Gasparilla Live Blog: What's happening right now - WFLA News Channel 8

Gasparilla Live Blog: What's happening right now

4:30 p.m.

Parade coverage is ending on TV and online. 

4:05 p.m.

Eagle 8 is headed back to the nest, but our live streaming coverage of the parade continues.  Once the televised portion ends, we'll continue to stream a shot of the parade until the final float has passed. Watch it streaming live!

3:50 p.m.

Pilot-Reporter Judd Chapin says the last float has left Bay to Bay Boulevard, the starting point of the parade. 

3:40 p.m.

Lots of cannon fire in downtown Tampa right now.  The pirates are definitely in town!

3:15 p.m.

You can also listen to the parade on our partner radio stations, 970 WFLA and 93.3 FLZ.

3:11 p.m.

The view from Eagle 8 shows that the first floats are just a short distance away from crossing the Hillsborough River and entering downtown Tampa.

3:09 p.m.

News Channel 8's Melissa Beckman reports that float #50 has just passed her.  She is located at the start of the parade, at Bay to Bay and Bayshore.

3:07 p.m.

The parade looks great!  Audio problems are fixed on News Channel 8.  And, I'm adding a BUNCH of new photos to the photo gallery, so check them out!

2:40 p.m.

Yep, we're aware that we have some audio problems on Channel 8 right now.  The live stream online sounds great -- so you can watch it there.  Our engineers are working on the problem and hope to have it fixed soon.

2:30 p.m.

Parade coverage has begun!  Watch it streaming live!

2:15 p.m.

Eagle 8 is in the air again, and the live streaming video is back on!  Parade coverage begins in just a few minutes.

2:10 p.m.

News Channel 8's Melissa Beckman tells us that the floats are lined up and ready to go!

1:52 p.m.

BTW... you can follow me on Twitter: @wfladaniel

1:45 p.m.

It looks like the fun has already started along the parade route.  Check out our 8 On Your Side Facebook page for a video shot by Jennifer Leigh, of a spontaneous outbreak of the "Cuban Shuffle"

1:15 p.m.

Eagle 8's coverage has ended for now.  The Eagle should be back up around 2 p.m.  And of course, our parade coverage begins at 2:30!  I'm posting some behind-the-scenes photos of our crew (today, I guess, that's krewe) preparing for the show, in our image gallery

12:55 p.m.

They've almost reached downtown Tampa!

12:50 p.m.

Music is blasting outside the News Center!  It sounds like the Pirate Fest street festival is cranking up.

12:38 p.m.

We received this photo of the parade staging area just a few minutes ago.  You can find more photos in our image gallery, which we're updating as the pictures come in.

12:35 p.m.

The Jose Gasparilla ship is about halfway up the Seddon Channel, headed for the Tampa Convention Center.

12:05 p.m.

Judd Chapin says the Jose Gasparilla ship should be entering Seddon Channel within the next 15 minutes.

11:55 a.m.

It looks like the flotilla is still in Hillsborough Bay, at the south end of Davis Islands. Judd will give us an update from Eagle 8 during our Noon newscast. 

11:49 a.m.

Good news! Technical problems have been resolved, and the live streaming video from Eagle 8 is back up!

11:35 a.m.

Don't forget, you can find event schedules, parade maps, and much more on our Gasparilla Pirate Fest page on

11:24 a.m.

The invasion is set to begin in 6 minutes!

11:06 a.m.

Eagle 8 has been on the ground for a few minutes.  We're working on getting the video feed up again... standby.

In the meantime, we've also started building a slide show of images from today.  Check it out here.  we'll update it with fresh pics throughout the day.

10:02 a.m.

Eagle 8 is sending back some beautiful pictures this morning!  Are you watching the live streaming video?


9:40 a.m.

News Channel 8's Anthony Allred just found five people who camped out along the parade route, just so they could claim a great spot.  Now that's dedication!

9:25 a.m.

Eagle 8 is now in the air over Tampa.  Check out the live stream here.

8:51 a.m.

I just checked in with Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Megan Hatton.  She can't stop raving about how perfect the weather is today.  She says it will be a little chilly this morning, but then sunny, low 70's for the high, light winds for the boaters.

Saturday, January 26 - 8:40 a.m.

Good morning!  @wfladaniel here.  I'll be updating this blog throughout the day, to keep you updated on what's happening with Gasparilla.

I just drove into downtown.  No traffic problems!  Even though it's early, I did see some people walking towards town.  Also saw several police cars, already on patrol.  Behave yourselves!

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