Batten Down the Hatches! Gasparilla Pirate Invasion Sets Sail for Tampa

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Ahoy, Mateys! The City of Tampa is battening down the hatches in preparation for the annual Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of Pirates this weekend. Mayor Jane Castor successfully defended the key to the City from no-good Ye Mystic Krewe scallywags on Tuesday, but City Intel confirms they will be back this Saturday, January 25th.

Thousands of pirates are expected to visit Tampa for this beloved tradition, which is ranked as the 3rd largest parade in the US.

The Tampa Convention Center marks the spot for the annual Gasparilla Invasion, where pirates are expected to make landfall between 11:30AM – 1:00 PM. During the invasion, the pirates will demand the key to the City, but Mayor Castor vows they aren’t getting it without a fight!

Following the invasion, the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates takes place from 2-5:30 pm along Bayshore Boulevard. This parade will feature unique floats, beads, enthusiastic pirates, and other merriment, as the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla celebrates their takeover of the City of Tampa.

View a map of the Gasparilla parade route here.

To receive real-time Gasparilla updates, event info, and more, text GASPARILLA to 888-777. Standard message rates apply.

You can also find more information at


Traffic is expected to be heavier than usual around Tampa’s Downtown and Bayshore due to the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Drivers and pedestrians are advised to allow for extra travel time and review road closures here.

Pre-Pay parking: Know where to park your vessel ahead of time by clicking here to pre-pay for your parking.

Tampa Streetcar and HART: Park in Ybor and ride the Tampa Streetcar for FREE to Tampa’s Downtown. Stations #1 and #2 will be the only stations with service to the Gasparilla festivities. HART will also be operating free shuttles from stations #3 and #4 ($4 for an all-day pass). For more Gasparilla service tips, visit:

Lyft: Download the Lyft app to request ride-share service near Tampa’s Downtown and Bayshore Blvd. Use code 'CAPTAINMORGAN20' to get $20 off rides within 5 miles of Tampa's Downtown, brought to you by Captain Morgan. 

Uber: Uber will be offering ride-share service near Bayshore Blvd and Tampa’s Downtown. To request a ride, download the Uber app and walk outside the Gasparilla perimeter. 


Download the Spin, Bird, Jump (Uber), or Lime app to rent an e-Scooter. Please ride responsibly and park your e-scooter upright and away from pedestrian right-of-ways once your trip is complete. For ridership rules, visit

Coast Bikes: Download the HOPR app to rent a Coast Bike in and around Tampa’s Downtown. For more information, visit:  


Mayor Jane Castor wants YOU to join her krewe this Gasparilla with the Castor’s Krewe poster challenge! Parade-goers are invited to decorate their signs with “Castor’s Krewe” for a chance to catch the Mayor’s eye along the parade route—and possibly some special pirate booty too.

Posters should be fun, creative, and pirate-y to reflect the spirit of Gasparilla. Krewe members are also reminded to be courteous of fellow mateys, and don’t block their view with your sign. Pirates of all ages are invited to join the challenge and share their creations on social media using #CastorsKrewe

Download the Castor’s Krewe logo here:


Mayor Jane Castor and the City of Tampa would like to remind parade-goers that beads belong on the parade route and NOT in our City’s waterways. Not only is throwing beads in the water illegal, it’s also harmful to our marine wildlife and ecosystems.

To prevent beads from accidentally falling in the water, no-throw zones will be activated by the Tampa Convention Center and City docks.

Don’t get stuck walking the plank! Join the #BeadFreeBay movement to create sustainable city traditions and protect one of our greatest treasures, our waterfront!

Find graphics for the Bead-Free Bay campaign here:   

BROLL of water cleanup from the Florida Aquarium can be found here: b-roll you’ve requested:  

 BROLL of underwater drone footage from Green Gasparilla can be found here: 


Following the Gasparilla parade, City of Tampa crews will sweep the streets overnight. In addition, as part of Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow sustainability initiative, the City of Tampa is proud to support post-Gasparilla bead cleanups. Including:

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful: Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will host their annual After Gasparilla Cleanup on January 26th from 7:30am-11am. Click here for more information or to sign up to volunteer.

Next Level Dive Club: Next Level Dive Club will be hosting their 4th annual Gaspour Beads Clean-Up on February 2nd, 2020 from 7am-1:00 pm.

Green Gasparilla: Green Gasparilla is teaming up with the Florida Aquarium to host an underwater cleanup on February 15th.


The Tampa Police Department would like to remind parade-goers that if you see something, say something. Report suspicious activity to the closes police officer. Officers will be located along the parade route and throughout Tampa’s Downtown.

The City of Tampa would like to remind all event-goers to drink responsibly, and wishes all pirates and landlubbers a fun and safe Gasparilla season!

For more information, visit