Tampa shifts focus to Super Bowl celebration plans


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As the Super Bowl celebrations continue in Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor says plans are in the works for a parade, but city leaders must figure out the safest way to do it.

Fans say they want to see another parade like the one that took place in September after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

Castors says an outdoor parade, and the city’s mask mandate would likely curb the spread of COVID-19.

There is concern about masks after Sunday when thousands of maskless fans filled the streets to celebrate the big game.

“It is a little frustrating because we worked so hard,” Castor said.

Castor had signed an executive order mandating masks in heavily trafficked areas in Downtown Tampa and around Raymond James Stadium. The order went into effect on Jan. 28 and will remain in effect until Feb. 13.

After the Super Bowl, Tampa police arrested eight people and issued two warnings. They admitted to showing leniency to others. One child was reported missing, but quickly located and reunited with family. Fifteen drones were reported and one was seized. There were two suspicious packages and one unattended item, which were checked and cleared. Authorities are also investigating an unfounded bomb threat.

As for the city’s mask mandate, the police chief said officers would have had a hard time enforcing it Sunday night.

“Downtown became grid locked with cars, people honking their horns and celebrating,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. “When you look at the big picture, the thousands of people who were celebrating, it’s a very small group where we had problems.”

The mayor says the goal is to have the celebration later this week.

“Everybody will be able to participate and participate safely,” Castor said. “We are looking at the best celebration, that allows the most individuals to celebrate safely.”

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