ARG! It’s Gasparilla season in Tampa! As an alumni of the University of Tampa, I thought I could help other fellow UT students have an awesome time at the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. Through my experiences with this huge party, I know the ins and outs that will allow you to enjoy and SEIZE the day.

Here's a list of 11 helpful tips to get you through Gasparilla successfully:

  1. It’s a marathon, not a race, so pace yourself throughout the day.

  2. Bring snacks. You'll get hungry and won’t want to walk out of the way to buy food.

  3. Bring chasers or premake your drinks to carry around.

  4. Stay hydrated! You’ll be walking around Tampa constantly, so it’s important to remember to drink water.

  5. Ladies, think twice about wearing your "pirate" boots. If you plan on walking around a lot, it would be way more comfortable to wear sneakers.

  6. Bring identification and a debit card/cash just in case you need to spend money. (Example: bar cover entry or house party entrance fee, typically for guys)

  7. Make sure your phone is fully charged, or carry a portable charger. Gasparilla can get a bit blurry, so it’s important to stay safe and connected.

  8. GET UP EARLY! You don’t want to miss the first few parties or events. You’ll also want time to get ready and pregame at your own place before you head out for the day.

  9. Forget your Ray-Ban sunglasses because you'll most likely misplace them or, worse, they could get stolen. Wear your cheap party sunglasses instead!

  10. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat well because it will help you have energy throughout the day and keep your alcohol down.

  11. Avoid public urination… you can and will get arrested!

  12. Stay close to your friends, as the crowd could get intense with some really crazy people.

  13. Carry on sunscreens to avoid sunburn and keep your eyes protected.

  14. Get to the parade early and find a spot where you can catch the beads easily.

  15. People could get a little cranky by the end of the day. However, don't break a fistfight, and be nice to everyone.

For more Gasparilla fun and other events, visit 813area, where you can check out local events and deals happening around in Tampa Bay for free.


Cover photo courtesy of 813area