The holidays are over, and a brand-new year is here. That means it's Tampa Bay's favorite season, Gasparilla! There are so many parties, activities, events, and parades that it's almost impossible to keep track of them all. As always, 813area has got you covered with our comprehensive guide to everything Gasparilla, so relax, don that pirate gear, shiver your timbers, and don't miss a moment of the fun during Gasparilla season in Tampa!
Want to catch the pirate fever, but you've got nothing to wear? Since the Gasparilla Pirate Fest is around the corner, Tampa is on the bleeding edge of pirate fashion. Bust out those "pieces of eight" (what pirates called Spanish silver dollars) and check out our definitive list of all the best Gasparilla gear shops and stores in the Tampa Bay area. Hot this year: chain belts, flounce skirts, and puffy off-the-shoulder tops!
Related content: Buccaneer Beads is the Best Source for All of Your Gasparilla Beads!
First and foremost, enjoy Tampa's largest outdoor festival responsibly: don't drink and drive! If you're imbibing the grog this year, please explore Tampa Bay's many alternative transportation options, such as the TECO Line Streetcar (a trolley), the Cross Bay Ferry (fun boat ride), the Pirate Water Taxi on the picturesque Hillsborough River, or the quick and quirky Downtowner Tampa Free Ride Service. If you're the car captain this year, peruse our handy guide to the best and most hassle-free parking and directions.
From the Children's Gasparilla to the 2023 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in March, we've got months chock-full of events and activities with something for everyone! There's the 2023 Gasparilla Music Festival, film festival, dance festival, and more parties, gatherings, and brunches in Tampa than you can shake a wooden leg at!
On Saturday, January 21st, join thousands of local families at the fun and alcohol-free Children's Gasparilla in Tampa! Featuring the cutest little pirates ever and loads of sights, sounds, and family activities, this is the perfect event to kick off the Gasparilla season and get you in that pirate mood.
Arrrrrgh ye ready for the biggest and baddest pub crawl of them all? Tampa's own Downtown Crawlers, a charitable and fun organization dedicated to bringing people together while raising funds for great causes, is hosting this year's 6th Annual Gasparilla Bar Crawl in Tampa, including brunch and a party bus! From bars to drinks and shots, you can relish everything! It's perfect for making new friends and discovering brand-new places.
The Krewe of the Knights of Sant Yago Knight Parade is happening in Ybor City on Saturday, February 11th. This wild and funky Gasparilla celebration of all things pirates has been a Tampa tradition since 1974. Catching beads and walking the planks of Ybor is free, but you'll get a better view and more booty with reserved bleacher seating. Plan your best knight ever with our list of do's and definitely don't do's.
It's back: Tampa's best spring music festival, and this year's event will be better than ever! The popular event is organized by the Gasparilla Music Foundation, which is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation based in Florida. It's community-funded and is known for celebrating the phenomenal artists in Tampa Bay. Besides the music arts from different genres, it also serves delicious cuisines from the region's top restaurants. Definitely, not worth the miss!
This world-renowned celebration of the independent film makes its triumphant return on the 23rd to 26th of March. Featuring loads of captivating films, industry professionals, and exciting events, this film festival is what all the cool pirates will be doing in late March. Presented by Film Tampa Bay, the Gasparilla International Film Festival has been wowing audiences and educating them about the burgeoning Florida film industry since 2006.
Avast, ye salty dogs- there's so much more to Gasparilla season that we can't possibly list it all here, so keep checking 813area, your local guide to everything going in Tampa Bay, for the latest in Gasparilla news and hot tips. Revisit 813area a bit later to see our favorite pictures from Gasparilla 2023!
Cover photo courtesy of 813area photographer