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Gasparilla 2016

“Land, ho! Hoist the mizzen ‘n’ set sail for Tampa!” Gasparilla is back!

Signature Homes Of Campbell-Plummer & Merritt  has  all the must have info for

Gasparilla 2016!



WHEN: Friday January 29th, Gates open at 5pm

WHERE: Downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

WHAT: The Gasparilla Pre-Invasion Celebration presented by Budweiser. Live entertainment from The Hip Abduction will kick off the show at 6pm followed by Howie Day at 7pm and The Swon Brothers at 8pm. Proceeds will benefit the YMKG Community fund and Pepin Academies.

HOW MUCH: $20.00 (tax included) lawn seating tickets available exclusively from EventFest.

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WHEN: Saturday January 30, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Hillsborough Bay and into Seddon Channel between Davis Island & Harbour Island

WHAT: The world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, will magically appear at the south end of Hillsborough Bay. A multitude of pleasure crafts, all intent on defending the city, will boldly sail forth to meet the ship. But quickly seeing the error of their ways, they turn to join forces with the Captain and his Krewe flotilla. The Invasion has begun!

HOW MUCH: Free! Watch from Bayshore Blvd. or waterfront streets and venues in Downtown Tampa


WHEN: Saturday January 30th, 9:30 am

WHERE: Tampa Convention Center

WHAT: Enjoy a buffet brunch, live entertainment, and a cash bar all while you witness the city fall to the hands of Ye Mystic Krewe Of Gasparilla who will dock at your table side at 1pm. This is arguably the best view in the city.

HOW MUCH: Adult tickets start at $85.00, Child Tickets at $75.00, and are available online.


WHEN: SaturdayJanuary 30th, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore and travels a 4.5 mile route down Bayshore into downtown Tampa ending at Cass Street and Ashley Drive in the heart of the Cultural Arts District in downtown Tampa.

WHAT: After successfully capturing the Key to the City (once again), the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla celebrate with a victory parade featuring 103 floats, 3 marching bands and over fifty Krewes laden with beads and booty ripe for the taking


Pirate Parade Route

Want to know more about the pirate behind the parade?

Gasparilla got its name from the legendary Spanish pirate many claimed to be “the last of the buccaneers” José Gaspar,  also known by his nickname Gasparilla. Gaspar (1756-1821) is rumored to have roamed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from his base on the Southwest Florida Coast. There is no written record of Gaspar before the early 20th century and no physical evidence of his existence has ever been found so many say he is nothing but a popular figure of Florida Folklore. Nevertheless, the rich and engrossing details of Jose Gasparilla’s life and adventures have captivated Tampa Bay and it’s residents for the last century!

His origin is largely debated, but the most prominent story depicts Gaspar as a Spanish Nobleman whose high rank in the Navy gained him a position as Councillor to King Charles III. His popularity with the ladies at court became his downfall when a jilted lover brought false charges against him claiming he orchestrated the theft of the Spanish crown jewels. When King and Country turned against him, Gaspar commandeered a ship to escape arrest and flead to the virtually uninhabited western coast of Spanish Florida where he turned to piracy. Gaspar found he had quite the knack for plunder and pillage and he amassed a huge fortune during his scourge of the Gulf of Mexico. The year Spain sold the Florida Territory to America is coincidentally the same year Gaspar and his men met their violent end. While divvying up the treasure for retirement the crew spotted what they believed to be a British merchant ship ripe for the taking, only to be  fooled when on approach the British flags dropped to reveal the ship was in fact the famous pirate hunting schooner the USS Enterprise! During Battle Gaspar’s ship was riddled by cannon balls and his entire crew was lost. As a man of firm pirate principal instead of surrendering he wrapped his waist with the ship’s anchor and jumped into the gulf declaring that “Jose Gaspar would die by his own hand and not that of the enemy!” The USS Enterprise sailed on without the slightest clue of the massive treasure that lay hidden on the beach a stone’s throw away.

In 1904 a group of elite Tampa businessmen fascinated by the tale put on a mock invasion of the city posing as pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla come for Gaspar’s abandoned treasure. The event was a hit. Just a few years later came the first seaborne invasion in 1911, and it has been repeated ever since!