“Land, ho! Hoist the
mizzen ‘n’ set
sail for Tampa!”
Shouts from the legendary pirate Jose
Gaspar and his band of marauding buccaneers will ring out across
the waters of Hillsborough Bay as they return to invade the
City of Tampa.
On Saturday, January 31st, at 11:30 a.m., the world’s
only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, will
magically appear at the south end of Hillsborough Bay. A multitude
of pleasure crafts, all intent on defending the city, will boldly
sail forth to meet the ship. But quickly seeing the error of their
ways, they turn to join forces with the Captain and his Krewe’s
flotilla. The colorful Gasparilla Flotilla then makes its way north
across Hillsborough Bay and into Seddon Channel (channel between
Davis Island & Harbour Island). The Gasparilla Invasion has
Amidst a volley of cannon
fire, the City is defenseless.
In this annual re-enactment of Tampa’s historic pirate invasion,
the Gasparilla Flotilla – led by the Jose Gasparilla teeming
from bow to stern and capstan to crow’s nest with swashbuckling
YMKG pirates – creates a spectacular sight as she heads up
Seddon Channel towards downtown Tampa. When the Jose
Gasparilla docks at the Tampa Convention Center (at
1 p.m.), the Mayor will surrender the Key to the City of Tampa
into the hands of the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.
the Key to the City in their hands, the jolly Krewe will launch
their victory celebration in the Parade of the Pirates down Bayshore
This event is free to the public.