GASPARILLA! (Early Feb) Our annual pirate invasion and mega party...featuring the worlds only fully rigged pirate ship, has been extended to two days instead of one (Sat. & Sun.). 700 costumed pirates take Tampa by storm and capture the Mayor. After the invasion is a parade. This is one of the areas favorite street parties with gobs of food, beer vendors, and free concerts! This is Tampa Bay's version of the Mardi Gras. It's a hoot!   ADMISSION FREE.
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (last week of FEB.continuing into MARCH) An area favorite.Do ya' love strawberry shortcake? A state fair? An outdoor music festival and an amusement midway with rides? Here it is! Natl. music acts and tons of strawberries! Daily 10am-10:30pm. Midway open until midnight. Check the Tampa Tribune for a listing of entertainment. Ends March 9th. Admission $6.00 Children under 10 w/paying adult are free.... Info...752-9194

Philippine Festival (Philfest)14301 Nine Eagles Drive.
Admission $3.00, advance purchase $4.00 at the gate. Children 5 and under will be admitted free. Info: 544-6114 ext. 410

ANNUAL FREEDOM FEST Tampa's Official Independence Day Celebration, patriotic celebration featuring live music and fireworks...Curtis Hixon Park downtown Tampa...Info: 272-1939.

ANNUAL TASTE OF FLORIDA .Area restaurants serve a variety of food, have a chili cook off, live entertainment and a 5K race (proceeds go to a memorial for fallen officers) Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa. ADMISSION FREE...Tickets to purchase food and beverages...9 for $5

GUAVAWEEN ...Always the last Sat. in October ... Tampa's other favorite street party. Celebrate Halloween in costume with a Latin flair.Entertainment during the day and parade and street party at night.Daytime activities begin at 11am. ADMISSION FREE. Gates for evening portionopen at 4pm. Admission $5. 7th and 9th Avenues -Ybor City. Info: 248-3712 or 621-7121

Annual Taste of Ybor City...Latin and American music and food
in an outdoor setting.--- Also a marketplace featuring hand crafted items - Centennial Park,Ybor City. ADMISSION FREE. Info: 247-2060 or 871-2286

Crabfest ... Music, live entertainment and all-you-can-eat snow crab. Port of Tampa.
Info: 272-0549

If you know of an outdoor festival or interesting and inexpensive public event not listed here, please email me at     dcmike@cyberbeach,com