THE 2017 GASPARILLA PIRATE INVASION AND PARADE OF PIRATES FROM TAMPA
Ahoy, Matees! If you can't make it to Gasparilla this is the next best thing. You can follow all of the action from the Gasparilla Pre-Invasion to the Parade of Pirates along Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard on Jan. 28. Just scroll through the photos and posts. And if you're going? Turn your smartphone camera on your friends and all the craziness. Use the tag #GasparillaGram for your photos, and you'll be a part of this fun compilation. (Keep it SFW, though!)
Going to Gasparilla was one of the first things Tampa native Heather Hershey, 22, wanted to do when she returned home from California.
She just retired from the Marines; she had been away on a tour in Japan, and this was her first Gasparilla "since I came of age."
She wants a career in the military, and is planning on transferring to a different service soon.
"We picked a bad place to stand," she sighed. "They're throwing all the beads to the left side!"
Her aunt, Lauren Filips, still lives in Tampa and has been through several rounds of Gasparilla madness.
"I love watching the floats and how people get obsessed with beads," she said.
"I feel like Gasparilla captures the feeling of Tampa, the heart of it," Filips added. "It's so specific and special to our city."
As Filips huddled close to her niece, Heather focused on getting more beads. It was good to be home.
- Libby Baldwin
by Tampa Bay Times Editor1/28/2017 11:20:47 PM
Preliminary total: 8 arrests, 35 transports
From the Tampa Police Department:
INITIAL ARREST AND MEDICAL TRANSPORT NUMBERS FROM GASPARILLA PARADE
These numbers are the initial figures related to the Gasparilla festivities collected by Tampa Police and Tampa Fire Rescue. They are current as of 5 p.m.
They are subject to revision.
Arrests include 1 each of disorderly intoxication, public urination, disorderly conduct, possession of an open container, criminal use of a personal ID, and battery. There were two arrests for possession of cocaine.
Medical transports: 35
That included one trauma alert.
by Tampa Bay Times Editor1/28/2017 11:14:29 PM
Sinkhole victims still return for Gasparilla
William Rader and his family loved their life in Tampa.
Rader grew up here; he even represented the bay area as an Olympic torch runner. A diehard Buccaneers fan, he runs the website Buccaneersfan.com.
Then, a sinkhole swallowed their home.
Now living in Peachtree City, Ga., the Raders return for Gasparilla every year.
Rader and his family, wife Laurie and son Daniel, 20, staked out a spot on the parade route at 1 p.m. and stayed put.
"It's my first Gasparilla and I'm just trying to get through the cold," Daniel said.
Rader is trying to restart his own krewe, "Ye Krewe of Pewter Pirates," to represent the Bucs. He sported a classic jersey under his mountain of beads.
"Tampa has always been an anchor for us," he said. "It's always pulling us back."
- Libby Baldwin
by Tampa Bay Times Editor1/28/2017 11:09:56 PM
by Charlie Kaijovia Instagram1/28/2017 10:49:52 PM
London couple plans to return every year
Barnaby and Lauren Cotton didn't think twice about attending this year's Gasparilla Parade of Pirates -- even though the afternoon event meant a long trip from their home in London.
They'll do it every year to see the only pirate parade in the world, they said. No question about it.
Last year was the first Gasparilla for Barnaby, but he had heard enough stories from Tampa native Lauren to know it was "like nothing I've ever seen or experienced," he said. "I knew it was something really special."
Lauren and her mother are longtime members of the Krew of Grace O'Malley, and were prepping for the parade last year when Barnaby, a London native, turned up on their doorstep hours before the event.
Then he took Lauren to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and knelt beside the Hillsborough River to propose.
"How could I not say yes," Lauren said. "Gasparilla is about love and family and tradition. Now it just means that much more."
- Anastasia Dawson
by Tampa Bay Times Editor1/28/2017 10:44:37 PM
by Charlie Kaijovia Instagram1/28/2017 10:40:01 PM
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