Ybor City lights up for Gasparilla Knight Parade

Ybor City lit up Saturday night as thousands of people and dozens of floats lined 7th Avenue for the annual Gasparilla Knight Parade.

It was a one-of-a-kind illuminating spectacle with floats decked out in strings of lights.

“I was born and raised in Tampa," Shana Taylor-Page said. "So I love coming out and celebrating our history and our culture.”

Dozens of krewes were still riding high from the Gasparilla excitement that kicked off last month. All of their floats returned, but this time they were lit up in lights, celebrating the annual Gasparilla Knight Parade.

Some attendees came from out of town, partaking for the very first time.

“It has been crazy," Stacey Craig said, who's visiting from Chicago. "I’ve never seen anything like this before. Chicago has nothing like this. Everybody is having a great time. I love the costumes. The people are friendly. And the best part is it’s warm here.”

It’s one of the Bay’s Area’s longest running traditions dating back to the first pirate invasion in 1904. Now, more than a century later, the tradition still going strong.

“I love jumping up and down, acting crazy to get these beads," Kelley Hunte said. "To see all the pirate activity out here. Tailgate with some friends. Have some drinks.”

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The parade kicked off around 7 p.m. Saturday night with the route stretching more than half of a mile down 7th Avenue.

“Just to see everyone made up in the costumes and the women in their wenches and the pirates smoking the cigars, down here in Ybor City which is known for its cigars," Hunte said. "It’s just a cool thing to do.”

The parade wrapped up at 9 p.m., but there are still more Gasparilla events planned in the weeks ahead.

The next event scheduled is the Outward Bound Voyage on Saturday, March 2nd.