Wickner says the event brought in revenue that his business lost during the pandemic.By Casey Albritton

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Restaurants and bars all over the Tampa Bay Area are reacting after a huge Gasparilla weekend.

Robert Wickner is the owner of Pint and Brew and says “Last year was last year, it was COVID-19, so you just rolled with the punches because of whether it was Gasparilla cancelled or other events that were cancelled, it happened.”

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Wickner says his staff was excited for Gasparilla to return this year.

“Knowing this year it is happening, we certainly expect a bigger crowd than last years so we are anticipating it’s going to be good.”

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Wickner says the event brought in revenue that his business lost during the pandemic.

Manage of Taps Restaurant Bar and Lounge, Leslie Causey, spent the last few weeks preparing for Gasparilla by stocking up on food and drinks.

“We’ve had a long very slow post-COVID recovery so we are very excited to be having events booked and finally happening again.”

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Both Wickner and Causey say they hope Gasparilla is just one of several Tampa Bay events that will return this year.