Thursday, January 26, 2012

It is Invasion Weekend!

I moved to Tampa, in January, 16 years ago.  Imagine my surprise when after just a few weeks of living here I was told we were going to be invaded by Pirates!  And quite the invasion it was...and is.  Pirates seem like a bizarre source of celebration, at least to me, yet for Tampa it works.


Gasparilla started in 1904 when a group of Tampa businessmen dressed up as pirates (left over from Mardi Gras) and rode through the City on horseback to celebrate May Day. They named themselves the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla after the famed pirate Jose' Gaspar.  It was so well received that next year "all of Tampa's 60 cars" participated.

This year Tampa celebrates Gasparilla with parades, a pageant, running (from the pirates I would assume) & truly one of the best Art Shows I have ever attended.

     2012 Events

Though it seems to be all about beads, parties and parades there is a serious side to the more than 50 Krewe's who participate each year.   Each Krewe has a mission and the majority of those missions are about helping others.  In 2004 Ye Notorious Krewe of the Peg Leg Pirate was created and their mission is to "assist amputees, their families and organizations that work with amputees".  I hadn't realized we had so many soft hearted pirates in Tampa but we do.

If you are in town this weekend or any of the dates listed above I would highly recommend donning an eye patch and joining in the fun and frolic.

1 comment:

  1. I just wish they all looked like Johnny Depp! I will never forget my first Gasparilla Parade, I believe I was 10. It was great fun, but kind of scarey at that age. I will also remember the year we went together, we should have done that more.