A Woman Like You on an album of the same name. 8 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $49.75-$80. Call 287-8844.

DICKEY BETTS: Dismissed from the Allman Brothers Band two years ago, volatile guitarist Dickey Betts now has a successful solo career. Betts, who lives near Sarasota, wrote the hit tune Rambling Man. 8 p.m.; Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg; $17. Call 287-8844.

20 -- SUNDAY.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION: DETROIT PISTONS AT MIAMI HEAT. Don't plan on Shaq attending this one, either. St. Pete Times Forum; 6 p.m.; $10-$248.25. Call 287-8844.


22 -- TUESDAY.

INCUBUS: Hailing from California, Incubus is touring to promote a new CD, Morning View. The band's hit song Wish You Were Here has received much radio play and keeps inching up the billboard charts. 7:30 p.m.; USF Sun Dome; $25. Call 287-8844.


AMERICAN IDOL: What was it that made American Idol such a hit? Was it Simon's sarcasm? Justin's hair? Kelly's voice? Whatever attracted millions of viewers each week has transformed into sold out crowds at venues in Detroit and Atlantic City. Try for your 15 minutes of fame by auditioning for American Idol II in Miami, Nov. 2. Kelly Clarkson and 29 other Idol contestants perform at 7:30 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $25.75-$35.75. Call 287-8844.


SYMPHONIC DANCES: The Florida Orchestra presents works by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Prokofiev, Sibelius and others. 11 a.m. Thursday, Mahaffey Theater at Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg. Also at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 25, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; $17-$28. Call 286-2403.

KORN: Lead singer Jonathan Davis, guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch, bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu and drummer David Silveria bring their quirky sound to Tampa. Disturbed and Trust Company open for Korn. 7 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $36. Call 287-8844. YES: In July, Yes released In a Word: Yes (1969 -- ), maybe the most definitive CD the band has produced in its three decades of music. Memorable hits include Owner of a Lonely Heart, Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround. 8 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $55-$100. Call 287-8844.


  • NAUTI-NIGHT: Oct. 25, Florida Aquarium.
  • GUAVAWEEN: Oct. 26, Ybor City.
  • BILLY BRAGG: Oct. 26, Jannus Landing.
  • LORD OF THE DANCE: Oct. 29, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • LORDS OF ACID SEXTREME HALLOWEEN: Oct. 30, The Masquerade.


  • JOE COCKER: Nov. 1, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • ELVIS COSTELLO: Nov. 3, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • TORI AMOS: Nov. 7, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • QUIDAM: Nov. 7, Tropicana Field.
  • INDIGO GIRLS: Nov. 9, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES: Nov. 12, State Theatre.
  • B.B. KING: Dec. 31, Mahaffey Theater.

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