Saturday was the best day in Tampa, not that I have an opinion about it or anything
Here in Tampa, we have a tradition called Gasparilla, where the pirates invade the city, and we all celebrate with a parade and way too much fun! It’s pretty much our version of Mardi Gras, just laced with pirates, cannons, and a whole lotta beads!
I started out the morning with an early run before all the fun started! We could not have asked for better weather, which provided an amazing sunrise!
Its so fun to see the “calm before the storm” of the parade – all of the floats getting ready, vendors prepping for the day, and the quite streets and bleachers that will soon be full to the brim with people.
How to have a successful Gasparilla
I have been to Gasparilla far more times than I can actually remember, and I am pretty sure I finally have it down pat! Here is how to make the most out the most fun day Tampa has to offer!
- Get a good nights rest and head down to the South Tampa area early! Parking becomes a big problem, and the streets become extremely congested! If you know someone, post up at their place for the morning. We live just a couple blocks from Bayshore, where the parade route is, so we are in prime location!!
- Don’t forget to get together with your friends, and all head to the same place!
- Wear your best pirate gear. Who doesn’t want to be a pirate for a day!?
- Don’t drink too much! It is easy to do – most people (I hope), do not start drinking in the morning on most days, and Gasparilla is an all day event. Its a marathon, not a sprint people
- Remember to get to the parade before it starts! If you have a ticket to the water side, the security will not let you pass after the parade has started. The crowds are intense!
- Now, to catch the most beads, there are a few very important things to remember!
- Scream and shout, with both arms extended to catch the person’s attention
- Make eye contact with the person throwing the beads
- It never hurts to taunt people around you on how you are way better at catching beads than they are!
- And say a quick thanks if you get that necklace! A thumbs up will do
- Don’t be in a rush once the parade is over. You will not be getting anywhere fast! Enjoy the people you are with and enjoy all the hard work of catching beads that has just paid off!
Gasparilla is truly an absolute blast! If you have never been to experience what Tampa has to offer as the pirates invade the city, I strongly recommend you marking your calendar for next year! You will not regret it!
Have you ever been to Gasparilla in Tampa!? Is there anything like this in your city? Any Mardi Gras fans out there?