Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2024

Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2024

JANUARY 27, 2024


The only fully-rigged pirate ship in the world storms Tampa for a street party invasion.

I’ll say it. Pirates are sexy. Ever since Captain Jack Sparrow gave us androgynous, wavy hilarity in 2003, we see the potential in pirates. Enter the pirate invasion: Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2024. What’s sexier than Tampa? Many things. But that doesn’t diminish the pure joy you feel when you look out at Hillsborough Bay to see a real-ass pirate ship, the legendary Jose Gasparilla, splattered head to toe in brightly colored flags, sail in through the Seddon Channel to “invade” the city of Tampa. Surrounded by a Flotilla of water-born party people, the Jose Gasparilla docks at the Tampa Convention Center, where the mayor symbolically gives up a big fake key to the city. To celebrate their victory, the rainbow clad pirates — called the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla — throw a massive 4.5 mile parade with 100 floats of beads and pirate-themed art. Yeehaw! I mean: Ahoy, bitch.

Then they pirate it up, krewes and attendees alike. Everyone’s dressed up in their best version of their best pirate to drink, dance and enjoy Tampa’s warm winter. Brunch is a fixture here: not only does the festival host their own brunch deal, but so do a number of other restaurants in the area. Before and after the parade, the Pirate Fest hosts musical acts along the Tampa Riverwalk at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Macdill Park, and the night ends with bombastic fireworks.

The Specs

  • An estimated 300,000 people attend.
  • The invasion starts Gasparilla season and is free to the public. Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2024 offers different tickets, including the 2024 Gasparilla Pirate Fest Invasion Brunch Experience for $148, which offers a fully catered lunch, entertainment, and a cash bar with an upfront view of the Flotilla from the deck of the Convention Center.
  • Other ticketing options for enjoying the Parade of Pirates include: Gasparilla Pirate Fest Bleacher Seats @ Barcelona and Bayshore Blvd. for $65-70. First Mate Seating @ Carolina and Bayshore for $73-78. First Mate Seating @ Rome and Bayshore for $73-78. Bleacher Seats @ Marina District (Near Verne and Bayshore) for $65-70. First Mate Seating @ Marina District Landside Seating is $73-78. 2024 Gasparilla Pirate Fest Scully Hospitality Experience for $175.
  • Here’s a map of the parade route for Davis Island.
  • Here is the road closures advisory for the parade.
  • Suggested alternate routes the day of the parade (including for Harbour Island).
  • Here is a history of Gasparilla pirate ship (Jose Gasparilla II).
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Tampa, Florida here.


Saturday, January 27
11:30am-1:30pm Gasparilla Invasion
2-6pm Gasparilla Parade of Pirates


#Gasparilla on TikTok


Where does Gasparilla 2024 take place?

In the heart of downtown Tampa. See a detailed description of the day’s movement here.

Where does the parade begin?

The third-largest parade in the country begins at Bayshore and Bay to Bay Boulevard and will end at Ashley Drive and Cass Streets.

What’s the nearest airport?

Tampa International Airport, about 13 miles away. 

How far is Orlando from the Tampa Bay area?

The distance between Orlando and Tampa is 78 miles.

It’s my first time attending. What should I expect?

It’s a sight. People of all ages will line Tampa Bay’s Bayshore Boulevard to watch krewes, more than 100 parade floats and marching bands.

Are any items prohibited?

No coolers or outside beverages are allowed, and tents, umbrellas, and bicycles are prohibited on the parade route.

How did the festival get its name?

Its named after fictional pirate Jose Gaspar, who, according to Florida folklore, terrorized the waters off West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

What bands are playing Gasparilla Pirate Festival?

The lineup has not been announced at the time of this writing.

Is the Children’s Gasparilla Parade the same as the Gasparilla Pirate Fest?

The Ashley Children’s Gasparilla Parade is different and held on January 20. The Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest is on January 27. The kid’s parade is alcohol-free and includes a preschooler stroll along with floats.

When is the Sant’ Yago Knight Parade?

It’s held in Ybor City, two weeks after the Parade of Pirates.

Who produces the event?

Special events company EventFest is one of the producers of the parade.

Where can I park for the parade?

Parking for Gasparilla is available in garages and on some streets in downtown Tampa. Here’s a rundown of some of the options:

  • Parking Garage at S. Florida Ave & Channelside Drive, opens at 8 a.m.
  • Tampa Convention Center Garage at Tampa St. & Brorein St., open 24 hours.
  • Fort Brooke Garage at Whiting St. between Franklin St. and Florida Avenue. It’s open 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • The Whiting St. Garage at N. Morgan Street is open from 8 am to 9 pm.
  • Selmon Expressway Downtown parking lots are open 8 am to 9 pm.
  • Royal Regional Lot at Tampa Street and Fortune Street is open 24 hours.
  • Scott Street Lot, located at Morgan St. and Scott St., open 24 hours
  • Poe Garage, located at N. Ashley Dr. and W. Cass St. – note- this garage is open 24 hours, but will shut down from 1 – 6 p.m. to accommodate the parade route.
  • Twiggs Street Garage, located at Twiggs St. west of Nebraska Ave., open 24 hours. Standard hourly rate with a $12 maximum
  • Centro Ybor Garage, located at 5th Ave. and 15 St., open 24 hours. Standard hourly rate with a $12 maximum
  • Palm Ave. Garage, located at 13th St. and 9th Ave., open 24 hours. Standard hourly rate with a $12 maximum.
  • For more parking options, see this doc from



BY Hannah Kent