Don’t look now, but Gasparilla is right around the corner! Tampa’s signature event features fun for all ages – even kids! On Saturday, January 20th, Tampa Bay will kick off the 2018 Gasparilla season with the McDonald’s Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza.
The alcohol-free Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza features a Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Rodeo, a Preschooler’s Stroll, the Children’s Parade, and more! Beginning at 11 a.m., the Tampa Police Department, onbikes, FDOT Tampa and Event Fest Inc. will present the Bicycle Rodeo, offering free information on how to bicycle safely with traffic. Children at the safety rodeo will be fitted with a brand-new bicycle helmet to take home while supplies last! Children will then go through a fun course and learn lifelong bike-riding skills. The Bicycle Rodeo will take place along Bayshore Boulevard between Rome and Dakota Avenue.
Following the Bicycle Rodeo, the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo will present the Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll from 1:30 -2:45 p.m. Tampa Bay’s littlest pirates (five and under) will be able to show off their decorated wagons and strollers along Bayshore from Howard to Rome Avenue. The half-mile stroll is open to the public, but all preschoolers must be registered by January 5, 2018. No walk-ups will be admitted on the day of the event.
After the Preschooler’s Stroll, the United States Special Operations Jump Team – the Para-Commandos — will make a precision skydive jump. Keep your eyes open between 2:45 - 3:15 p.m. on Bayshore and DeSoto Street to see the jumpers!
The big event, the Children’s Parade, begins at 3:30 p.m. The Children’s Parade has been a part of Tampa Bay’s Gasparilla tradition since 1947. This year’s route begins at the corner of Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore, and runs all the way to Edison Street in Hyde Park. This event lasts until 6:00 p.m., so your little ones will have plenty of time to collect beads! In past years, the parade has featured over 100 units, marching bands, dance teams, and more. Reserved seating is available. Can’t make it? Check it out on FOX13 or live-streamed on www.MyFoxTampaBay.com.
Interested in being in the Gasparilla Children’s Parade? The parade application process is open to the public. But hurry, the Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza is right around the corner!