gasparilla pirate ship tampa; what is gasparilla in tampa fl

“Land, ho! Set sail for Tampa!”

Hundreds of boats blow in this weekend for the annual re-enactment of the historic pirate invasion of Tampa by the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his band of buccaneers. 

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is one of my favorite yearly events in Tampa and another reason why I’ll never leave. Tampa has an endless supply of fun things to do, which is why people flock here, and our housing market continues to explode. 

On Saturday, January 28th, at 11:30am, the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, will lead hundreds of boats through the south end of Hillsborough Bay with the swashbuckling pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The Mayor of Tampa will be forced to surrender her key to the city, defenseless against the cannons and plundering pirate ships! 

This event is huge, so you’ll want to plan ahead with this guide, which has links to pirate costume shops, the best places to watch the parade, and where to park. 

Need tickets? Guess what? It’s free to the public! The brunch has an admission fee, though – hungry landlubbers can get tickets here.