TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Ahoy me mateys and shiver me timbers! The pirates are invading Tampa and we all need to be ready to walk the plank. Yes, the pirates will invade even in the cold.
After hours of action-packed fun for thousands of Floridians, the 2022 Gasparilla parade is drawing to a close.
The 2022 Gasparilla parade is underway! Thousands of Tampa Bay area residents watch as the flotilla rolls down Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida.
“Gasparilla is back!” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said moments before she surrendered the key to Tampa city over to the Ye Mystic Krewe. “This key won’t open any doors, but what it will open is the hearts to every citizen in the city of Tampa.”
Land ho! Pirates aboard the Jose Gasparilla are gearing up for invasion!
Fire the cannons! We’re not talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, matey. Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla is invading the city!
Eagle 8 HD’s Paul Lamison took to the skies as the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla began to invade the city of Tampa!
Pirates gathered early near the Tampa Convention Center ready to watch the parade of pirates including WFLA’s Brittany Muller.
In case this is your first Gasparilla invasion here are some things to know about the beloved Tampa tradition.
Gasparilla has been hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla since 1904 and is celebrating its 106th year.
The Jose Gasparilla ship arrives from the Port of Tampa Bay at noon usually followed by hundreds of boats before it moves up the Seddon Channel between Davis Islands and Harbour Island. However, this year Tampa officials are asking more boaters to become landlubbers because of the small craft advisory.
When the Jose Gasparilla docks at the Convention Center about 1 p.m., Mayor Jane Castor will surrender the key to the city to the captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The pirates take the key and celebrate with a victory parade down Bayshore Boulevard, sharing their wealth of beads along the way.
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There will be 103 floats participating in the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates, marching bands and more than 50 krewes. You can even see News Channel 8’s first-ever Gasparilla Parade float called “Faces of 8”.
The invasion begins at 12:00 p.m. with the 4.5-mile parade following from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The official Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest party is from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Gasparilla parade is the third-largest in the country and WFLA.com will have all the videos and photos for you to feel like you’re a pirate yourself.