Tampa's Signature Event this weekend!

Julia Fanning  |  January 27, 2023

Tampa's Signature Event this weekend!

“Land, ho! Set sail for Tampa!”

Shouts the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar as his band of buccaneers sail across the Hillsborough Bay and return to the City of Tampa.

On Saturday, January 28, at 11:30 A.M., the only fully-rigged pirate ship in the world, the Jose Gasparilla, emerges at the south end of Hillsborough Bay followed by hundreds if not thousands of boats. The vibrant Gasparilla Flotilla then makes its way across Hillsborough Bay and into Seddon Channel (between Davis Island & Harbour Island) and the Gasparilla Invasion has begun!

Amidst a volley of cannon fire, the City is defenseless.

In this annual re-enactment of Tampa’s historic pirate invasion, the Gasparilla Flotilla – led by the Jose Gasparilla filled to the crow’s nest with swashbuckling YMKG pirates – creates a spectacular sight.  When the Jose Gasparilla docks at the Tampa Convention Center (1:00 P.M.), the Mayor of Tampa surrenders the Key to the City to the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.

With the Key to the City in hand, the Krewe celebrates their victory in a Parade of Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard.



Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Route: The Jose Gasparilla sets sail at the south end of Hillsborough Bay at 11:30 A.M., sails north to Seddon Channel (between Davis Island and Harbour Island), continues north and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1:00 P.M.

Viewing: The best seats for the invasion are at the Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Convention Center (reserved ticket required and available for purchase at Gasparilla Treasures™). However, there are many other places in downtown Tampa – waterfront hotels, places along Davis Island and Harbour Island – to view this spectacular event!


Time: 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Tampa Convention Center 333 S. Franklin Street, Tampa

Parking is available at the Tampa Convention Center and throughout downtown, but plan to arrive early as parking fills up quickly for the event. Admission Reserved ticket required for adults and for children over the age of two. Shipping and handling fees apply. Purchase tickets at Gasparilla Treasures™.


Have fun and be safe!!

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