A pirate's guide to safely navigating the Gasparilla Children's Parade

With the pirate life in full swing, Tampa police want buccaneers to keep safety as their top priority.

Ahead of several parades and events, starting with the Gasparilla Children's Parade Saturday, officials are encouraging parade-goers to keep a few security tips and rules in mind when heading out for the festivities.

Before leaving the house, police advise parents to take a picture of their kids in full costume. If they get lost, an updated picture will help officers spot them more easily.

Families and groups should also have a meeting spot mapped out. During large, public gatherings, cell service can get spotty and it's always helpful to have a designated meeting ground in case someone gets separated.

Remember to ditch the rum. No alcohol is allowed at the Gasparilla Children's Parade.

According to Tampa police, officers will be stationed along the route, so if you see something suspicious, speak up.

Security cameras are also up and running all around, keeping a close eye on the event.

Traffic will get heavy before, during, and after major parades, so be sure to leave early, and have a parking plan. Most side streets between the Selmon Expressway and Bayshore Blvd will be closed for parking.

For a list of road closures and more information, visit https://www.tampagov.net/special-events-coordination/gasparilla-parades-information.