Get Ready for Gasparilla 2019: A Guide to Tampa’s Popular Festival

The Parade of Pirates

Starting on January 20th, 2019, Gasparilla’s 2019 season will begin! Watch invading pirates march their way into downtown Tampa with their extravagant outfits. If you are looking for a change of pace, you can also check out live music performances that will be taking place in the surrounding area. Gasparilla remains one of the most popular festivals in Tampa, so take a few minutes and see what will be happening here.

Gasparilla Children’s Extravaganza

Melbourne, FL Sunset
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Stroll: 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. / Parade: 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Looking for a fun event to take the kids to? A week before the main Gasparilla event takes place, the Gasparilla Children’s Extravaganza will occur. This event will feature plenty of fun activities that are great for kids and their parents.

One notable event is the Children’s Parade, which will feature more than 100 different units, including floats, marching bands, and more. Younger children can take part in the Preschooler’s Stroll, a smaller parade that is designed specifically for them. You can also visit Gasparilla Treasures to shop for apparel, decorations, and many other fun items.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest & Parade

Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Event: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is one of the most popular events in Tampa’s history. This event consists of two main components: the Gasparilla Invasion and the Parade of Pirates. First, watch as José Gaspar and his crew invade the streets of Tampa. Following the invasion, see the pirates celebrate their victory by parading through the streets of the downtown area.

This is currently the third-largest parade in United States history, so it’s not hard to see why so many people come out to see it every year. Anyone can watch this event for free, but for an additional fee you can get reserved seats and get a better view of the action.

Gasparilla Jazzfest

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Event: 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

A new addition for Gasparilla 2019 is the 1st Annual Gasparilla Jazzfest, which will take place on Sunday, January 27th. Taking place at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, this family-friendly event will host an assortment of live performances throughout the day.

The event also hosts many food trucks and vendors, so feel free to do a little shopping. You can also get a VIP Brunch Ticket for $65 and take advantage of a fully catered buffet. Admission to the actual event is free, however, so feel free to stop by if you are a big fan of music.

Sant’Yago Illuminated Knight Parade

Illuminated Knight Parade

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Event: 4:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Gasparilla season continues two weeks later with the Sant’Yago Illuminated Knight Parade. Held in the historic Ybor City, this event is generally geared for an older audience. This parade is similar to the one at the Pirate Fest, but since the event takes place at night the floats are all illuminated.

Admission is free, though you are able to reserve bleacher seats for a price. Once the event is over, you can feel free to check out one of the many bars and nightclubs in the surrounding area.

Gasparilla Outbound Voyage

Pirate ship and sunset

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Event: 2:00pm – 10:00pm

Gasparilla Season comes to a close in early March, and will end off with the annual Gasparilla Outbound Voyage. Come out for one final celebration and watch as the pirates mark the end of the season with one final salute. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will also be attending.

Live music performances will be held at this event, and food will be supplied as well. As always, admission is free.

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