TAMPA, Fla. - Little pirates will soon be invading Tampa as the Gasparilla season gets underway Saturday with the Children's Gasparilla Parade.
The parade will cause some traffic disruptions for those attending – or even for those drivers trying to get around the street of downtown Tampa. FOX 13 has everything you need to know for parking and the best options to get around.
The children’s parade starts at 3:30 p.m. The route begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard and will proceed north along Bayshore. The parade ends at Edison Avenue.
It will broadcast live exclusively on FOX 13, streamed live on the FOX 13 website and the FOX 13 Facebook page.
The family-friendly festivities start much earlier than that, though. Here is the schedule for Saturday’s events:
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Rodeo
Kids can ride the Rodeo's bicycles through a fun course that teaches safety skills. Kids will also receive a free, brand-new bicycle helmet fitted just for them, while supplies last. Location: Bayshore Boulevard and South Rome Avenue
Noon to 3:15 p.m. Gasparilla Air Invasion
The USSOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team will conduct a precision parachute jump (weather-permitting). Location: Bayshore Boulevard & Howard Avenue
1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll
The preschooler's stroll features Tampa Bay's youngest pirates. Children age five and under get to strut their stuff along the parade route in this adorable new tradition. Location: Beginning at Bayshore Blvd & S Howard Avenue, ending at Bayshore Boulevard & Rome Avenue
3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Children’s Gasparilla Parade
Location: Parade begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore, proceeds north along Bayshore, and the parade ends at Edison Avenue.
6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Gasparilla Air Invasion and SOCOM Night Jump
The U.S. Special Operation Jump Team, The Para-Commandos, as well as Ghostwriter Airshows and their fireworks flight, will conduct a precision parachute jump (weather-permitting). Location: Howard Ave and Bayshore Blvd
6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. "Piratechnics" fireworks show
The day is capped with a fireworks show themed as a re-creation of the imaginary sea battle between the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa. The pirates win every year, leaving the city defenseless for the Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of Pirates that will occur the following Saturday.
Saturday, January 11, 2020 – Thursday, January 30, 2020
Close Bayshore Blvd. Crossovers at DeSoto Ave., Nance Ave., Albany Ave. and Gunby Ave.
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 2 a.m.
Close Bayshore Blvd. Northbound from Bay-to-Bay to Rome Ave.
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 6:30 a.m.
Close Bayshore Blvd. from Gandy Blvd. to Platt St. Close Bay to Bay Blvd. from Ysabella Ave. to Bayshore Blvd. Close Davis Island Bridge off-ramp onto Northbound Bayshore Blvd.
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 9 a.m.
Close one Eastbound Lane and one Westbound Lane on Bay to Bay Blvd. from MacDill Ave. to Ysabella Ave. (to accommodate Pedestrian Walkway)
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 4:30 p.m.
Close Eastbound Bay-to-Bay Blvd. at MacDill Ave
Parking will be available in various garages and lots in Downtown Tampa. The garages have a one-time special event parking rate that must be paid upon entry.
Parking in neighborhoods bordering the parade route is not permitted. The Tampa Police Department says they will strictly enforce the event parking policies. Any cars parked illegally will be towed.
New in 2019, the free Jolley Roger Trolley will run on a continuous loop as it picks up and drops off event attendees at the intersections of both Platt Street and Bayshore Blvd, as well as Rome Avenue and Bayshore Blvd. Hours of operation: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Shuttle service will be offered from the Fort Brook Garage, located at the corner of Franklin and Whiting streets, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Whiting Street Garage will serve as overflow parking when the Fort Brooke Garage becomes full, however, bus pick-up will stay in the same location (Whiting and Franklin).It will cost $10 per adult to ride, but it’s free for children who are accompanied by an adult.
The shuttle drop-off will be at Bayshore near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard and the Crosstown.
LINK: For more information, head over to the Children’s Gasparilla website.