Gasparilla - What is it all about?
Posted on January 30 2017
The Gaspy has a whole lot of history. Work like a Captain and Play Like a Pirate!
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is a large parade and a host of related community events celebrated almost every year since 1904 in Tampa, Florida. It is held in late January and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, and it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (also known as Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida in the early 1800s. As of the 100th edition in 2015, the parade was the 3rd largest in the United States and had an economic impact of $23 million on Tampa's economy. 
The Gasparilla Parade of Pirates once coincided with the Florida State Fair, which was held at Plant Field at the end of the traditional parade route in downtown Tampa. The close connection between the fair and Gasparilla ended in the mid-1970s, when the fair moved to a much larger location east of Tampa. However, the Gasparilla parade route still runs down Bayshore Boulevard and into downtown, and the city now hosts many other Gasparilla-related events besides the main Parade of Pirates, including a children's parade, a film festival, an arts festival, a road race, a music festival, and the Sant'Yago Knight Parade in Ybor City.