Gasparilla pirate festival, one of the nation’s biggest parties

Tampa_pirate_festival Now that the Super Bowl's over, Tampa's really ready to party.

The Florida city hosts its annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest on Saturday. It's named for Jose Gaspar, a scalawag who once terrorized ships off the west coast of Florida.

Now, he's an excuse for a citywide party.

This is no "Ahoy maties" kiddy show. Expect something resembling Mardi Gras with a Blackbeard twist. A rousing parade, with nearly 100 floats and more than a dozen marching bands runs 2 to 5:30 p.m.  There are also parties galore.

The celebration was included in the recent book Party Across America, which covers the 101 best blowouts in the country. The author, Michael Guerriero, named the Tampa fete his absolute favorite.

"It's was amazing � 500,000 people, tons of great energy, incredible weather, people letting loose, and puffy pirate shirts of course."


  1. Jet Set Life

    Tampa is a great place and has a lot to offer its visitors. I’ll be sure to pass this on to my readers.

    February 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

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