Everything you need to know about Gasparilla

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Pirates Set Sail into Tampa this weekend.

More than 200,000 people are expected Saturday for the 2016 Gasparilla Pirate Fest. 

Named for Pirate Jose Gaspar, who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Tampa's annual Gasparilla celebration begins with the Gasparilla Invasion. Over 750 swashbucklers invade Tampa Bay aboard the majestic pirate ship "Jose Gasparilla."

The parade of pirates along Bayshore Boulevard then starts at 2:00 p.m., stretching from Bay to Bay Boulevard North into downtown Tampa, and ending at Ashley Drive. Streets around the parade route begin closing Friday night.


Boats are allowed in the area around the parade and invasion, but those that get too close to the "Jose Gasparilla" pirate ship will be stopped by law enforcement. About 40 law enforcement vessels will be on the water checking for impaired drivers.

Folks can consume alcohol in the designated wet zones, which is the parade route only, but drinks must be purchased by vendors on site. Open containers will not be allowed in the neighborhoods or on the way to the parade.

If you're trying to get around, a cheap option to consider is public transportation. An all-day pass for HART bus services will cost you $4, and the TECO Line Streetcar is $5.

Uber and Captain Morgan have also partnered to offer $20 vouchers to 1,000 lucky parade patrons who needs a safe ride home. CLICK HERE for information on how to redeem the voucher.

Prohibited items at the parade include: Glass bottles, coolers, alcohol from home and drones after new FAA safety guidelines which prohibit the use of drones above large gatherings of people.

One thing they say attendees can bring: selfie sticks!