The invasion will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a flotilla including the Jose Gasparilla, the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, will make its across Hillsborough Bay and into the Seddon Channel, reenacting the Gasparilla pirate invasion.
The Jose Gasparilla will dock at the Tampa Convention Center at 1:00 p.m., and the Mayor will surrender the Key to the City of Tampa to the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.
They pirates will celebrate their victory with the Parade of the Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard. The pirates will throw beads, treasures and doubloons over their boats.
The parade, which will travel over a 3.8 mile route, begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, and goes down Bayshore until Brorein Street. It will turn east on Brorein Street, and then north onto Ashley Drive, ending at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. There will be a total of 130 units, including 90 floats, 40 marching bands and 50 krewes.
The event is free, but reserved seating can be purchased on the event’s website.
Food, beverage and novelty vendors will be at the event’s location. Alcohol can be purchased with a valid ID. The profits of alcohol sales will benefit Tampa Bay area charities. Within 5 years, alcohol sales have provided $100,000 for charitable organizations.
Parking will be available in many garages and parking lots throughout the area. Cars parked illegally will be towed. Public transportation will be available through the TECO Line Streetcar from the Centro Ybor Parking Garage and the Palm Avenue Garage in Ybor City.
For more information, go to www.gasparillapiratefest.com.