Here is a list of Gasparilla events around Tampa Bay!
ARRRRRGGGG Me Matey! It’s officially Pirate season in Tampa Bay!
Now remember these pirates have been locked up for over a year so they’re ready to set sail and take over Tampa Bay.
If you’ve lived in Tampa for a while, you’ve come to know about the Gasparilla Pirate Festival and all the events that go on around the Bay Area.
Every January, Gasparilla attracts people not only from Tampa but from all over to experience the pirate-themed festivities, which features a huge parade, live music, kid-friendly events, arts and more.
The name Gasparilla was born from the infamous Jose Gaspar, who was a notorious pirate that terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He loved calling himself “Gasparilla”; Gaspar and his crew of pirates lived up to their reputations by living a life of seizing and robbing merchant ships off the Gulf Coast until 1821.
Ready to divide their loot and finally start living the good life, Gaspar and his pirates decided to take over one last ship. But little did they know, the ship they planned to seize was a United States Navy warship in disguise. The pirates were in for a huge surprise when they had to tackle bloody battle and of course the U.S. Navy ship crew reigned victoriously, ending the long career of Jose Gaspar.
In 1904, city officials decided to finally celebrate this victory! Secret meetings were held to develope the very first Gasparilla krewe, “Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla”. This new krewe would make Gasparilla history by surprising our city with a mock pirate attack on Tampa that has become known as the Pirate Invasion.
The invasion was such a success that Tampa city officials decided to turn Gasparilla into the well-known annual event that we’ve all come to love.
What makes the pirate invasion even more spectacular is that it involves the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, manned by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The ship makes its way into the bay to kick off the festivities to “attack” Tampa Bay. The ship docks at the Tampa Convention Center to meet the mayor who must surrender the key to the city.
You’ll be able to celebrate with them for the next coming weeks with a variety of Gasparilla events going on around Tampa Bay.