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 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 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Macdill Park, and the night ends with bombastic fireworks.
- An estimated 300,000 people attend the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.
- The invasion 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 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.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Tampa here.
Where does the event take place?
In the heart of downtown Tampa. See a detailed description of the day’s movement here.
What’s the nearest airport?
Tampa International Airport, about 13 miles away.
Are any items prohibited?
No coolers or outside beverages are allowed, and tents, umbrellas, and bicycles are prohibited on the parade route.
What bands are playing Gasparilla Pirate Festival?
The lineup has not been announced at the time of this writing.
#Gasparilla on TikTok