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Gasparilla Pirate Fest schedule, information

Invasion and parade schedule

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch offers great views from the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St. Tickets are required: $58 adults, $48 ages 3-12. Combo tickets for the brunch and reserved parade seating are $82 adults, $72 ages 3-12. Note: Tickets can no longer be purchased online. Call (813) 251-8844; there is a $12 per order handling charge. Tickets may also be available on site.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Jose Gasparilla sets sail from the south end of Hillsborough Bay, traveling north to dock at the Tampa Convention Center. Free viewing from waterfront areas.

2 to about 5:30 p.m.: The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates begins at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Bay to Bay Boulevard, then travels north on Bayshore into downtown Tampa. Free, though reserved seats are available for $28 each. Seats may be purchased in advance at (813) 251-8844 (note: there is a $12 handling fee). Tickets also may be purchased along the parade route.

Gasparilla: Street festival schedule

From 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., the Gasparilla Pirate Street Festival features live entertainment, food, rides, games and more.

Invasion Stage: In the Publix parking lot at Bayshore Boulevard and Platt Street. 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Pride (Navy rock band) 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.: Charlie Hotel (rock) 1-2:30 p.m.: SkyCoasters (pop) 5-6:30 p.m.: Charlie Hotel 7-8:30 p.m.: SkyCoasters

Channelside Bay Plaza Stage: In the Channelside Bay Plaza Courtyard 5:30-7 p.m.: Save the Radio (alternative/rock) 7:30-9 p.m.: Late Night Brass (horn band) 9:30-11 p.m.: Rhythm Method (dance, show music)

Pirate Fest Stage: At Florida Avenue and Brorein Street 12-1:15 p.m.: Cellfish (rock) 1-3 p.m.: Uncovered (rock/alternative) 5:30-7 p.m.: Basic Rock Outfit (rock) 7:30-9 p.m.: Carnival of Crue (Motley Crue tribute band) 9:30-11 p.m.: Highway to Hell (AC/DC tribute band)

City Center Stage: At Florida Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: TICH and Voz Juvenil (youth Latin group) 5:30-7 p.m.: Somos Musica (Latin, Caribbean ensemble) 7:30-9 p.m.: Point 6 (Latin ensemble) 9:30-11 p.m.: Supernatural (Latin)


First, a word of caution: Parking rules will be enforced in the festival area beginning at 4 p.m. today. After 7 p.m. Friday, vehicles parked illegally will be towed at owner's expense.

Parking is available in various garages and lots downtown.

Meters south of Kennedy Boulevard and on Kennedy will be enforced from 8 a.m. to midnight.

• Free reserved parking and parade viewing for disabled patrons is located just south of the intersection of Florida Avenue and Brorein Street. A disabled vehicle permit is required. This area opens at 11 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: There are no seats or bleachers in this reserved area. For seating in the reserved bleachers, call (813) 251-8844.

Public transit

• A one-day, unlimited ride pass for the TECO Line Streetcar, which runs from Ybor City to downtown Tampa, is $4 (exact change required). Park at the Centro Ybor garage (1500 E Fifth Ave.) or the Palm Avenue garage (2010 N 13th St.) for $1 per hour for the first three hours and $4 per hour after that. Then ride the streetcar to the Southern Transportation Plaza. The streetcar will run from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, call (813) 242-5484.

• Free parking is available at Lots 1 and 3 of Raymond James Stadium (N Dale Mabry Highway and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard). A shuttle from the stadium to Hyde Park Avenue and DeLeon Street (just off the parade route) will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 per person, round trip.

If you've got to go

Portable toilets are located along the parade route, near reserved parade seating and at the downtown street festival, but plan ahead because lines typically will be long. Hyde Park Village has public restrooms on the west side of Snow Avenue. Facilities at restaurants and bars near the festivities are for paying customers only. Depending on the lines elsewhere, you might find that access to a restroom is worth the cost of a cover charge.

Good to know

• Charity beer gardens and event vendors accept cash only. There will be mobile ATMs located throughout the parade route as well as a few banks and merchants close by.

• As of press time, weekend forecasts are calling for sunny weather. But note that in the case of rain, the invasion and the parade will go on.

• Pets are allowed in some areas, but not all. The streets are packed, so it's a good idea to leave your pets at home.

• Strollers are allowed but must be stored in reserved seating areas.

• The following items are prohibited at the event: glass containers; coolers (except small, soft-sided coolers or lunch bags for child care or medical needs); tents; fence, stakes or rope to reserve space; vehicles; weapons; or advertising of an any product or service.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest schedule, information 02/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 7, 2009 6:37am]
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