January is a time for new beginnings, new resolutions, new adventures, and most importantly the season for Gasparilla. Gasparilla is Tampa, Florida’s notorious pirate-themed occasion, with activities this year lasting from January 20th up until March 25th. The annual celebration is inspired by the legend of Jose Gaspar and his pirate operations in the area around in the 18th and 19th centuries, and is ranked as one of the largest pirate celebrations in the country. Here’s a look at all the things to do during this year’s Gasparilla.
- Children’s Extravaganza – These alcohol-free events encourage kids, marching bands, and other performers to parade their finest pirate costumes and float decorations for all of Tampa to enjoy.
- Gasparilla Pirate Fest – Gasparilla’s main celebration of the season begins with the annual invasion of the city by over 750 pirates, straight from a ship in the bay. Throughout the day, guests are treated to live music, endless food vendors, and the illustrious Parade of Pirates.
- Sant’ Yago Knight Parade – The boozy parade that takes over the streets of Tampa for the night. Spectators are entertained by illuminated parade floats, dancers, and musicians and collect Gasparilla beads along the way. Picture Mardi Gras with a nautical twist.
- Gasparilla Distance Classic – Athletes participate in 5k, 8k, half marathon races and other running challenges to compete for cash and prizes and to raise money for the Tampa community.
- Gasparilla Festival of the Arts – Starting in 1970, artists and viewers gather in downtown Tampa to experience art in all mediums. The event is free and expected to welcome around 100,000 patrons this year.
- Gasparilla International Film Festival – From March 20th to 25th, the Tampa Film Institute puts on this film and culture festival to promote art, education, and community outreach efforts in Tampa.
- Gasparilla Music Festival – Gasparilla’s yearly celebration concludes with this series of live concerts. Headlined by the Roots this year, proceeds will be donated to music education initiatives throughout the city.
Tampa’s annual Gasparilla has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in being dazzled by a parade, helping the community through art, culture, or athletics, or partying the night away with pirates, Gasparilla season has it all.
Head to Florida in the next few weeks and check out Gasparilla, if you’re not already planning to do so. Find a place to stay with RoomShare and go live out your swashbuckling fantasies in this Tampa celebration.