Tampa Braces for Invasion by the Gasparilla Pirate Festival & Parade [2022]

Pirate At Sail

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival & Parade has been running in Tampa, Florida since 1904. The Parade of Pirates by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla draws large audiences on the final Saturday of January from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where is the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates In Tampa?

Following an attack by the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the attention switches to downtown Tampa’s gorgeous Bayshore Blvd. and South Ashley Dr. Following their successful capture of the Key to the City, the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will celebrate with a victory parade beginning at 2 p.m.

The 4.5-mile Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates weaves its way down Hillsborough Bay into downtown Tampa, with over 140 crews–including 103 floats, three marching bands, and over fifty participating social groups (i.e., krewes).

The Pirates’ Gasparilla Parade will proceed from Bayshore to downtown Tampa. The Parade will enter downtown by the Brorein St. bridge, head north on Ashley Dr., and terminate at Cass St. and Ashley Dr. in the center of Tampa’s Cultural Arts District.

About the Pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla

Image Courtesy of Gasparilla Parade Fest

The name and origin of Tampa’s famous Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade derive from legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, the “last of the Buccaneers,” who ravaged West Florida’s coastal seas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Gaspar was an aristocrat by birth and an officer in the Spanish Navy; he was highly educated, had courtly manners, and looked the part of a gentleman. Jose Gaspar allegedly left an unimaginable wealth in hidden treasure someplace along the Florida coast when he died. Though the treasure was never found, the narrative of the swashbuckling Gaspar was rediscovered, and his legacy was resurrected in 1904 when Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla was created and embraced the pirate as their city-wide celebration’s patron rogue.

A Pirate Ship Sets Sail

Hundreds of thousands of people line the streets of Tampa to view the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship as part of the festival and procession. The Jose Gasparilla pirate ship enters Hillsborough Bay at 11:30 a.m., sails to the Seldon Channel, and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1 p.m.

What Does It Cost to See the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates?

Gasparilla is a FREE community festival that has been held in Tampa Bay for over a century. The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, the Children’s Gasparilla Parade, and the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates all have reserved seating. For further information, go to the Gasparilla Treasures page.

Libations for Visting Swashbucklers At the 2022 Gasparilla Pirate Festival

mage Courtesy of Gasparilla Parade Fest

Beer and Wine are for sale and can be purchased at one of several Gasparilla Charity Beer Gardens. You must be 21+ and present a valid photo ID. 100% of the net revenue supports local charities. Coolers are NOT permitted.

So plan a trip to Tampa, Florida, and be ready for a lot of fun and adventure!

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Mikki Smith

Mikki is a graduate of Indian River State College and currently living and working in Isreal as a developer of AI chatbots for the travel industry. She writes part-time and is working on her first book about chatbot development.

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