Ye Mystic Krewe unveils new addition to parade fleet ahead of Gasparilla Invasion

Living Local

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- The countdown to Gasparilla has begun and News Channel 8 took a look behind the scenes at some of the floats already prepped for the celebration.

This year, more than 90 floats from several Tampa Bay area organizations and businesses are expected to take over Bayshore Boulevard for the Gasparilla Pirate Parade.

Of those more than 90 floats, 16 of them are kept at the Ye Mystic Krewe Warehouse in Tampa year round.

“Many are very traditional. We have the Happy Pirate, we have the Octopus Float and these are floats that we’ve had from the 1930s. We’ve renovated them but they are floats that we use all the time,” Ye Mystic Krewe Captain Pete Lackman said.

From smoking cannons to waterfalls, Captain Lackman said several elements on these floats get touched up throughout the year so they are ready to hit the parade route come January.

“The ship and all the floats and the celebration all add to that but everyone’s been absent for two years, I think they’re ready to get back to a good party,” he said.

New to the parade fleet this year will be a tomb carried by a horse-drawn caisson, marking the 200th anniversary of Jose Gasparilla’s death.

“On December 21st, 1821, he was losing a battle off the Gasparilla Island. He wrapped himself in a chain and threw himself to his death. This tomb honors Jose Gasparilla the Pirate,” Captain Lackman said.

The Gasparilla Children’s Parade is scheduled to be held on Jan. 22.

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is on Jan. 29.

You can watch the Parade of Pirates on WFLA News Channel 8 and online at WFLA Now beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 29.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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