Gasparilla is ‘absolutely’ a go, organizers say


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gasparilla is one of Tampa’s biggest events. It’s only been canceled a few times since its inception in 1904, mostly due to World Wars.

Last year was one of the few times the parade didn’t roll after it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, one year later, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor says Gasparilla will go on.

“We’re very excited about the possibility of bringing back our land, sea and air invasion for the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa Bay area,” Castor said.

That’s good news to Anne Bartlett who owns the South Tampa Trading company, a business that sells costumes, bling and beads for Gasparilla.

“People are coming in and buying everything right now,” Bartlett said. “It’s like Katie bar the door, everybody is excited, they’re decorating their houses, they’re decorating their cars, they’re decorating themselves, they’re buying beads.”

Peter Lackman is the Captain for Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the hosts of the event, and he said the status of the parade is a question he’s often questioned.

“Gasparilla is absolutely a go. Yes,” Lackman said. “we Arrrgh going to have Gasparilla. That’s using our special pirate language there. You can tell by my face I’m engaging in Gasparilla. Which is still 20 days out, but it’s time to get your pirate beard on and our good time on.”

The Gasparilla Children’s Parade is scheduled to be held on Jan. 22 with the main parade of pirates on Jan. 29.

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