The 2010 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest is scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2010, in Tampa and will feature the historic Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the Gasparilla Pirate Fest Street Festival.
Gasparilla was first held in May 1904 in Tampa Bay, but the invasion originated on horseback instead of by boat. In years past, a U.S. Navy ship would be attacked by small boats throwing Cuban bread and black bean soup! Today pirates sail the Gasparilla Ship through Tampa Bay, proceed to land in Downtown Tampa and “take over the city.” Historically, Gasparilla was held on the second Monday of February until 1988, when it was moved to a Saturday festival in February. This change allowed more local communities to take part in the celebration. In 2001 the event was moved to the last Saturday of January to coincide with Super Bowl XXXV weekend, since Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium was hosting the game that year. Since 2005 the event has been held on the first Saturday of February. In 2004, the event celebrated its 100th anniversary. The first ever Gasparilla Pageant, crowning queens and kings of all ages to represent the celebration, was produced by local ad girl Stephanie Sims and Aim Direct Media in 2007. This event crosses over the various Krewes and is a public event. Beginning in January 2008, an old tradition which ended in 1964 was revived. “The Gasparilla March Triumphant: The Return to the Sea” gives the event a sense of closure. During this ceremony, the Krewe’s pirates return the key to the mayor and board the Jose Gasparilla to return to sea. This tradition was revived as a way to officially end Gasparilla season.
About the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch:
About the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates:
Following another successful invasion by the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the focus shifts to beautiful Bayshore Boulevard, where a victory parade begins at 2 pm at Bay to Bay and Bayshore. The 4.5 mile Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates, which has been presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla annually since 1904, winds its way along Hillsboro Bay into downtown Tampa, with over 140 units – featuring approximately ninety (90) floats, marching bands and over fifty (50) participating social organizations (i.e. krewes). The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates will travel a new route into downtown Tampa in 2010. The Parade will cross into downtown over the Brorein Street Bridge, turn north on Ashley Drive and end at Cass Street and Ashley Drive in the new Cultural Arts District in downtown Tampa.
About the Gasparilla Pirate Fest Street Festival:
About Gasparilla Reserved Tickets:
Reserved Gasparilla bleacher seating tickets are $30 per person (tax included). For additional information or to purchase Gasparilla Invasion Brunch, Gasparilla Parade tickets and/or officially licensed Gasparilla merchandise, please visit GasparillaPirateFest.com and click on the “Tickets ‘n’ Treasures” link to be directed to the Gasparilla shopping cart. Tickets can also be ordered over the phone by calling EventFest’s Gasparilla Ticket Reservation Line at (813) 251-8844. A ticket representative will be available between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Reserved seating for the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch and Parade is limited, and has been relocated in many areas for the 2010 event. All reserved tickets are assigned in the order they are received, therefore guests should order their reserved tickets early to best accommodate any seating preference they request.