The 2017 Gasparilla Children's Extravaganza takes place this Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.  Read more to learn about the timeline of events; make your Gasparilla Parade day a fun day for all, know before you go!

2017 Gasparilla Children's Parade Fun Guide

Tampa native April Welch has been attending Gasparilla events for 45 of her 46 years. Her family tradition is deeply rooted back to when her mom would ride The City of Tampa float in the 1950s, and Gasparilla events were held downtown. Like many locals, her affection for Gasparilla is strong. Welch says, “What a great city Tampa is to live in!” 

Welch now has three children of her own - Lissie, 21, and twin boys Jack and Jonah, 13; and she and her husband Bob have continued the tradition of attending with their extended family every year. 

For those new to Gasparilla, Welch suggests purchasing bleacher seating and parking in advance. She says, “It’s a stress-free way to park and see the parade. I wouldn’t do it any other way!” 

Attendance is free, but if you want to take Welch’s suggestion, click here for reserved seating information and here for parking details. Ahoy swashbucklers! 

Want to see the fireworks on a luxury yacht as you cruise the bounding main? Check out what Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises is doing this year! 


11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Rodeo
Bayshore, between Rome & Dakota Avenue

Free to everyone interested in learning how to maneuver their bicycle with traffic. Kids get to try one of the rodeo bicycles, riding through a course designed to teach them safety skills. Free helmets while supplies last!

1:30-2:45 p.m. 
Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll 
Bayshore & South Howard Avenue 
Geared for 5 and under, little buccaneers have a chance to show off their best pirate gear, themed wagons, bicycles and strollers in this 3rd annual addition to the Gasparilla festivities. 

2:45-3:15 p.m. 
Gasparilla Air Invasion and Socom Day Jump 
Bayshore & DeSota
Precision parachute jump from The Para-Commandos, the United States Special Operation Jump Team

3:30-6 p.m. 
Children’s Gasparilla Parade 
Bay to Bay & Bayshore Boulevard, proceeding north along Bayshore, ending at Edison Avenue 
The Children’s Parade has been a part of the Gasparilla tradition since 1947. It boasts over 100 organizations that include krewes, local marching bands, dance teams, school groups, neighborhood associations and local South Tampa community organizations that will trek the mile and a half parade route. 

6:15-6:30 p.m. 
Gasparilla Air Invasion and Socom Night Jump 
Bayshore & DeSota
Precision parachute jump from The Para-Commandos, the United States Special Operation Jump Team

7:00-7:30 p.m. 
Piratechnic Fireworks Extravaganza 

Watch the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe and the City of Tampa recreate the sea battle waged since 1904 with some pirate-technic explosions. Arrrr mateys, we hope this guide was useful to ya! If you'd like to read about the History behind Gasparilla check out  Gasparilla History | What is Gasparilla & Why Do We Celebrate?  And if you are looking for some great Gasparilla Gear for you and your krewe check out Gearing Up for Gasparilla: Where to Buy Pirate Style.

Cover Photo courtesy of Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Krista Sparkman Photography