TAMPA (FOX 13) - Gasparilla season starts with little pirates invading downtown Tampa this weekend.
The Children’s Gasparilla Parade on Saturday and will cause some traffic disruptions for those attending or for drivers trying to get around the downtown streets. FOX 13 has everything you need to know for parking and the best options to get around.
The children’s parade starts at 3:30 p.m. It will broadcast live on FOX 13 and streamed live on the FOX 13 website starting at 4 p.m.
The family-friendly festivities start much earlier than that, though. Here is the schedule for Saturday’s events:
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Rodeo
Kids can ride the Rodeo's bicycles through a fun course that teaches safety skills. Kids will also receive a free, brand-new bicycle helmet fitted just for them, while supplies last. Location: Bayshore Boulevard and S Rome Avenue
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll
The preschooler's stroll features Tampa Bay's youngest pirates. Children age five and under get to strut their stuff along the parade route in this adorable new tradition. Location: Bayshore Boulevard and S Howard Avenue
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Gasparilla Air Invasion and SOCOM Day Jump
The United States Special Operation Jump Team , The Para-Commandos, will conduct a precision parachute jump (weather-permitting). Location: Bayshore Boulevard & Desoto
3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Children’s Gasparilla Parade
Location: Parade begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore, proceeds north along Bayshore, and the parade ends at Edison Avenue.
6:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Gasparilla Air Invasion and SOCOM Night Jump
The U.S. Special Operation Jump Team, The Para-Commandos, will conduct a precision parachute jump (weather-permitting). Location: Bayshore Blvd. & DeSota
7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. "Piratechnics" fireworks show
The day is capped with a fireworks show themed as a re-creation of the imaginary sea battle between the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa. The pirates win every year, leaving the city defenseless for the Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of Pirates that will occur the following Saturday. Fireworks also air on FOX 13.
Monday, January 14, 2019 – Thursday, January 31, 2019
- Close Bayshore Blvd. crossovers at DeSoto Ave., Nance Ave., Albany Ave. and Gunby Ave.
Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 2 a.m.
- Close Bayshore Blvd. northbound from Bay-to-Bay Blvd. to Rome Ave.
Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 6:30 a.m.
- Close Bayshore Blvd. from Gandy Blvd. to Platt St./Channelside Dr.
- Close Bay to Bay Blvd. from Ysabella Ave. to Bayshore Blvd.
- Close Davis Island Bridge off-ramp onto northbound Bayshore Blvd.
Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9 a.m.
- Close one eastbound lane and one westbound lane on Bay-to-Bay Blvd. from MacDill Ave. to Ysabella Ave. (to accommodate Pedestrian Walkway)
Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
- Close eastbound Bay-to-Bay Blvd. at MacDill Ave.
“No Parking” signs will be installed in the neighborhoods west of Bayshore Blvd. and will be in effect beginning Friday through Saturday. Beginning Friday, January 18 at 2 p.m., streets in the Hyde Park Preservation and Historic Hyde Park neighborhoods will have a temporary one-way traffic plan implemented to accommodate parking and emergency vehicles.
Only motorists with an ID verifying residency will be allowed access to the neighborhoods after the streets have been closed.
Vehicles parked on the streets in those neighborhoods will be cited and towed at the owner’s expense.
New this year, the free Jolley Roger Trolley will run on a continuous loop as it picks up and drops off event attendees at the intersections of both Platt Street and Bayshore Blvd, as well as Rome Avenue and Bayshore Blvd. Hours of operation: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Shuttle service will be offered on Sunday from the Fort Brook Garage, located at the corner of Franklin and Whiting streets. The Whiting Street Garage will serve as overflow parking when the Fort Brooke Garage becomes full, however, bus pick-up will stay in the same location (Whiting and Franklin).
It will cost $10 per adult to ride, but it’s free for children who are accompanied by an adult. The shuttle drop-off will be at Bayshore near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard and the Crosstown.
For additional details on the Children’s Gasparilla Parade events, visit the official website.