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It's time to change your latitude at the 2010 Jimmy Buffet fest

If the subhead to this story has you asking the question, 'What the heck is a Parrothead?', you just missed the party boat to Margaritaville.

To get technical in a pop-cultural vein, the term Parrothead was born back in 1985 at an Ohio concert featuring breezy Florida musician Jimmy Buffett. The term of endearment for all Jimmy fans may have been an unconscious response to the older pop-culture term 'Deadhead' for a fan of the 1960s rock band the Grateful Dead. Who knows? And who cares?

But since Parrothead conjures up balmy Florida breezes, coconut palms, reef surf, dirty feet and flip flops-yes, and cocktail hour, too-the term stuck fast. And a whole generation of laid-back Buffet buffs was unleashed on the music fandom scene. (Note: 'Parakeet' is a newer term used for younger fans of Buffet, the children of Parrotheads-and the torch has been passed to a new generation.)

According to Bonnie MacPherson, director of public relations at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, the community is bracing for a big gathering of Hawaiian shirts, flip flops and margarita drinks next week.

Okemo Mountain Resort will celebrate the changing of the seasons on Saturday Oct. 9, with its fourth annual Parrothead Party.

"Island breezes will blow as the band Changes in Latitudes takes to the outdoor stage for a free concert at Okemo's Jackson Gore Inn," MacPherson said. "This popular Jimmy Buffett tribute-band will take partygoers on a journey filled with good clean fun to-where else-Margaritaville. Every musical set is a party with beach balls, conga lines and leis galore."

Well, the big party will start at noon with the music of Dave Maguire. Next, Changes in Latitudes will step on stage at 1:30 p.m.

"Okemo's Coleman Brook Tavern staff will be rendering some frozen concoctions and cooking up some cheeseburgers in paradise for concertgoers," MacPherson noted. "They'll even help find that lost shaker of salt plus beer, wine, soft drinks and barbecue items fresh from the grill."

In addition to the tropical stuff, free horse-drawn hay rides-well, you can pretend the hay is really palm thatch-will be offered noon to 4 p.m.

One parting fun thing to mention about Okemo's annual Parrothead Party: it's always the perfect excuse to extend the summer flip flop season before the snow falls.

Check It Out: For more information about the Parrothead Party, go online and check out okemo.com or call 802-228-1600. And don't forget-never drink and drive.

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