Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Jane Castor Announce New Approach to Gasparilla’s Zero Tolerance Initiative

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WHAT: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, Ye Mystic Krewe Captain Philip Carroll, EventFest President Darrell Stefany and Pepin Distributing Company Director of Marketing Bill Gieseking remind parade goers about the zero tolerance campaign and the logistical changes for the Gasparilla Day Parade.

Tampa Police Officers will use a new city ordinance to enforce zero tolerance at this year’s Gasparilla Day Parade. The new law allows officers to issue citations for open containers instead of arresting individuals drinking alcohol outside the designated wet zones. Adults with open containers of alcohol in unauthorized areas will receive a citation: $75 for first offense, $150 for second offense, $300 for third offense and $450 for fourth offense.

The City of Tampa, Tampa Police Department and its education partners have launched an extensive campaign to remind the community of the zero tolerance policy at Gasparilla 2012. Tampa Police Officer Roy Paz is presenting the zero tolerance program to schools in Hillsborough County. The department sent a video of this presentation to all middle and high schools in Hillsborough County, University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and Stetson University College of Law. The video can be viewed on YouTube and the City of Tampa’s television station.

Education Campaign
• All households with a high school aged child received a recorded phone message from Mayor Buckhorn and Superintendent MaryEllen Elia advising parents of our zero tolerance policy.
• Public service announcements on local radio stations
• Digital billboards with zero tolerance policy posted throughout the Bay Area
• Posters at area businesses
• Parade goers can text “pirate” to 333222 to see the zero tolerance policy for Gasparilla from their smart phone

Alcohol can only be consumed in approved areas along the parade route and this will be strictly enforced. Please refer to the map for the alcohol zones. No drinking in the neighborhoods, on the way to the parade and ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERAGE DRINKING.

Educational Campaign Partners: Pepin Distributing, EventFest, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, Tampa Alcohol Coalition, Hillsborough County Schools, University of Tampa, Tampa Preparatory School, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Anheuser-Busch, Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office, MacDill Air Force Base

2011 Gasparilla Arrests- Total 342
Alcohol Arrests: 277
Under Age Drinking: 43
Disorderly Conduct:3
Fighting: 3
Drugs: 0
BUI: 10
Resist Arrest w/o Violence: 1
Battery on a LEO: 1
Grand theft auto: 1
DUI: 1
Trespass: 1
Obstruction: 1

2010 Gasparilla Arrests- Total 415
Alcohol Arrests: 367
Under Age Drinking: 9
Disorderly Conduct:11
Fighting: 13
Drugs: 10


• Street Closures - This is for the safety of the residents who live near the parade route and for parade goers. This also ensures emergency vehicles access to the parade route. There will be strict parking restrictions in place around the parade route – this will be clearly marked.
• Tickets/Towing Friday, January 27th
8 a.m. – noon: pink slip warnings
Noon – 10 p.m.: tickets
After 10 p.m.: towing
• Areas normally available for parking, may be designated as no parking areas for the parade (ESPECIALLY in residential areas)
• All road closures will be well marked
• There are plenty of parking options from downtown and Channelside garages or parking lots. Parade goers can also park in an Ybor City garage and take the street car trolley.


• Plan your day in advance. If you know where you’re going to park and your route, it can save you time.
• Once you arrive, pick a meeting place so if you become separated, you have a place to meet. Text your parking location to your phone as a reminder of where you parked.
• The Crosstown Expressway is a great route to take. There are convenient exits to the parade routes (beginning, middle and end)
• The parade route is a wet zone, you can drink alcohol, but only from the vendors selling along the parade route. Alcohol can only be consumed in approved areas along the parade route and this will be strictly enforced. No coolers, kegs or open containers are allowed. Absolutely no glass bottles.