Exactly how fluent are you in ye olde pirate lingo? Ye best brush up on it, landlubber. Buccaneer-filled fun and excitement is just yonder over the horizon of the Gulf of Mexico. Do you see the top sails menacingly approaching? The tell-tale skull and crossbones flag waving proud and tall in the coastal breeze? The cannons ready to aim and fire? Ready yerself, me hearties. The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is an epic annual event on Florida’s Gulf Coast every January and its coming to Tampa Bay this month.
Here are just of few of the many reasons the Gasparilla Pirate Fest will make you say aye! (that pirate speak for “yes”, in case you don’t know).
Say Aye to Family Fun
Family funs abound during Gasparilla Pirate season. So much so, that the kids even have their own event! The Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza is an alcohol-free event centered around family-friendly fun for everyone. This is the kick-off event for Gasparilla Pirate Fest season, so don’t miss it. This year’s Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza is slated for Saturday, January 21 from 11a.m. to 7:30-p.m along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. The best part is that this is a free event with no admission charge.
Highlights include piratical fun for the wee ones including the Preschooler’s Stroll, the Children’s Parade, bicycle rodeo, air invasion and fireworks—just to name a few. Dress up in your buccaneer best and come on out to Tampa Bay. You can find the full event schedule for the 2017 Children’s Gaspararilla Extravaganza here.
Say Aye to Piratical Pleasures & Treasures
Adjust your sails and set your course for Tampa, Florida on Saturday, January 28 from 9a.m. to 9p.m. where great fun and high adventure await you at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. In case you haven’t heard, this year offers an expanded Pirate Fest featuring stages along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, stages with live entertainment pre- and post-parade at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, MacDill Park, The Sail Pavilion at the Tampa Convention Center, and Fergs Tampa. The entertainment schedule is jam-packed and rockin’!
The Pre-Invasion Celebration, the Gasparilla Invasion and Flotilla, and the ever-popular Parade of Pirates are annual staples of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The epic Gasparilla Invasion sails into Hillsborough Bay at 11:30a.m. with shouts from the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his band of marauding buccaneers ringing out across the waters, as they return to invade the City of Tampa. Will the city lay defenseless or will local forces intervene? Come and find out how it all plays out. See the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, as it comes to shore and wreaks havoc on the city streets. Watch as the Mayor of Tampa relinquishes the key to the city into the hands of the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. Argh! The parade is where you’ll find the victory celebration at 2p.m. on Bayshore Boulevard complete with booming cannons, bold and boisterous buccaneers as well as glittering beads, sparkling treasures and plenty of doubloons.
The Gasparilla Invasion and Pirate Parade are free events and open to everyone, so be sure to join in the raucous fun and festivities. You can read more about the Gasparilla Pirate Fest event details here.
Say Aye to High Seas Adventures
If you’re interesting in being part of the on-the-water action, check out the Festival Fact Sheet for just how to do that. It’s also answers a lot of frequently asked questions about the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, so it’s worth the read if you’re planning to go. Whether you’re an active participant or just a casual observer, you’re sure to have the pirate experience of a lifetime.
See you there, me hearties! Aye!
Photo Credits: GasparillaPirateFest.com
Are you saying aye to the Gasparilla Pirate Fest this year in Tampa, Florida?