The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual celebration held in the city of Tampa, Florida. Held each year in late January or early February and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate captain who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida.
The theme and focal point of Gasparilla is an "invasion" by Jose Gaspar and his crew. On the day of the main Gasparilla parade, members of Ye Mystik Krewe of Gasparilla, accompanied by a flotilla of hundreds of smaller boats, sail across Tampa Bay to downtown Tampa on the Jose Gasparilla, a 165' long "pirate" ship which was specially built for this purpose in 1954. The mayor of Tampa then hands over the key of the city to the pirate captain and a "victory parade" ensues down Bayshore Boulevard, one of Tampa's major streets. Ye Mystik Krewe and other krewes throw beads, coins and other items while shooting blank pistols from floats during the parade.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest Weekender
Friday-Sunday January 24-26, 2020
Gasparilla Pirate Fest Parade Road Trip Weekender Melbourne to Tampa. More than a Pirate Fest, a Pirate Theme Mardi Gras on a similar scale! TENS of THOUSANDS participate. Two nights in the La Quinta hotel just seven miles from Tampa Bay! (Only six rooms available.) Round trip transportation provided from Brevard and transit to / from the Gasparilla Pirate Fest area.