Best Of Gasparilla 2014: Pirates, Invasion, Parade

January 15, 2014 8:00 AM

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Gasparilla 2012 (Photo Credit: Barbara Ann Kelley)

Gasparilla 2012 (Photo Credit: Barbara Ann Kelley)

Tampa Bay’s 2014 Gasparilla Pirate Festival and Invasion and parade will be Saturday, Jan. 25. It’s a yearly celebration that focuses on the bay area’s rich pirate history.  The name of Tampa’s traditional “Gasparilla” Carnival come from legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, “last of the Buccaneers,” who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th century.

In 2014 “Gasparilla” just means boats, pirates, parades, merriment and more. Now that January is here, the city’s illustrious festival celebration is, once again, about to kick off. Each year the invasion and parade gets bigger, more booze filled and crowded. The Gasparilla Invasion and Parade is Tampa Bay’s excuse to dress and act like a pirate! Here’s a look at this year’s festival and Invasion by the numbers.

Gasparilla Pirate Festival & Invasion

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 – www.gasparillapiratefest.com

0
The amount it will cost you to view the parade – the event free to the public. Reserved bleacher seating is available for the Parade of the Pirates. For information and to purchase tickets visit Tickets ‘n’ Treasures by clicking on this highlighted link.

2
The time the parade will start and will run till approx. 5:30 p.m.

3.8
The number of miles the parade route is. The parade begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard. It 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.

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

50
The number of pirate krewes made up of local social organizations.  These krewes partner with charity organizations and provide financial support for the cause.  One krewe, the Theives of San Lorenzo, gives half of all its event profits to organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House and The Shriners.

99
The number of floats scheduled in the 2014 parade.

100
The number of food, beverage and novelty vendors at the festival. Drinks available include beer, Captain Morgan rum and cola. FYI-there will be mobile ATM’s and pot-a-potties along the parade route.

275
The number of Tampa Bay police officers present at 2013′s Gasparilla.  Dozens of cameras have been mounted along the parade route, so behave yourself cause big brother is watching.

337
The number of people arrested for alcohol-related misdemeanors in 2010.  In recent years police have cracked down on underage drinking at the festival.  Last year, the number of arrests went down dramatically with only 70 arrests.

500
The number of pirates that will invade Tampa Bay at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan 25.

350,000
The estimated number of people that turned out for last year’s Gasparilla.

PARADE ROUTE
For map of route click HERE.

WHERE TO PARK & VIEW
Throughout downtown Tampa and Ybor City, parking is available in various garages and lots.  These garages have a one-time special event parking rate paid upon entry. Click HERE for a map for parking and viewing areas.

ROAD CLOSURES
Click HERE for Street Closures  – After 10:00 PM on Friday and until the end of the event, cars will be towed. Be aware, Tampa Police Department will tow cars which will result in additional fees and the inconvenience of having to get your car out of impound!

GETTING AROUND
For a safe and easy way to get around during Gasparilla on Saturday, Jan. 25, extra streetcar, bus and trolley service will be offered. For the times and locations click on this highlighted link.

FOR ADDITIONAL GASPARILLA INFORMATION: www. gasparillapiratefest.com

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