What really happens at the Gasparilla celebration will be shared by four former mayors of Tampa in special free presentation, Gasparilla: Tall Tales & Scandalous Stories
Sandy Freedman, Dick Greco, Pam Iorio and Bob Martinez will present the panel discussion of Tampa's famous pirate celebration from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Friday in the Music Room of Plant Hall, University of Tampa. Boyd Wynne will moderate the discussion.
The event is in conjunction of a museum exhibit, Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition, which opens the same day in the Henry Plant Museum on the campus. It continues through Feb. 17.
The displays highlight pirate booty and things of beauty from the celebration, which began in 1904, and coronation robes, crowns, costumes and memorabilia, such as ball invitations and programs.
Among the gowns on display is a 1950s princess gown designed by Anne Lowe an African American fashion designer from Tampa. She also designed and made Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses.
Film footage from the 1920s, "Memories of Gasparilla Festivals" will be shown continuously. This footage, from the private collection of the Howell family, and has narrators who include John Boushall III, H.L. Culbreath Jr., Jerry E. Fogarty and George B. Howell III.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10, students and people 65 and over, $7; children ages 4 to 12, $5; and 3 and younger are free. For information, call (813) 258-7302.