Gasparilla is just around the corner and we are gearing up for a busy weekend in Tampa Bay.
Thanks to our friends at ABC ACTION NEWS for compiling all the information below:
The 2020 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Gasparilla Pirate Fest kicks off on Saturday, January 25.
The Gasparilla Invasion will start at 11 a.m. when the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, sets sail at the south end of Hillsborough Bay and travels north to Seddon Channel to dock at the Tampa Convention Center.
If you have never been, I highly recommend you go and get their early because there are over 300,000 people from around the world who come to enjoy Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest.
The Parade of the Pirates begins at 2 p.m. at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard. It will continue along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street turning east on Brorein Street and then north on Ashley Drive. The parade will end at Cass Street and Ashley Drive. The parade is FREE to attend.
There will be several road closures in and around Tampa’s downtown and along Bayshore Boulevard due to the parade.
Check out these parking options:
- Tampa Convention Center Garage (Tampa St. & Brorein St.) will open at 7:00 a.m. at a rate of $10 per vehicle entry.
- Ft. Brooke Garage (Whiting St. between Franklin St. & Florida Ave.) will open at 7:00 a.m. at a rate of $10 per vehicle entry.
- Poe Garage (Ashley St., south of Cass St.) will open at 7:00 a.m. at a rate of $10 per vehicle entry. Due to the parade route, this garage will close from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Customers will not be able to enter or exit this garage until after 6:00 p.m.
- Twiggs St. Garage (Twiggs St., west of Nebraska Ave.) will open at 7:00 a.m. at normal hourly rates of $1.20/hr, with a $7 daily maximum. This will be an automated facility with a Pay Station collecting payment upon exit.
- Centro Ybor Garage (5 th Ave. and 15th St.) will open at 6 a.m. at the standard hourly rate with a $9.00 maximum.
- Palm Ave Garage (13th St. and 9th Ave.) will open at 6 a.m. at the standard hourly rate with a $9.00 maximum.
- Royal Regional Lot (Tampa St. & Fortune St.) will be open at 7:00 a.m. at a rate of $10 per vehicle.
- Scott Street Lot (Morgan St. and Scott St.) will be open at 7:00 a.m. at a rate of $5 per vehicle.
- Meters south of Kennedy Blvd. and on Kennedy Blvd will be enforced from 8:00 a.m. until midnight.
*** Attendees may also consider parking in Ybor or the Channel District and taking the Tampa Streetcar for FREE to the event.
I great tip if you do not live in Downtown Tampa is look into PREPAID PARKING. Check out all the options Here and purchase your parade parking and guarantee your parking space. If you will be drinking and/or do not want to worry about parking, you can also carpool or use a ride share service for convenience.
Getting to and from Gasparilla
TECO Line Streetcar System
- Streetcar service is free
- Continuous streetcar service from 8:30 a.m.- 2:00 a.m.
- For parking in Ybor City, Station #2 (Centro Ybor) is your best bet to the event with Stations #3 and #4 CLOSED from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. A FREE bus shuttle will be provided (details below).
HART Bus Service
- An all-day pass is $4, which may be purchased in advance at HART retail outlets or on board buses on Gasparilla Day with cash only (no change provided). Passengers may also use their monthly bus pass. This fare does not cover City of Tampa parking fees .
- For parking in Ybor City, HART will provide FREE bus shuttle service between Station #3 (Streetcar Society Station) and Station #4 (Cadrecha Station) and downtown Tampa (Station #10 – Dick Greco Plaza) continuously from 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- For parking at the Port Authority Parking Garage, HART will be providing FREE bus shuttle service to/from Station #10 (Dick Greco Plaza) continuously from 9:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Getting to Downtown Tampa on HART
- From University Area: Routes 1*, 5, 6, 9, 12, 275LX, MetroRapid
- From Temple Terrace: Route 6
- From New Tampa/Wiregrass: Route 275LX
- From Brandon: Routes 8, 360LX*
- From West Tampa/Citrus Park: Route 7*
- From South Tampa: Routes 19*, 360LX*
- From Tampa International: Routes 30*, 60LX
Drinking alcohol at Gasparilla
Tampa police will be on HIGH ALERT and they say that their officers will be on the lookout for excessive and underage drinking. Around 2,000 officers will be working during Gasparilla to keep everyone in line and having a good, safe time.
Something people are unfamiliar with are the Gasparilla “Wet Zones,” they are designated areas that you can consume alcohol. If you’re caught with a drink or open container outside of the zones, you may get a ticket.
Things to remember:
- No underage alcohol consumption
- No open alcohol containers or consumption outside of designated wet zones
- No coolers, kegs, or vessels that provide mass distribution of alcohol
- No glass containers of any type
- No failure to use available event port-o-lets
- All bags and backpacks are subject to search
Here is the “Wet Zone” map:
Port-o-lets will be located throughout the event site, parade route on both sides of the street, near all reserved seating sections, and downtown at the pirate street fest.
Boat Docking: Docking space in and around downtown Tampa for Gasparilla is extremely limited. Boaters attempting to “come ashore” along the Bayshore Boulevard balustrade or any other property without a permit are strictly prohibited.
There is limited docking space available at The Tampa Convention Center or in the Marina area along Bayshore between Platt Street and the Davis Island Bridge, available through the City of Tampa Parks Department (Phone: 813-259-1604).
#BeadFreeBay is an anti-littering awareness campaign to remind the public that throwing beads and other litter in the water is prohibited. Beads and other non-biodegradable items are incredibly harmful to our environment and they pose serious threats to marine wildlife. The goal of the Bead-Free Bay campaign is to minimize the environmental impact of our City’s traditions and events on our waterways and beyond.
For more important Gasparilla event updates, safety tips, and traffic alerts, text GASPARILLA to 888-777 to have information sent directly to your phone