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Gasparilla Pirate Fest, the 3rd largest parade in the US, could bring 300,000 revelers to Tampa

a fleet of ships guided by a large pirate ship sails in tampa
Photo via Gasparilla

It’s Gasparilla season in Tampa. The pirates are readying to take over the city and visitors from across the state of Florida are ready to experience this wild celebration. This Saturday, 300,000+ revelers are expected to head to Tampa to party like pirates.

Here’s your quick guide to the Gasparilla Parade, fireworks displays, waterfront concerts, and more. You can of course learn a bit more about the event on the official Gasparilla website. This is just one of many major events happening in Tampa in 2024.


We also highly recommend you walk/bike, use Uber/Lyft, or utilize public transit if you plan on attending the event. Parking will be extremely limited downtown, and we imagine traffic will be a bit backed up. If you are driving, the organizers have created a Gasparilla parking map to help guide you.

a large pirate shit is bathed in pink lights at night
Photo via Gasparilla
multiple people dressed like pirates
Photo via Gasparilla

Saturday, January 27: The Pirate Invasion

The official Gasparilla Pirate Festival is set for Saturday, January 27, and runs from 9am-10pm with brunches, parades, concerts, and more revelry.

10am-1pm: Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at Tampa Convention Center (333 S Franklin Street) (purchase tickets)
11:30am-1pm: Gasparilla Invasion
2pm-5:30pm: Gasparilla Parade of Pirates
10am-8pm: Gasparilla Pirate Fest Stage Performances


You can see a full breakdown of events, and find parking info on the official Gasparilla website.

“Land Ho!” The legendary Jose Gasparilla arrives in style on Saturday, January 27, sailing into the Tampa Convention Center basin along with a magnificent flotilla of hundreds of vessels and the notorious pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. 

The excitement is palpable when the ship docks at precisely 1pm, and the Captain meets the Mayor of Tampa to make his final demand for the key to the city. It’s a thrilling spectacle that you won’t want to miss.

spectators wave a large pirate flag while enjoying a parade
Photo via City of Tampa

Experience live music all day on the Tampa waterfront

The merry pirates have once again conquered the city with a triumphant invasion, and now it’s time to celebrate. Join the Krewe as they march down Bayshore Blvd for a victory parade that follows a 4.5-mile journey along the beautiful Hillsborough Bay through downtown Tampa. 

Dance along to live music presented by Bud Light and 101 N. Meridian. Gasparilla Pirate Fest features stages with live entertainment before and after the parade at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (at Ashley Drive and Twiggs Street) and MacDill Park (at Ashley Drive and Whiting Street).

Music will be performed at both waterfront parks from 10am-8pm.

Ybor City trolley in the middle of a street
The Tampa Streetcar departs its Centro Ybor station | Photo by Andrew Harlan

HART makes traversing Tampa easy

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) will operate extra streetcar and bus service to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated passengers on Saturday, January 27, for the third-largest parade in the United States. The HART Gasparilla Service Map is currently available online.

The Tampa Streetcar is also a free service, and can get you from Historic Ybor City to downtown Tampa for the celebrations. For parking in Ybor City, Station #2 (Centro Ybor) is your best bet for the event with Stations #3 and #4 CLOSED until 3pm. A FREE bus shuttle will be provided.

Traveling from outside Ybor City and Downtown? An all-day bus pass is $4, which may be purchased in advance at HART retail outlets or onboard buses on Gasparilla Day with contactless debit, credit card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, cash (no change provided) or via the Flamingo Fares app. Passengers may also use their monthly bus pass. This fare does not cover City of Tampa parking fees.

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