Monday, June 24, 2024

Pirates Invade Tampa During Gasparilla Festival

Despite the chilly day, Tampa’s century-old pirate-palooza returned with a bang on Saturday during the Gasparilla Festival.

Pirates Invade Tampa During Gasparilla Festival
Photo Courtesy of Neal Nachman

The Gasparilla parade has been a tradition in Tampa since 1904. The theme and focal point of Gasparilla is a friendly “invasion” by mythical pirate Jose Gasper and his crew, who are portrayed by members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (YMKG).

Pirates Invade Tampa During Gasparilla Festival
Photo Courtesy of Neal Nachman

To date, it’s considered to be the nation’s third-largest parade behind Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York.

Photo Courtesy of Neal Nachman

Two-time WWE Hall of Famer and Tampa resident Ric Flair served as the grand marshal of the 2023 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest over the weekend riding in a float and greeting fans.

Pirates Invade Tampa During Gasparilla Festival
Photo Courtesy of Neal Nachman

More than 100 plus floats, krewes and groups of dancers paraded down Bayshore Boulevard, flinging beads at the 300,000 or so swashbuckling spectators.  

Pirates Invade Tampa During Gasparilla Festival
Photo Courtesy of Neal Nachman

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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