Gasparilla Tampa – The Pirate Parade And Festival
Tampa Bay is famous for many things, but the Gasparilla Parade remains one of its most cherished traditions. The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is an annual event that features an "invasion" of the city by the pirate ship "Jose Gasparilla" and its motley Ye Mystic Krewe of pirates. The festival commemorates Tampa's pirate history and often features live music, pirate-themed foods (think fried pickles), and Gasparilla parades.
Gasparilla is widely regarded as the most significant pirate parade ever held. During the Parade of Pirates season which lasts from January - March approximately 300 thousand people attend these festivities each year in Tampa Bay. Those who adore pirates, especially the pirate Jose Gaspar will be able to participate in these activities. It would be one of your bucket list adventures if you enjoy dressing up, attending festivals, watching marching bands, or other forms of social events. If you want to attend this year's Gasparilla invasion on January 29th, here are some suggestions to make your experience even more thrilling!
- Get a pirate outfit. If you have one, wear it! Even if you don't have an established costume yet, creating some temporary makeup and wearing accessories can go a long way in making your day more enjoyable. If you're planning a house, office, or apartment party, make sure your door is decorated with a pirate-themed DoorFoto™. These fabric door covers are custom-made in Tampa Bay and take less than 28-seconds to install. They have AMAZING pirate-themed images for adults and kids.
- Arrive early so that you do not miss any of the Gasparilla parade activities. While Gasparillas generally start late, they usually begin around 11:30 am or 12 pm, depending on which parade route the ships take through Tampa Bay. This Gasparilla Pirate Fest is free unless there are special events taking place at specific times throughout the afternoon along Bayshore Boulevard.
1. What is Gasparilla Tampa?
If you're not from Tampa, Florida then the first time you hear the word "Gasparilla" you might think it's a person's name. But in reality, Gasparilla is an annual celebration that takes place in Tampa every January - March. The event is named after José Gaspar, a pirate who supposedly roamed the waters near Tampa in the early 1800s. These days, Gasparilla is all about celebrating pirates and pirate culture with parades, marching bands, festivals, and more. If you're looking for a fun winter getaway, consider heading to Tampa Bay for The Gasparilla Pirate Fest!
2. The History of Gasparilla
The History of Gasparilla is a story of pirates, Buccaneers and Spanish sailors. Every year, the city of Tampa Bay celebrates this history with a month-long festival that includes a Gasparilla Parade, concerts and street parties. This year's festival is set to take place from January 18-29th and promises something for everyone. Whether you're looking for family fun or want to let your hair down at the afterparty, there's something for everyone at Gasparilla 2022! So dust off your pirate garb and get ready to party like a Buccaneer! The Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza kicks off around 11 a.m., with a parade in the afternoon on January 22nd.
3. Gasparilla Parade of Pirates
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival parade is a must-see event for anyone visiting Tampa Bay in January. This parade of pirates is a celebration of Tampa Bay, and features colorful costumes, pirate ships, and lots of lively music. The parade winds through the streets of downtown Tampa, making its way to Bayshore Boulevard where it ends with a grand finale. There's no better way to experience the culture and excitement of Tampa Bay than by attending the Gasparilla Pirate Festival parade!
4. When Is the Parade and Festival Held this Year
You won't want to miss out on all of the fun activities happening at this year's festival from January 18-29th. There will be live music from local artists as well as food trucks serving up delicious eats like tacos and gourmet hot dogs. And don't forget about the famous Gasparilla Parade which takes place along Bayshore Boulevard beginning at 2pm on January 29th.
The Gasparilla Children's Parade also known as the Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza takes place a week earlier before the main parade on January 22nd and is considered family-friendly and alcohol-free. The kid's version is similar to the adults in that there are a parade and floats but no gun battle at sea. Both parades have elaborate floats with everyone decked out in pirate attire. Make sure you get there early so you can grab a spot with friends or family! We hope to see you there!
Sant'Yago Knight Parade Better known as the Gasparilla Night Parade, this event takes place two Saturdays after the Parade of Pirates on February 12, 2022. The parade is filled with illuminated floats, costumed revelers dancing in the streets. The pirate invasion comes to life through fireworks displays, street performers throughout Ybor City & Bayshore Boulevard.
5. How should I decorate for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival?
One of the best things about the Gasparilla Pirate Festival is that it's a great opportunity to dress up like a pirate! If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these pirate decorations that will help get you in the mood for some seafaring fun.
-Pirate DoorFotos: Decorate your home or office with a custom-made fabric door cover from DoorFoto™. You can find all sorts of pirate images, from Jolly Roger DoorFotos to skull and crossbones designs, or create your own with their design online tools. DoorFoto™ is based in Tampa, FL so you will also be supporting your local business.
-Pirate Hats, Masks, and Costumes: A pirate's life is not complete without a few accessories! Dress up as your favorite swashbuckling character with a stylish pirate hat, mask or costume. You can find everything you need at South Tampa Trading Company at 1916 S. Dale Mabry HWY.
6. Was Pirate José Gaspar a real pirate?
It's a Pirate's Life for Me! Take part in Tampa Bay’s most anticipated annual celebration as Jose Gaspar and his Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Pirates take over the city of Tampa. It is said that on January 19, 1784, Captain José Gaspar first appeared off the coast near what would become known as Ybor City aboard La Bella Principessa, an armed brig loaded with merchandise from Cuba. He was looking not only for cargo but also for any information about Spain’s enemies Great Britain or France. Legend has it that after finding out where he could acquire riches easily – by stealing them - he targeted unsuspecting ships at sea including those heading into Port Royal Sound.
So, was Jose Gaspar a real pirate? There is no definitive answer, but it's safe to say he was at least inspired by some of the most infamous pirates of his time!
Come join in on the fun and learn more about Tampa Bay’s rich history at this year’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest!