So set a course for Tampa, Florida, and be prepared for great fun and high adventure!
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual celebration held in the city of Tampa, Florida since 1904. Held each year in late January or early February and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate captain who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida. As of the 100th edition of the Gasparilla Festival in 2015 (it was cancelled during World Wars), the parade was the 3rd largest in the United States and had an economic impact of $23 million on Tampa’s economy.
Until the 1970s, the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates coincided with the Florida State Fair, which was held at Plant Field at the end of the traditional parade route. The close connection between the fair and Gasparilla ended in the 1970s, when the fair moved to a larger location just east of Tampa. However, the city still hosts many other Gasparilla-related events besides the main Parade of Pirates, including a children’s parade, a film festival, an arts festival, a road race, a music festival, and theSant’Yago Knight Parade in Ybor City.