Gasparilla, Tampa’s famous pirate event, was returning in 2021 after a year out because of the epidemic. This weekend, Tampa Bay prepares for an invasion. With the Gasparilla 2022 Pirate Fest ready to take place, the oceans (and allegedly bays) have become battlegrounds.
The annual pirate-palooza, Gasparilla 2022 parade takes place on Saturday, Jan. 29, in downtown Tampa, making a return of sorts after the event was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic. Pirates don’t follow the rules, and viruses don’t either.
Gasparilla 2022 Is Almost Here!
On a chilly and windy day in Tampa, the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship set sail at noon and landed at the Tampa Convention Center. Mayor Jane Castor relinquished the key to the metropolis and started off the Parade of Pirates, which marched north on Bayshore Boulevard towards downtown.
Hillsborough Bay will be besieged by an armada of vessels headed by the actual pirate ship the Jose Gasparilla beginning Saturday morning at roughly 11:30 a.m.
Later that afternoon, at 2:00 pm, the aforementioned pirates would proceed on a riotous march through downtown Tampa to commemorate their capture. On the Tampa Riverwalk, there will also be a Pirate Fest featuring live music and other entertainments, albeit it will not be historically accurate.
During the Gasparilla 2022 parade, reports surfaced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady may be ready to retire from football. This year’s Gasparilla procession has a new addition near the front. Two black horses pull a wagon containing the crypt of the parade’s and pirate festival’s namesake, the fearsome (and mythological) pirate Jose Gaspar. During this year’s Gasparilla 2022 festivities, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Gaspar’s “death” in 1821 (by leaping into the sea during a conflict with the American Navy).