Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest will include a full day of activities from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, sponsored by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It all begins with the annual Gasparilla Invasion by the fully rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, which magically appears at the south end of Hillsborough Bay. Legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his band of marauding buccaneers will ring out across the waters of Hillsborough bay while they encounter a multitude of pleasure crafts, all intent on defending the city.
Quickly seeing the error of their ways, they turn to join forces with Captain Gaspar and his Krewe’s flotilla. The colorful event then makes its way north across Hillsborough bay and into Seddon Channel (the channel between Davis and Harbour Islands). The Gasparilla has begun, and so has the Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Festival. Amidst a volley of cannon fire, the City of Tampa is defenseless. The Mayor will surrender the Key to the City into the hands of the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, who will launch their victory celebration into the Parade of Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard.
Gasparilla Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center
The invasion is free for the public to watch. A great way to watch the Invasion is by attending the Gasparilla Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center provides the best view in town of the historic Gasparilla Invasion, as the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla sail up Seddon Channel aboard the Jose Gasparilla accompanied by a majestic flotilla, docking tableside at 1 p.m. at the Tampa Convention Center. The Invasion Brunch includes a buffet brunch with cash bar and reserved table seating for one of the most unique and colorful spectacles found anywhere in the world. Gasparilla Invasion Brunch tickets are available on-line at www.GasparillaTreasures.com or by phone (813) 251-8844.
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and Parade
Following another successful invasion by the pirates of Ye
Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the focus shifts to beautiful Bayshore Boulevard
and South Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. After successfully capturing the Key
to the City (once again), the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla
celebrate with a victory parade that begins at 2 p.m. at Bay to Bay and
The 4.5 mile Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates, which has been presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla annually since 1904, winds its way along Hillsborough Bay into downtown Tampa, with over 140 units – featuring 103 floats, three marching bands and over fifty 50 participating social organizations (i.e. krewes). The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates will travel from Bayshore into downtown Tampa over the Brorein Street bridge, north on Ashley Drive, and end at Cass Street and Ashley Drive in the heart of the Cultural Arts District in downtown Tampa.
Expanded Pirate Fest in 2022
The expanded Pirate Fest in 2022 will feature stages along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, presented by Bud Light Seltzer. Pirate Fest will feature stages with live entertainment pre and post parade in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (Ashley and Twiggs), and MacDill Park (Ashley and Whiting). Entertainment lineup will be available online.
The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates will travel from Bayshore into downtown Tampa. The Parade will cross into downtown over the Brorein Street bridge, turn north on Ashley Drive, and end at Cass Street and Ashley Drive in the heart of the Cultural Arts District in downtown Tampa. Due to construction and Super Bowl LV, hosted in Tampa in 2021, Gasparilla JazzFEST will resume in 2022! An expanded Pirate Fest in 2022 will feature stages along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, presented by Bud Light Seltzer. Pirate Fest will feature stages with live entertainment pre and post parade in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (Ashley and Twiggs), and MacDill Park (Ashley and Whiting). The entertainment lineup will be announced online.
For additional information or to purchase Gasparilla Invasion Brunch, Reserved Gasparilla Parade tickets and/or officially licensed Gasparilla merchandise, please log onto www.GasparillaTreasures.com. Tickets can also be ordered over the phone by calling EventFest’s Gasparilla Ticket Line at (813) 251-8844. A ticket representative will be available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Extremely Limited First Mate hot ticket reserved chair seating has been expanded in 2020 to include the FIRST MATE SOUTH – located on the water side of Bayshore Boulevard, between Ardson and Carolina, and FIRST MATE NORTH – located on the land side of the parade route on Bayshore Boulevard, between Beach and Platt Street. This single row, chair seating provides guaranteed front-row fun at Tampa`s historic Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates. Reduced price tickets will be available through Saturday, Jan. 18.
Content Provided by Jackie McCallum for Destination Tampa Bay. Photos courtesy of Gasparilla Pirate Fest and related activities. For information on the Children’s Gasparilla Parade click here.
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