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Everything You Need to Know for Gasparilla in Tampa 2022

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Ahoy matey! 🏴‍☠️ Tampa’s beloved tradition, Gasparilla, returns this year and we have one question for you, arrrgh you ready for Gasparilla in Tampa?

Inspired by the legendary Buccaneer Jose Gaspar, this pirate-themed season pays homage to Tampa history over three event-filled months. And as it turns out, it’s one heck of a party!

Keep scrolling for all the event details, where to pre-game, and the best places to shop for all things Gasparilla in Tampa!

Events

Calling all music lovers! Not a big drinker or participating in Dry January? Shipwrecked Music Festival is the perfect event to dance the night away and still feel all of the Gasparilla vibes. There will be multiple music stages with reinforced sound, silent disco, live art, heritage exhibits, performers, food trucks, vendors and more!

🗓 Jan. 28-29
📍 The Cuban Club

Gasparilla - January 29, 2022

Gasparilla in Tampa is an all day event! The day kicks off with the Gasparilla Invasion then the party heads to Bayshore Boulevard for the Parade of Pirates and ends with Pirate Fest in downtown Tampa.

“Land, ho! Set sail for Tampa!” Prepare for the annual re-enactment of Tampa’s historic pirate invasion on January 29th. At 11:30AM, the only fully-rigged pirate ship in the world, the Jose Gasparilla, will led the Gasparilla Flotilla surrounded by hundreds of boats. 

At 1PM, the pirate ship docks at the Tampa Convention Center and Mayor Jane Castor will surrender the Key to the City to the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. With the Key to the City in hand, the Krewe begins their celebration down Bayshore Boulevard!

The Jose Gasparilla sets sail at the south end of Hillsborough Bay at 11:30 A.M., sails north to Seddon Channel (between Davis Island and Harbour Island), continues north and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1:00 P.M.

  • Along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa
  • The bridge over Garrison Channel
  • The Sail Pavilion
  • American Social’s Gasparilla Invasion Brunch Party – tickets required
  • Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Convention Center – tickets required

To celebrate their capture of the City of Tampa, the Krewe shares their wealth of glittering beads, treasures, and doubloons in the Parade of Pirates. The 4.5 mile long Gasparilla Parade is the third largest parade in the United States – including more than 103 elaborate floats, 5 marching bands, over 50 distinct Krewes and, of course, those infamous YMKG pirates!

Most of the parade route is open to the public. Reserved bleacher seating is available for purchase.

The parade begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, continues along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive. The parade ends at Cass Street & Ashley Drive. 

The city-run garages in downtown Tampa will have special event parking rates upon entry. Many local businesses and organizations will be offering parking on their property. Parking passes can be purchased in advanced from some businesses.

Note: Parking in the neighborhoods bordering the parade route is not permitted, and Tampa Police Department will strictly enforce the event parking policies. When parking in these areas, you do so at your own risk. Towing is strictly enforced in the communities along the parade route, and the event will not cover the cost of retrieving your vehicle.

Rock out before and after the parade with live entertainment at Pirate Fest! This year’s expanded lineup will feature stages in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (Ashley and Twiggs) and MacDill Park (Ashley and Whiting).

Don’t worry about needing to surrender the booty – Pirate Fest is free!

Best Places to Pre-Game Gasparilla in Tampa

During Gasparilla in Tampa, there is no judgement of how early you start drinking. Head to one of these spots to enjoy a delicious brunch and maybe cheers to the Krewe! Be sure to book a reservations to guarantee your spot.

Gasparilla In Tampa
Downtown Crawler’s 5th Annual Gasparilla Bar Crawl & Brunch

Enjoy bottomless mimosa and a brunch buffet from one of 3 locations (District Tavern Tampa, The Patio and Park & Rec) from 9AM-12PM. Then keep the party going with free cover and 5 welcome shots from your choice of participating bars in downtown Tampa and South Tampa. Grab your tickets before they sell out!

Event Details
🗓 Jan. 29 | 9:00am-3:00pm
📍Various Bars and Restaurants

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Brunch and Bottomless Mimosas Walking Distance to the Parade

Best Places to Shop for Pirate Gear

Grab your eye patch, sword, and all things black and red! Whether you’re wanting to channel your inner pirate with a realistic costume or opting for something more subtle, these are the best places to shop for Gasparilla in Tampa. 

Gasparilla In Tampa
Local Boutiques to Shop for Gasparilla in Tampa
 
Shop Beads and Pirate Wear

More Events to Enjoy This Gasparilla Season

Sant’yaho Knight Parade

The Krewe of Sant’ Yago have hosted the Illuminated Knight Parade every year since 1974. The parade is a celebration of Tampa’s long Latin heritage and civic pride, brightening the streets of Ybor City for a special night of floats, costumes,  beads, and merriment.

Event Details
🗓 Feb. 12 | 4:00pm-11:00pm
📍7th Avenue, Ybor City

Gasparilla Distance Classic

Argh you ready to run? No matter your running availability, there is a race for you at the Gasparilla Distance Classic. Register now!

Event Details
🗓 Feb. 26-27 | Times Vary
📍Bayshore Boulevard

Gasparilla Music Festival 

Rock out and celebrate the arts in Tampa Bay at Gasparilla Music Festival, a three-day line up of over 20 bands in the heart of downtown Tampa.

Event Details
🗓 Feb. 25-27 | Times Vary
📍Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Gasparilla Outbound Voyage 

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will celebrate their conquest of Tampa with a celebration of live music and merriment, as they get ready to leave the city from Sparkman Wharf.

Event Details
🗓 Feb. 26 | 2:00pm-10:00pm
📍Sparkman Wharf

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

Join artists and art lovers from all around the country at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The festival showcases artists and their work to include ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood. 

Event Details
🗓 March 5-6 | Times Vary
📍Julian B. Lane Waterfront Park

Gasparilla International Film Festival 

Each year the Gasparilla International Film Festival hosted hundreds of filmmakers, talent, producers, and film buffs along with countless World Premieres, USA Premieres, and Florida Premiere film screenings. Celebrate the arts, education, and quality films in Tampa Bay!

Event Details
🗓 March 10-13 
📍TBA

Let's Hear From Our Influencers!

Gasparilla Tampa

Happy Gasparilla! Britt here to share my excitement for Gasparilla 2022. Is this anyone’s first Gasparilla? It’s actually my first because last years’ was canceled, and my husband and I moved here in 2020. From the festive outfits to the boat parade, I’m really looking forward to experiencing this unique Tampa tradition. I’m thankful Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay has put together a full guide so I can enjoy Gasparilla to its fullest!

Laurie Schroeder | @laurielivinlife

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate..then always be a pirate.” My favorite time of year again! Gasparilla! I have been going to Gasparilla for a very long time now (2007 to be exact) and it has always held a special place in my heart. Not only is it a fun way to bring Tampa Bay locals together…people travel from all over to attend! Two of my favorite spots to hang out at before the parade is Daily Eats for a delicious brunch (it is ritual) before the festivities and then head over to Water + Flour for some drinks before the parade. I love that everything is in walking distance plus you can burn off all the beer you drink during the day.;) ARRRR….Now lets catch some beads!

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Gasparilla Tampa

Hey there Tampa Bay! If you love the idea of rallying your friends together, dressing up like pirates and celebrating from sunrise to sunset with music, food and parades to boot, then you’re probably already gearing up for this year’s Gasparilla! 

You might’ve heard of Jose Gaspar, but have you ever heard the origin story of how this pirate-fueled Tampa tradition began? It actually started in 1904 when city officials decided to make Tampa’s annual May Day parade a little more…’lively’. A Mardi-gras-style event was suggested, and when one of the officials suggested basing it around a pirate named Gaspar and making it ‘pirate-themed’ everyone was on board! Over 100 years later, the legend of Gaspar only grew and to this day Tampanians still flood Bayshore donned in their best pirate garb and eyepatches, looking to catch some beads and celebrate with their ‘crew’. 

Personally, my favorite part of Gasparilla is in the morning before the invasion and parade. My friends and I usually start the day off with mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and a potluck brunch while we get ready, which for me is half the fun!  By the time we make the trek down to Bayshore to watch the invasion and the parade, we’ve had plenty of time to work out our best pirate costumes, catch up with each other, and we’re fully hyped up to be out and about celebrating with the rest of the city. Even though Tampa can feel HUGE at times, I love how Gasparilla can give it that small-town ‘homey’ vibe. While we’re walking around we always end up making new friends, seeing people we know and having an overall incredible day. As a Tampa local, if I could name one event in Tampa Bay that has undeniable ‘feel-good vibes’ I wouldn’t be able to say ‘Gasparilla’ fast enough! 

As for my plans on the day of Gaspy, I’ll be celebrating with the UNATION crew and checking out their ‘P-ARGH-ty & Recover’ Experience! Hope to see you there! 

It's That Time of Year, Gasparilla in Tampa!

Now you’re ready to enjoy all the fun that Gasparilla in Tampa has to offer. Have a fun and safe Gasparilla season! 🏴‍☠️  Don’t forget to follow us @stufftodointampabay on Facebook and Instagram for the best things to do in Tampa Bay

mskipper

mskipper

Probably hanging out a coffee shop, local bookstore or farmers market. 🫶

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