Your Guide To Gasparilla

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Art Jenkins from New York (C) and Bob Thaxon of Fl

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – As this weekend’s Gasparilla parade approaches, many locals are preparing for the invasion. Parade-goers need to make sure they are up-to-date on Gasparilla rules and regulations to ensure their day is smooth and full of fun. Here’s a look at the rules and new regulations that will be enforced this Saturday.

One major no-no that is sure to threaten the party is underage drinking. In recent years police have cracked down on alcohol-related misdemeanors. At last year’s Gasparilla, 337 people were arrested because of alcohol violations.

Another big concern is public urination. Locals that live near the parade route have complained about people peeing in their yards. This year, dozens of porta-potties will be added near the parade route.

A new change in Tampa’s open alcohol container law makes it no longer a crime to open a can of beer away from the Gasparilla parade route. Instead, it will result in a citation and fine. For a first-time violator, the fine is $75.

Parade-goers can bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks to the event, but glass containers and coolers are prohibited. Also prohibited are styrofoam cups, tents, weapons and illegal drugs.

Parents are allowed to bring strollers and soft-sided coolers to hold lunch for their children. Pets are prohibited at the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch and the reserved seating section for the parade (the exception is for animals assisting handicapped persons). Bringing pets near the parade route is not encouraged.

For business entrepreneurs, advertising or selling a product or service at the event is not permitted. Giving away sample products is also prohibited.

Gasparilla 2012 is sure to be another fun-filled invasion. Just heed these warnings and you’ll leave Gasparilla with a neck full of beads and not hands in handcuffs.

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