Gasparilla krewe's handicap-accessible float lets those with disabilities participate in parade

Gasparilla is just around the corner and a local couple is making it easier for those with disabilities to participate in the parade.

Roland and Renee Wood spent more than $200,000 to build a parade float for children with disabilities.

"When you see the handicap lift fold down and they realize they are getting ready to get on a Gasparilla float and they getting ready to participate in a huge parade, the look on their face -- I have nothing else to compare it to," Roland Wood said. 

In 2018, their "Treasure Chest" float became the very first parade float in the country to be certified compliant by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Everything inside it, from the wheelchair lift to the hallways, to even the bathroom that's inside so that they will have a place to go, is designed for them," Roland Wood explained.

The special float gives people with disabilities an opportunity to join in the fun.

"We've had people cry, we've had people shake, we've actually had people who couldn't move their arms, move their arms because of the joyous moment that they were having at that time," Renee Wood told FOX 13.

The name of their group is the Krewe of Sir Francis Drake -- a pirate that was accepting of everyone. 

For more information, visit the Krewe of Sir Francis Drake's website.