TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Argh you ready? Gasparilla is just around the corner, which means thousands of pirates will soon invade the City of Tampa!
Gasparilla season runs through April and is full of fun events for everyone in the family.
Jan. 25: Gasparilla Pirate Fest
The Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest is the main event and is the third-largest parade in the country. You can watch all the festivities on WFLA.com and News Channel 8.
It all kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with the Gasparilla Invasion. The Jose Gasparilla pirate ship will make its way from the south end of Hillsborough Bay through the Seddon Channel and toward downtown Tampa. Hundreds of boats will sail into the channel alongside the pirate ship, creating a colorful flotilla that is free to watch. You can watch it live on WFLA Now.
The Jose Gasparilla will dock at the Tampa Convention Center around 1 p.m. and demand Mayor Jane Castor hand over the key to the city. Once they get that key, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will celebrate their victory with a parade.
The Parade of Pirates begins at 2 p.m. on Bayshore Boulevard and will be broadcast live on News Channel 8. The parade will make its way from Bay to Bay Boulevard to Brorein Street before turning north on Ashley Drive. It ends at Cass Street and Ashley Drive.
The Parade of Pirates is free to the public but reserved bleacher seating along the route is available for purchase.
The festivities will continue into the evening in downtown Tampa with the Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The Pirate Fest runs through 9 p.m. and will feature stages along the Riverwalk, at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and at MacDill Park.
Feb. 8: Sant’Yago Knight Parade
The free Knight Parade takes place two weeks after the Parade of Pirates. The Krewe of the Knights of Sant’Yago has hosted the parade in Ybor City every year since 1974.
The 2020 parade will begin at 7 p.m. on 7th Avenue at Nuccio Parkway. The floats, dancers and pirates will make their way about 10 blocks through Ybor City before the festivities wrap up around 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 22-23: Gasparilla Distance Classic
The annual Gasparilla Distance Classic benefits charitable youth organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area and is sponsored by WFLA News Channel 8.
The event offers several options for participants including a 5K, 8K, 15K or half marathon. There are also challenge events and races for kids.
You can register for the Gasparilla Distance Classic online now.
Feb. 29-March 1: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
The Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts takes place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for one weekend every year.
This year’s event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.
The festival is free to attend. There will be food, drinks and live entertainment in addition to vendors and art. You can learn more about this year’s festival here.
March 7-8: Gasparilla Music Festival
The Gasparilla Music Festival is a two-day, multi-stage festival that celebrates all kinds of music.
The 2020 lineup is still in the works but already features headliners like Brandi Carlile and Portugal. The Man.
March 17-22: Gasparilla International Film Festival
The Gasparilla International Film Festival hosts filmmakers, talent, producers and fans every year in a celebration of film.
April 17-19: Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance
The Gasparilla Concourse d’Elegance is described as a “full weekend of automotive activities” that feature rare, original and historically-important automobiles and motorcycles.
The annual Ashley HomeStore Children’s Gasparilla presented by Chick-fil-A is an alcohol-free event that is fun for the whole family.