2008 News Archive - Holidays - Walk the plank at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest

21 06 2007

In January of 2008, Tampa will be invaded by pirates during the annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

This popular festival, which originated in 1904, regularly draws crowds in excess of 500,000.

The festival sees an armada of "pirate" ships invade Tampa, led by the impressive 164 foot tall Jose Gasparilla.

After sailing from the south end of Hillsborough Bay, the ships cruise into the harbour, where the mayor of the town formally surrenders to them.

A huge parade, consisting of over 150 floats, then makes its way through the town centre, amid much drinking, dancing and general merriment.

Beginning at Bay to Bay Boulevard, the parade makes its way to the picturesque Platt Street Bridge and then continues down Channelside Drive, eventually ending at the Marion.

This vibrant party doesn't end until well after the sun has gone down.

Tampa itself has many attractions that will be sure to entrance even the most jaded visitor. These include the African Art Gallery and the Tampa Museum of Art.

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