Today our blog post strays just a bit from the topic of real estate and a bit into some Tampa history. This past weekend marked the 2011 Gasparilla parade where I had the honor of riding on a float while taking some fun photos of Tampa Bay’s Bayshore Boulevard and all its pirates and krewe!
Those not familiar with Tampa Bay traditions may have never heard of the event – but think of it as Tampa Bay’s answer to Mardi Gras! The over 100 year old tradition of the Gasparilla Parade in Tampa Bay comes from the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, “last of the Buccaneers,” who terrorized the waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th century. Gaspar, given to calling himself “Gasparilla,” served as a lieutenant in the Spanish Navy for five years until 1783 when he with his fellow mutineers set sail for the Florida straits. And so the young Spanish aristocrat-turned-pirate began an adventurous life as outlaw of the sea.
Today over 100 floats make their way along the parade route spanning Bayshore Boulevard through Downtown Tampa with an average attendance of over 400,000 people dressed as pirates and wenches and the like. If you don’t want to miss the fun next year, check out the official Gasparilla website. Enjoy mateys!
Photos by Liane Jamason & Bruce Neufeld