Gasparilla Children’s Parade celebrates 75 years of plundering pirates

Despite a chill in the air and overcast skies, pirates are plundering through the streets of Tampa on Saturday for the 75th annual Children’s Gasparilla Parade. 

The pillaging pirates took last year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the swashbuckling scallywags are back, bringing beads and booty with them. 

This year's Gasparilla Festivities will honor JG200, the 200th anniversary of the death of its swashbuckling namesake, Jose Gasparilla.

The Gasparilla Air Invasion began at high noon with the aerobatic teams, vintage military aircraft and the US SOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team.

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Once on land, the pirates prepared to parade through the streets of Tampa. The parade begins at Bayshore Boulevard and Bay to Bay and typically includes 120 entry units, including krewes, marching bands, dance groups, school performance teams and community organizations.  

Since 1947, children and their families have lined the streets of Bayshore Boulevard in hopes of catching a glimpse of the invaders and a bunch of beads. 

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The day-long event ends with the Gasparilla Nighttime Invasion and fireworks. 

For more information about the 2022 Ashley Children's Gasparilla Parade and events, click here.