TAMPA (WFLA) – Make way, mateys! About 300,000 pirates, err people, have invaded Bayshore Boulevard and downtown Tampa for the Gasparilla Invasion and Parade. Gasparilla has been a tradition since 1904 in Tampa to re-enact the history of Jose Gaspar, a fictional pirate that legend says was known for terrorizing the coastal waters along Florida’s west coast in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Jose Gaspar pirate ship arrived in Hillsborough Bay and made its way to the Seddon Channel between Davis Islands and Harbor Islands. The ship docked at the Tampa Convention Center, where Tampa Mayor Jane Castor surrendered the key to the city of Tampa into the hands of the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.
The Captain and his Krewe shared their wealth of beads and other treasures with the crowd along the 4.5-mile parade route along Bayshore Boulevard and downtown Tampa. The parade, which included more than 100 floats, 5 marching bands more than 50 Krewes.
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.
Remember this year to keep the beads out of the bay. Join the #BeadFreeBay movement to create sustainable city traditions and protect our waterfront.
We hope you all have a fun and safe Gasparilla celebration.