TAMPA, Fla. - Hundreds of thousands of pirates are expected to join the Gasparilla invasion of Tampa on Saturday.
Named for mythical pirate Jose Gaspar, said to have terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the grown-up version of the Gasparilla celebration begins with the Gasparilla Invasion. Over 750 swashbucklers invade Tampa Bay aboard the majestic pirate ship "Jose Gasparilla II," starting at 11:30.
The parade of pirates along Bayshore Boulevard then gets underway at 2 p.m., stretching from Bay to Bay Boulevard north into downtown Tampa, 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. Law enforcement vessels will be on the water checking for impaired boaters.
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.
Lyft and Captain Morgan have also partnered to offer $20 vouchers to parade patrons who need a safe ride home. Uber is limiting the areas where you can be picked up.
Parade viewing is free, but you can buy tickets for the bleacher sections.
Prohibited items at the parade include: Pets, drones, glass bottles, coolers, food or alcohol from home, banners and signs, and tents.