Gasparilla 2023 is dorsum!
The Ashley Children’due south Gasparilla presented by Chick-Fil-A Tampa Bay and Seminole Difficult Stone Gasparilla Pirate Fest returns on January 28, 2023.
Tampa’s longest-standing tradition celebrates the
“invasion” of Jose Gaspar and his legion of pirates…well, at least that’south the story and Tampa’south sticking to it. Myth, legend, or fact…Gasparilla is an event that attracts visitors from all over the U.s. and has grown into the 3rd-largest parade in the country!
And then, let’s swoop in, shall we? We’ll start with the celebration for the kids and then movement into the BIG upshot…Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Keep scrolling because we also have TOP TIPS, parking info and MORE!
Children’southward Gasparilla Parade:
January 21, 2023
The Children’due south Gasparilla Parade Twenty-four hour period consists of family unit-friendly and kid-orientated activities, followed past a parade along Bayshore Blvd. You’ll discover it unremarkably referred to as the “Kids Parade” (although it’southward grown to exist more merely a parade) this event always occurs a week before the main “adult” Gasparilla pirate invasion and parade.
The Children’s Gasparilla Parade provides a family-friendly, alcohol-free environment for families to see over a hundred floats, collect thrown beads, engage in a preschooler stroll or a wheel safety rodeo.
The parade is celebrating its 76th anniversary and will include over 125 units such as krewes, school groups, local organizations, and more than.
Information technology will besides feature a Gasparilla Air Invasion with planes, skywriters, and precision jumpers taking flight day and night.
The Piratechnic fireworks finale will take identify with the Jose Gasparilla center stage filled with lights, cannons, and fireworks.
Become your family Gasparilla-ready with
The Best Places in Tampa to Buy Gasparilla Outfits and Beads.
Booze is prohibited along the parade route. For detailed info on the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, check out Tampa Bay Parenting’southward detailed manufactures on the all-time way to relish this family-friendly event for kids of all ages!
NEW for 2023! Children’s Gasparilla Sensory Relief Zone
For the starting time fourth dimension in parade history, the Urban center’s Autism Friendly Tampa Advisory Group, Carte du jour-USF and Sunrise Group will offer a sensory relief zone to children and families during the Ashley Children’s Gasparilla Presented by Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay. This area will provide a valuable sensory suspension for those who may become overwhelmed with crowds, sights or sounds. The tent is located at the southwest corner of Barcelona Street and volition only be for Children’s Gasparilla. (Delight notation this service is unavailable at Gasparilla Pirate Fest on one/28/23.)
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Mayor’s Raid
(2023 Date TBD)
12 pm at Lykes Gaslight Park, 241 E Madison St, Tampa
Steely-eyed warriors from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla’south elite Plunder-Team Ten Special
Operations Unit infiltrated Tampa’southward outer defenses. They swept into City Hall, presenting the Mayor with a dire warning letter of the alphabet from their Helm, Peter Lackman.
The letter, signed in blood, commands that Mayor Jane Castor meet with Helm Lackman at high noon in downtown Tampa to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the urban center and avert a lengthy and costly boxing. The letter of the alphabet farther indicates the Pirates are threatening to concur hostage an International Treasure, revered by 31 powerful dynasties and recognized by the chiliad title of “Lord.”
At eleven:30, Pirates will arrive (noisily) in downtown Tampa via float, on the due west side (Tampa Street) of Lykes Gaslight Park. This event is free and open to the public.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest:
January 28, 2023
This is the Large Bargain – THE Gasparilla outcome that put Jose Gaspar (and maybe Tampa Bay) on the map, so to speak! The Gasparilla Pirate Fest takes identify on Saturday, January 28 2023. Sponsored by Seminole Difficult Rock Casino, Gasparilla Pirate Fest features the 105th Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest Events:
The Gasparilla Parade of Pirates:
“Make manner, Mateys!” The iv.5-mile parade volition make its way downwards historic Bayshore Blvd. and into downtown Tampa and volition boast over 140 units including over 103 floats, 5 marching bands, over 50 krewes and the YMKG pirates!
Pirate Fest Presented by Bud Low-cal Seltzer:
10am – 8:00pm forth Tampa Riverwalk. Stages in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and MacDill Park will feature both pre-and post-parade live entertainment, inviting guests to enjoy their stroll forth Tampa’s renowned waterfront.
Related: Jump to Gasparilla Survival Tips
Gasparilla Invasion Brunch
ix:30am-1pm at the Tampa Convention Middle
The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch provides the best view of the historic Gasparilla Invasion. The pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla sheet upwardly Seddon Channel aboard the
accompanied by a imperial flotilla and dock tableside at 1 pm at the Tampa Convention Center. The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch includes a buffet brunch with a cash bar and reserved tabular array seating.
Tickets are $140 per person. Children two years of historic period and nether do non demand a ticket, as long as they remain in the lap of an Adult Ticket holder at all times. Children must have a ticket if they will be occupying a seat. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Gasparilla Invasion
11:30am – ane:00pm at the Tampa Convention Heart
The world’s only fully rigged pirate ship, the
Jose Gasparilla, will set canvas from the south end of Hillsborough Bay. Shouts of “Land, ho!” will ring out from the ship, once it magically appears, poised to invade and conquer Tampa (just in a friendly mode, of course). To defend itself, Tampanians will launch a defending flotilla of ships, boats and watercraft of all kinds to defend the city and stop the pirate invasion. Yous’ll see over a thousand boats and watercraft of every kind in the water along Hillsborough Bay every bit they prepare to meet the invading pirates. Upon docking the
at the Tampa Convention Eye at 1pm, the Mayor will surrender the Key to the Metropolis of Tampa into the hands of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla’s Captain Peter Lackman.
Although in years past, boaters take thrown beads to those on land, this year may look a bit different. Tampa Mayor, Jane Brush, and community organizers are relaunching “Bead Free Bay” every bit a way to help marine animals by keeping plastics out of the h2o. But don’t fret – you lot’ll have plenty of chances to take hold of some loot at the actual parade after that day!
Related: We reply the question “What is Gasparilla” hither!
The best place to view the invasion is on a boat in the invasion. Other great spots are along the downtown waterfront – check out
on Harbour Island,
The Sheet and Tampa’due south Riverwalk, and of grade the
itself – simply exist prepared for the crowds!
If yous can snag an invite to a political party on Harbour Isle or Davis Isle, that’s a corking bet too equally the ships all pass with yards along the Seddon Aqueduct heading to the Convention Center. Many parties begin in the downtown Tampa loftier rises – which have stellar views of the water and provide a true birds-middle view of the invasion.
Gasparilla Parade of Pirates
2pm starting at Bayshore Blvd at Bay to Bay Blvd
Having again successfully invaded Tampa, the Pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla gloat with a parade downward Bayshore Blvd. The parade features more 140 units of krewes, floats, marching bands, and social organizations.
Participating groups gather on Bayshore Blvd between Bay to Bay and Gandy to join their
grouping of merry pirates on a four.5 mile-long march along Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard to
celebrate their victory. Beads, coins, and other Gasparilla treasures are tossed into an
excited crowd of more than than 200,000 visitors and locals as pirates share their booty.
2023 Grand Marshal and Customs Hero – TBD
Each year, YMKG announces a Grand Marshal and Customs Hero. “When nosotros look for a Chiliad Align or Community Hero, nosotros aim to observe someone or something that reflects the same excitement, force, and passion for community that nosotros hold honey,” said Helm Peter Lackman of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.
2023’s Grand Align and Customs Hero is still TBD. Terminal year, the two-time NFL world champions,
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, served as Thou Marshal for this year’s outcome.
Jalem Robinson, CEO and Founder of the Tampa-based nonprofit, Brothers United Building Brothers Brotherhood (B.U.B.B.A.), was selected as this year’s honorary Community Hero.
Important tips to know before you go!
Booze and Safety
The City of Tampa has established temporary wet zones along the parade road. These moisture zones are the but prophylactic places to swallow booze.
Unofficially, the many law enforcement officers working the parade tend to exist pretty cool as long equally you’re cool and respectful.
- If you’re underage, don’t beverage; the police force can and do make underage drinking arrests every yr.
- Exist respectful of your surroundings and please employ the provided porta-potties.
- Don’t take glass, don’t bring coolers, don’t bring weapons, etc. Check out the City of Tampa’s Gasparilla Prophylactic Page for more info.
The non-water side of Bayshore Blvd. are by and large open up to the public, whereas big chunks of the water side of Bayshore are restricted and reserved for private paid seating or viewing areas, corporate tents, and these areas are express access to the public.
Reserved seats can be purchased, some of which include things like bar and food access, private porta-potties, etc. from Gasparilla Treasures.
With almost a million people descending on a 4.five-mile road, at that place’southward barely whatever room for people to move, much less park tens of thousands of cars. All-time bet is to not park if possible. Catch a hotel, carpool, Uber/Lyft, jitney, etc.
(Need assist finding a Gasparilla hotel? We item some slap-up Gasparilla hotel options for you!)
If yous but must bulldoze and park, allow ample time to go far to your destination and secure parking. Below we’ve outlined some available event parking options:
Tampa Convention Eye Garage
(Tampa St & Brorein St) volition open at seven:00am at a rate if $15/vehicle
Ft Brooke Garage
(Whiting St betwixt Franklin St & Florida Ave) will open at seven:00am at a rate of $xv/vehicle
(Ashley St south of Cass St) volition open at 7:00am at a rate of $15/vehicle. Due to the parade road, this garage will be closed to the public from 1pm-6pm.
For a full list of parking options, click hither.
Head to the City of Tampa’s site here defended to all things parking and road closures for Gasparilla.
Gasparilla Survival Tips
By Haley Ward & Sarah Stoulil
The last weekend in Jan is a big one for the metropolis of Tampa Bay. People from all over come to gloat the pirate invasion of Jose Gaspar and his crew. About 300,000 people make their manner to Bayshore Boulevard for the chief parade of Gasparilla in the afternoon after a morn full of mimosas and rum filled drinks. With so many people coming to boondocks from exterior the Bay, in that location is e’er leap to be anarchy. Fifty-fifty those who have been to the parade for years make rookie mistakes on the big day. Brand sure you make it through the day (at least to subsequently the parade). ~ “It’southward not a race, it’s a marathon”
Start Early on
If you really want to get the full Gasparilla Feel, start early! The invasion starts at 11:30 in the morning with the parade to follow and various parties happening throughout the day. With all that parting y’all are going to need to start with a hearty brunch to help you lot terminal through the day. It’south also a expert idea to travel well before the festivities begin. Traffic will start getting crazy as early on every bit nine a.m. and will not wearisome down throughout the day. You may not be able to park close to your final destination so leave extra fourth dimension to either a) find parking, or b) walk to your destination. And as they say “you can’t party all day if you don’t starting time in the morning time!”
The weather for this years parade is going to be COLLLLLLD by Florida standards. So bundle upwardly and layer, layer, layer! It’south the wind that will make it feel even colder, and then a winter chapeau and gloves might fifty-fifty come in handy. It is important to protect your peel and your eyes throughout the day. I recommend carrying effectually a little travel sized sunscreen, a chapeau (preferably pirate themed), and sunglasses just in case the sun does join the states for the day.
Almost every bar in South Tampa hosts a “Kegs and Eggs” consequence in the morning. Breakfast is a big deal the morning of Gasparilla, merely people tend to forget well-nigh food throughout the rest of the day once they have had a few drinks and their necks are filling up with beads. Information technology is important to take a few snacks on hand or money for food as yous make your manner to and from the parade.
Where To Park and Stand
If you are looking for a spot to catch a lot of chaplet, endeavor to get to the parade early and stand at the beginning. Park by MacDill or Howard and walk to where the parade starts its course for slap-up views and lots of treasure. Park in Ybor or Channelside if you’re into the crazier side of Gasparilla. You can take the trolley from where you lot parked to the parade to catch the stop of the almanac parade.
The Bathroom Situation
In that location are plenty of port-o-lets staged along the parade route…but they’re nonetheless port-o-lets. We highly recommend bringing paw sanitizer and/or sanitizing hand wipes. Some pirate pros as well bring their own curlicue of toilet newspaper which is actually genius because many of the port-o-lets run out. A face mask is a good idea too–have information technology handy anyway for super crowded situations because who wants Covid and who wants to smell the full event of a port-o-let? Ew. It’s gross, but is what it is. At least you’ll be prepared.
“It’southward e’er a adept thought to bring posters, poster board or even a white board to write down your favorite krewe names as they pass you by on the parade route. It will give you the upper hand on more than beads and even the potential for special beads, bracelets, or special gifts”
Should I Travel past Boat?
If you are planning to travel by boat there are a few things to consider. Starting time of all, know it will be extremely crowded. When the invasion starts out in the bay you will accept your share of space, however if you remember yous are going to come into the channel and dock – you are sorely mistaken. Program to stay on your boat for the elapsing of the invasion and return trip back to your docking location. Docking in downtown is extremely limited and most likely will not exist an option. (Plan accordingly for restroom breaks – take them when you tin can.) Likewise be enlightened that the invasion is heavily monitored by law enforcement, boating regulations practice utilise and a designated driver should exist appointed. All together beingness a role of the invasion and celebrating by boat is a great experience and a preferred way to savour Gasparilla. But be prepared for the reality when the big day hits!
Have Cash on Hand
If you plan to eat a a restaurant, have pre-purchased tickets to an event, or don’t program to purchase annihilation you should be fine with out it. Withal, information technology’s a adept idea to have greenbacks on hand as Clemency Beer Gardens and Event Vendors accept cash only! There will exist ATM’s throughout the parade route to help you lot out, however nosotros would suggest having information technology ahead of time.
More Gasparilla Themed Events Coming in February and March 2023:
- Nighttime Sant’Yago Knight parade in Ybor – February 11, 2023
- Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic, February 25-26, 2023
- Gasparilla Festival of the Arts – March 4-5, 2023
- Gasparilla International Film Festival March 23-26, 2023
- GMF: Gasparilla Music Festival – TBD
*Written in collaboration with our media partners at TampaBayDateNightGuide.com.