Each year in late January, Tampa celebrates the likely-fictional pirate Jose Gaspar by re-enacting his “invasion” of Tampa from the early 1880s. A band of pirates from the social group Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla – accompanied by a flotilla of hundreds of smaller boats – sails into the waters off downtown Tampa aboard the Jose Gasparilla, a 165-foot-long “pirate” ship. Upon receiving the pre-arranged “surrender” from Tampa city officials, the pirates stage a celebratory parade through downtown Tampa. There’s a series of other Gasparilla-related events that occur before and after the pirate invasion (including a night parade, children’s parade, running events and an art show), but the “victory parade” is the top attraction and is usually shown live on local TV.
January 25, 2020
The event is free but some related events require tickets.