General Gasparilla FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, all vendors for 2024 Gasparilla festivities must submit for consideration through the official application process. Please see the vendor inquiry page. Persons trying to operate a vending location without an official Gasparilla vending permit will be shut down and removed from the event footprint by city Code Enforcement.
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and EventFest strictly manage the Children’s Gasparilla presented by Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay and Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest. For more information on any other local event, please visit their website.
Yes, Gasparilla is a FREE community event with over 100 years of history in Tampa Bay. Reserved seating is available for the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, the Children’s Gasparilla Parade and the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates. Visit the Gasparilla Treasures page for information.
Beer and Wine is for sale and can be purchased at one of several Gasparilla Charity Beer Gardens located throughout the event. You must be 21+ and you must present a valid photo ID. 100% of the net revenue supports local Tampa Bay area charities. PLEASE NOTE: Outside food or beverage is NOT permitted. Coolers are also not permitted on the parade route.
There are mobile ATMs located throughout the parade route.
Unless officially licensed and approved by the Event, banners and signs are prohibited. Police, event security and event staff will remove banners and signs that are not approved. These items will not be returned to the owner. No banners or signs may be placed on the Bicycle Rack or fence that lines the parade route, as it interferes and blocks the view of the parade.
Bicycles are allowed for transportation to the event site, however within the event street closure cyclists must walk with their bikes. The event site is very crowded with pedestrians, including small children. Do not leave your bicycle unattended and do not lock to private or city property.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest is managed and promoted by EventFest, Inc. If you can’t find the answer to your Gasparilla Pirate Fest question on the website, please contact us.
• (813) 251-8844
• Monday – Friday, 9:00 A.M.- 5:00 P.M. EST
• EventFest, Inc. / Attn: Gasparilla Pirate Fest / 1200 W. Cass Street, Suite 110 Tampa, FL 33606
For reserved tickets, please visit Gasparilla Treasures Web Shop.
Please click HERE to fill out the media credential application.
Gasparilla is one of the largest community celebrations in the country, and remains a free event thanks to the support of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the Event’s corporate sponsors. If you are interested in supporting Tampa’s historic celebration, please submit the information found on the Sponsor Inquiry page.
Ashley Children’s Gasparilla Presented by Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay
There are a limited number of free parking spaces at Howard and Palm Drive, available on a first-come, first-served basis. A disabled parking permit is required. This area is monitored by the Tampa Police Department. Note: There are no seats or bleachers in this reserved area.
A designated parade viewing area for patrons with disabilities is located directly at Howard Ave and Bayshore Blvd. To ensure accommodations for as many patrons with disabilities as possible, the number of guests per patron with a disability is limited to three people. Note: There are no seats or bleachers in this reserved area.
Patrons with disabilities can also enjoy reserved parade seating sections along Bayshore Blvd. To order, visit GasparillaTreasures.com or call 813.251.8844. Please notify your ticket representative of any special needs.
The FREE Jolly Roger Trolley is a wheelchair-accessible option for transportation to and from the beginning of the parade. The Jolly Roger Trolley picks up at the corner of Platt and Bayshore and transports guests to Bay to Bay Blvd and the Crosstown Expressway on-ramp, just 1.5 blocks west of Bayshore Blvd. The Trolley runs continuously from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Children’s Gasparilla event day.
Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Parking is available for a fee. There is a free parade viewing area for patrons with disabilities located in downtown Tampa on event day. A limited number of parking spots are located in the Fort Brooke Garage on a first-come, first-served basis. A disabled parking permit is required. This area is monitored by the Tampa Police Department.
A parade viewing location for patrons with disabilities is available at the intersection of Ashley Drive and Whiting Street. Note: There are no seats or bleachers in this reserved area.
To ensure accommodations for as many patrons with disabilities as possible, the number of guests per disabled patron is limited to three people.
Patrons with disabilities can also enjoy reserved parade seating sections along Bayshore and at the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center. To order, visit GasparillaTreasures.com or call 813.251.8844. Please notify your ticket representative of any special needs.
Please visit the City of Tampa’s special events website for additional information.
Docking space in and around downtown Tampa for Gasparilla is extremely limited. Boaters attempting to “come ashore” along the Bayshore Boulevard balustrade or any other property without a permit are strictly prohibited.
The Children’s Gasparilla annually features one of the largest fireworks presentations in the country – The “Piratechnic” Finale. This show is launched from barges centered off of the intersection of Howard and Bayshore in South Tampa. The show is choreographed to music –which can be heard over speakers at show center.
There are over 100 Food, Beverage and Novelty vendors located throughout the event site for your convenience. We ask that you support our officially licensed vendors, as they contribute a portion of their revenue to offset the production costs of this great community celebration. Outside food or beverage is NOT permitted. Coolers are also not permitted on the parade route.
Glass containers and coolers are not permitted for safety reasons. Glass containers are prohibited by the City of Tampa ordinance, and coolers are a safety hazard in large crowds. Grills, other than those owned by official food vendors, are prohibited within the event site. Do not use or bring styrofoam cups/containers to the event.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest is the last Saturday in January. The Children’s Gasparilla is the next to last Saturday in January, and the week prior to the Gasparilla Pirate Fest.
Future Event Schedule:
January 20, 2024 – Children’s Gasparilla
January 27, 2024 – Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Boats larger than 65’ in length must have dock space secured and must also be permitted to participate in the Gasparilla Invasion of the Pirates, presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. For more information, call the Krewe’s office at (813) 251-4500 in Tampa.
Boaters should download the USCG regulations HERE.
Are there any boating safety rules, regulations and/or guidelines for Gasparilla?
Yes! About 40 law enforcement vessels will be on the water, including boats from the Coast Guard, Tampa Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Hillsborough County and Pinellas County sheriff’s offices.
PLEASE HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER ON YOUR BOAT. Impaired boaters will have their vessel towed unless there is someone onboard who can operate it.
Heightened boating regulations in place during Gasparilla include:
Personal watercraft and vessels without motors are barred from the invasion and along the invasion route, which is an idle-speed, no-wake zone. Anchoring and loitering is prohibited along the route or within the Seddon Channel turning basin. Northbound vessels longer than 80 feet without mooring arrangements are prohibited from entering Seddon Channel between 9:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.
A staging area has been established for participating vessels just east of Ballast Point and the Tampa Yacht Club. Only registered participants can enter the area from 9 a.m. until the last vessel in the flotilla leaves the zone. Vessels are barred from the zone from 1 to 2 p.m. Anyone seeking latitudes and longitudes for safety and security zones can call the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office at (727) 824-7598.
Insurance requirements will not allow golf carts within the event site unless licensed and permitted by the festival office. Only golf carts used by authorized festival staff and vendors will be granted permits. Authorized event golf carts cannot and will not be used to transport unauthorized individuals.
Click here for a List of Krewes
Lost children should be reported to and/or turned over to the nearest police officer. The officer will contact Event Police Command and all officers on site have contact with Event Police Command.
Onsite, lost items may be turned over to the nearest police officer or to any Event Staff at the event. After the event, lost items may be retrieved by calling the Gasparilla Ticket office in Tampa 813-251-8844.
After the event, lost items may be retrieved by calling the Gasparilla Ticket office in Tampa 813-251-8844.
Due to safety concerns, it is strongly advised that event guests get to their seats early, and cross Bayshore prior to the start of the Parade. Event guests with Reserved Parade Seating may be allowed to cross Bayshore at Reserved Parade Seating gates and ONLY when there is a break in the parade lineup as permitted by the gate security officer. Gate security will escort guests across the street ONLY when allowed by Police / Sheriff officers.
IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EVENT IF YOU ARRIVE LATE AND CANNOT GET TO YOUR SEATS DUE TO THE PARADE HAVING ALREADY STARTED
The lineup for the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates is released by the Gasparilla Parade Committee in mid-January each year. This line-up will be available on the Event site.
The Gasparilla Parade Committee reviews all applications and selects all the participants for the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates each year. The application deadline is in October prior to the event. For an application, please contact the Gasparilla Parade Committee at (813) 251-4500.
If you are interested in participating in the Children’s Gasparilla Parade, please visit the APPLICATION page for information and to download the official application.
If you are interested in performing on one of the Pirate Fest stages, please submit your demo kit to EventFest via mail, Attn: Gasparilla Pirate Street Festival, 1200 West Cass Street, Suite 110 Tampa, FL 33606. Or, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the size of the event, pets (with the exception of animals assisting the handicapped) are prohibited at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest.
Unless licensed, permitted and identified in writing by Event Staff, the following items are prohibited within the event site:**
• Outside food or beverage
• No styrofoam cups or containers
• Advertising of any product or service
• Glass containers of any sort (City Ordinance)
• Coolers – Note: Small soft-sided cooler and lunch bags are permitted for childcare needs and medical needs only.
• Contests or lotteries of any kind
• Grills of any kind
• Tents of any sort
• Fence, stakes or rope (used by spectators to reserve space for • parade viewing)
• Sampling or give-away of any product or service
• Selling any product or service
• Solicitation or database development of any kind
• Vehicles of any sort
• Weapons of any sort
• Illegal drugs of any sort
Yes, in 2007, Gasparilla Pirate Fest went “Green” with the help and support of Anheuser Busch Recycling, the City of Tampa Solid Waste and EventFest, Inc.. Look for specially marked recycling containers throughout the event and help Gasparilla go “Green.”
Port-o-lets are located throughout the event site: along the parade route on both sides of the street, near all reserved seating sections, and in downtown at the Pirate Street Fest.
Information on the street closures and the parking and traffic plan for the Gasparilla event is best found via the City of Tampa’s Special Event Office website by CLICKING HERE, or by calling 813-274-8750.
The Florida Department of Transportation encourages travelers to use the 511 Traveler Information System before hitting the road to stay up-to-date on crashes, congestion and construction along their route. The 511 system provides information on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and other major metropolitan roadways, including those traveling near Gasparilla Pirate Fest.
For real-time traffic updates, travelers can call 511 toll free, visit FL511.com, download the free 511 mobile app on Apple App Store or Google Play, or follow FL511 on Twitter.
Yes, strollers are allowed. In reserved seating sections, strollers must be stowed under the bleachers or in a non-obstructive area on ground level.
Yes. Returning this year, the City’s Autism Friendly Tampa Advisory Group, CARD-USF, and Sunrise Group will offer a sensory relief zone to children and families during the Ashley Children’s Gasparilla Presented by Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay. This area will provide a valuable sensory break for those who may become overwhelmed with crowds, sights, or sounds. The tent is located at the southwest corner of Barcelona Street and will only be for Children’s Gasparilla. (Please note this service is unavailable at Gasparilla Pirate Fest on 1/27/24.)
Tents of any kind or reserving an area with rope or fencing is strictly prohibited. You may “reserve” viewing space along the parade route in designated areas by arriving early (any time after dawn) and physically occupying the desired space. You are welcome to bring a chair or blanket.
All vendors must follow the official application process. Please see the Vendor Inquiry page. Persons trying to operate a vending location without an official Gasparilla vending permit will be shut down by city Code Enforcement.
If your group is interested in being notified about volunteer opportunities, please email email@example.com.
The pirates will invade and the parade will march on even in the rain! However, if there is a dangerous weather situation during the event, that threatens the safety of Gasparilla participants or guests, EventFest, in coordination with Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, reserves the right to cancel the parade.