TAMPA — Hundreds of pirates will scramble onto Tampa’s shores today for the annual Gasparilla invasion and parade.
They will plunder their way along Bayshore Boulevard beginning at 2 p.m. before dropping anchor downtown for the Pirate Fest.
Landlubbers may park downtown or in Ybor City and take a streetcar or bus to the parade route. Parking on neighborhood streets along the route is not allowed. For information about parking and road closures, go to www.gasparillapiratefest.com.
The weather will be chilly but pleasant. Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 30s this morning, climbing into the 60s in time for the parade.
Here’s the schedule:
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Jose Gasparilla pirate ship, accompanied by the flotilla, will sail across Hillsborough Bay, then north between Davis Islands and Harbour Island, before docking at the Tampa Convention Center. Once ashore, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla pirates will demand Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn hand over the key to the city.
2 to 5:30 p.m.: Catch some beads at the Parade of Pirates, which begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore boulevards and moves east along Bayshore toward Brorein Street, before turning onto Ashley Drive. The route ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. This year’s parade will feature more than 90 floats, 14 marching bands and 50 krewes.
10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: The merriment lasts all day downtown at the Pirate Fest Street Festival. The festival will have tons of grub and live entertainment.
For full coverage of the Gasparilla parade, go to tbo.com/gasparilla/.
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