TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As Gasparilla gets closer and closer here in Tampa, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of pirate you want to look like, how you’re going to decorate and even how to fuel up as you shop.
After last year’s cancellation, the Invasion and Parade of Pirates return to the city on Jan. 29. You can watch the parade live on News Channel 8 next Saturday.
Ahead of the big day, we’ve compiled a list of 8 places to grab your Gasparilla gear, from corsets and coats, to those last minute beads and even the official coffee brew, licensed by Gasparilla Treasures. The locations are presented in no particular order.
Know of anywhere else to score beads, pirate gear or other Gasparilla must-haves that we may have missed? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. Pirate Fashions
Location: 4006 W Cayuga St, Tampa
Tiger Lee of Pirate Fashions has been clothing landlubbers to look like true pirates for the last decade and a half.
“No cheap Halloween costume or kid’s stuff here,” Lee says on the Pirate Fashions website.
Pirate Fashions sells finished pirate ensembles, as well as individual pieces, from everything to pirate coats, to corsets to every accessory you can think of.
Lee warns in a blog post of the store’s Gasparilla hours that the Friday before the big event is called “Black Flag Friday,” and they do more business that day than they do in a regular month. Two registers will be open, but he estimates it takes about 45 minutes to wait and pay.
The store itself will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day of Gasparilla.
2. Buccaneer Beads
Location: 3808 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Tampa
The second most important thing aside from a pirate costume is of course, beads!
Buccaneer Beads in east Tampa has been operating since 2006 and is owned by a mother and daughter duo.
According to Buccaneer Beads President Jennifer Grindell, it takes truckloads of boxes with millions of beads to be prepared for this time of the year.
“I have two warehouses outside. I have two trucks on the way here. I have to make sure I have enough for [the] Children’s Parade, Gasparilla, MLK parades. There’s over 90 parades in the state through the year,” Grindell told 8 On Your Side’s Brianda Villegas.
3. Century Jewelers
Location: 6801 Gulfport Blvd S. #12, South Pasadena
If you’re looking for something a little more shiny than the beads you’ll be rocking along the parade route, Century Jewelers says on its website its “Pirate Death Bling” is in stock now.
Here, you can find Jolly Roger necklaces, bracelets and rings, as well as ship pins and more.
“If you don’t live in Tampa Bay, most do not understand how much happiness dressing up like a pirate really brings to all of us in the Bay area,” their website says.
4. Joffrey’s Gaspar’s Brew
Location: Online/3655 Midtown Dr, Tampa
Whether you’re still shopping for beads, decorations or even your costumes, you’re going to need to fuel up, and Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea company has a certified pirate brew.
Joffrey’s Gaspar’s Brew is the official coffee of the big day, licensed by Gasparilla Treasures.
“African and Indonesian beans, brought over by sea just as the legend states José Gaspar did in the 18th century, are blended to create a smooth and smoky cup with hints of caramel,” the company says.
The brew can be purchased online or ordered in person at Joffrey’s Midtown Tampa location. An “Invasion” cold brew is available at the location for a limited time as well and includes a shot of espresso, Irish cream syrup and light cream.
5. South Tampa Trading Co.
Location: 1916 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa
South Tampa Trading Co. is another place you can stop for all your pirate costume needs, down to fabrics, lace and buttons.
The shop features customizable gifts from different “trading partners” and many things inside the store can be customized as well.
The location also has a large selection of beads to choose from, from your standard beads to even “pearls,” disco balls and other novelty shapes of all sizes.
6. Gasparilla Wreaths
Location: Online, available for pick-up or delivery for those in the South Tampa area
It’s not just floats and costumes for Gasparilla, your house, apartment or office needs decorated, too!
“Wenches, Ribbons and Wreaths” creates handmade, customized wreaths to decorate anything during Gasparilla season. Wreath orders are custom-made to color and size preference. Prices are determined by decoration, ribbon choices and pirate accents, but wreaths are usually priced between $165-$200.
7. Don Me Now
Location: 1211 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa
“Argghhh you ready Tampa?” the Don Me Now website boasts. If you’re going for a more subtle look for Gasparilla this year, the country’s first boutique and champagne bar hybrid may be the shop for you.
Gasparilla apparel and accessories are now in store and include items like skull scarves, skull shot glasses, pirate stud earrings and phrase t-shirts, and you can shop while you sip.
8. Why Not Boutique
Location: 3423 W Bay-to-Bay Blvd, Tampa
This South Tampa boutique is also ready to go for Gasparilla on a more subtle level.
“Why Not Boutique offers an eclectic mix of fashion with a functional twist, focusing on comfort and color all at exceptionally affordable prices,” their Facebook says.
Why Not Boutique offers skull sweaters with a lightning bolt pattern, as well as t-shirts and tank tops. The store also has skull and jolly roger jewelry in stock to complete an outfit.