Avast ye landlubbers! Prepare for the pirate invasion by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla as these salty rogues sail into Hillsborough Bay around 11:30a.m. and dock at the Tampa Convention Center at 1p.m. this Saturday, January 26.
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is a free community event with over 100 years of history in the Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast region. You can find out more about the history and legend of Pirate Jose Gaspar here.
The Gasparilla Invasion
The majestic pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, sails through Hillsborough Bay fully rigged with cannons-a-firing, guns-a-blazing, and hundreds of seaworthy escorts that eventually join in Gasparilla’s Flotilla. Gasparilla’s Flotilla makes its way north across Hillsborough Bay and into Seddon Channel towards downtown Tampa.
Mayhem ensues as Mayor Bob Buckhorn hands over the key to the city to the cap’n of the Ye Mystic Krewe, James C. Von Thron. With the treasured key in their hands, the Krewe of the Gasparilla leads a jolly victory celebration known as the Parade of Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard.
The Parade of Pirates
The Parade of Pirates runs from 2-5:30p.m. and offers booty, bounty, and more. The buccaneers head down historic Bayshore Boulevard and into downtown Tampa during the 3.8-mile long parade route. Enjoy rousing chants, colorful costumes, and lively music with more than 90 floats, 14 marching bands, and over 50 Krewes. Grab yer mateys and come on out, arrr!
The Street Festival
From 10a.m. to 10p.m. in downtown Tampa, the Pirate Fest Street Festival continues day and night along Ashley Drive from Kennedy Boulevard to Cass Street. Here you’ll find live entertainment, grub, grog, and more! (Yo-ho-ho, you can also find Captain Morgan Rum at the beer gardens throughout the event.) The festivities begin before the pirates invade and continue long after the pirates parade through the streets.
More About the Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Well me hearties, if you’d like more information about the Gasparilla Pirate Fest be sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions page on the event website. It may also be helpful to visit the Parking Information page to assist with your planning.
Make plans to stay on the quiet, pristine beaches of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores, while still being in close proximity to Tampa and the surrounding Gulf Coast hot spots. It’s the best of both worlds!
We hope to see you at the Pirate Fest for grand fun and high adventure. Drop us an ahoy in our comment section if you plan to be there. Argh!
(Photos courtesy of Gasparilla Pirate Fest)