TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Pirates will soon take over the city of Tampa for Gasparilla and you can expect security to be tight.

Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other officials came together to take part in a safety preparation event on Tuesday. The group discussed plans to keep everyone safe on land and in the water.

Gasparilla is returning for the first time since 2020, after the 2021 festival was canceled due to coronavirus. On average, well over a quarter-million people attend the parade of pirates, so law enforcement is prepping for the parade in a big way – especially after a year off.

“We don’t make any assumptions… We’re prepared every Gasparilla and this is the reason why,” Tampa Police Department Interim Chief Ruben Delgado said,

Gasparilla festivities begin this week with the 2022 Children’s Gasparilla Parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22.

You can watch the pirate invasion on WFLA Now. The Invasion begins at 11:30 a.m. and the Parade of Pirates will be broadcast on News Channel 8 at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.