What Is the Gasparilla Festival?


Quick Answer

The Gasparilla Festival is an annual pirate festival that takes place in Tampa, Florida. The festival features a mock pirate invasion with a fully rigged tall pirate ship, a parade, multiple live concerts, as well as food and souvenir vendors. Admission to the invasion and parade events is free, while the live concerts have an admission fee.

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What Is the Gasparilla Festival?
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Full Answer

A main attraction of the Gasparilla Festival is its pirate invasion. In this event, the Jose Gasparilla, a fully rigged sailing ship in pirate regalia, sails up Tampa's Hillsborough Bay, firing several mock cannon volleys. Multiple private pleasure craft accompany the ship into the harbor, where it finally docks at the Tampa Convention Center. After docking, many of the Jose Gasparilla's pirate crew disembark and invade the city.

The pirate parade is the next event in the Gasparilla Festival after the invasion. General admission to the parade is free for the public, but event patrons can purchase reserved bleacher seats for the best views.

The street festival is the final part of the event. The street festival features multiple live music acts at various open-air venues throughout Tampa. In addition to the live music, numerous vendors line the streets. The street festival has both a general admission option and a more expensive VIP ticket option.

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