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Gasparilla Pirate Festival (Tampa, USA)

The annual Gasparilla Festival is one of the largest outdoor celebrations in the United States and takes place at the end of January. It starts with the invasion of the Hillsborough River by a fully rigged three masted pirate ship (manned by a crew of 700 pirates), flags flying and cannon blazing, accompanied by hundreds of pleasure craft. Once the city has “surrendered” there is a ‘Parade of Pirates’ where a procession of floats travel from Bayshore Boulevard to Downtown Tampa. Chains of beads and coins are tossed from the floats to the crowds which can number upwards of 400,000. The week prior to the Festival sees a children’s parade, a fireworks display (The Gasparilla ‘Piratechnic’ Extravaganza) and a series of family activities. In the following weeks Ybor City holds a fiesta day and night time Illuminated Sant’Yago Knight Parade. Downtown Tampa is also the site of fun runs for children, adults and the disabled and there is an annual festival of the arts. Gasparilla celebrates the activities of the late eighteenth century local pirate Jose Gaspar who was reputed to have terrorised the Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s West Coast. The festival was first organised in 1904. Attending and Sightseeing is free, but some sponsored events have admission charges. Details of the various activities are available at the website. There are special arrangements for Car parking and shuttle bus services throughout the festival period. The official park is at Raymond James Stadium and costs $8 There is reserved parking for the disabled in wheelchairs.

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Gasparilla Pirate Fest , 33609
Telephone: +1(813)3538108 | 

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