World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 0.6 (150 votes)

Gasparilla Pirate Festival

Listed under Festivals in Saint Petersburg, United States.

  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
  • Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Photo of Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Photo by flickr user 55thstreet
Pin It

Piracy is in the blood and the family round these parts and it's something to be celebrated with glee – if the Gasparilla Pirate Fest people have anything to do with things, and they do. For this annual February festival was contrived to celebrate the legend of José Gaspar, or Gasparilla, who was a Spanish pirate who plied and tried his trade in these waters.

The festival is like a mini piratical invasion of the town, as the Jose Gaspar, this time a ship, docks in town and off it stream a crew of pirates who have the key to the city off the mayor (politely these days), and then have there fun – which is a lot like mardi gras, the crew becomes krews who ride floats though the streets throwing favours into the crowds.

Written by  Andrew Armour.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Gasparilla was first held in May 1904 in Tampa Bay, but the invasion originated on horseback instead of by boat. In years past, a US Navy ship would be attacked by small boats throwing Cuban bread and black bean soup. The Navy would respond with fire hoses but would succumb to the Ybor City Navy, and then surrender to the Alcalde of Ybor City. The sailors would be treated to an evening on the town. This was discontinued after the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, the invasion itself continues as "Capt. Jose Gaspar" and his crew of "Pirates" "attack" Tampa, surrounded by hundreds of other boaters as they sail the Gasparilla Ship through Tampa Bay, land in Downtown Tampa and "take over the city."

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Rio Carnival

    Carnival is a celebration of fun, music and frivolity held worldwide, but Rio Carnival is the biggest and the best known. More…

  • White Nights Festival

    During the summer months of May and June in St. Petersburg the city is so far north that the sun never quite sets, with both tw…

  • New Orleans Mardi Gras

    The New Orleans Mardi Gras Carnival reflects the party spirit of a city still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrin…

Nearby Experiences

  • Salvador Dali Museum

    The Salvador Dali Museum consists of an impressive collection of galleries at 1000 Third Street South in St. Petersburg, Florid…

  • Clearwater Beach

    Clearwater Beach stretches for three miles of white, sandy perfection. To complete the tropical picture, palm trees line the w…

  • Ice Yachting on the Hudson River

    More challenging than sledging, much faster than ice skating and considerably chillier than sailing, ice yachting may be an obs…

Related links

Contribute to this page