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Festivities extended for Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza

TAMPA — Pirate festivities will last a bit longer for pint-sized mates and their parents this year.

Saturday's alcohol-free Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza runs from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., offering street vendors and children's activities before and after the annual two-hour parade along South Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard.

To keep the wee pirates entertained after the parade passes and until the fireworks ignite at dark, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla has commissioned an audio-video blast on the pirate ship, Jose Gasparilla.

Typically, there has been a lull in activity between the end of the afternoon parade and the beginning of the fireworks. A sound-and-light show will fill that gap, encouraging families to stick around through nightfall.

"The ship will transform and many forgotten secrets will be revealed to those brave enough to stay and stand their ground," executive officer Don Barnes said.

Throughout the afternoon, he said, the ship sails back and forth, "with a great flurry of cannon fire." At dusk, about 6 p.m., it will moor, and Capt. Phil Carroll will address the crowd around DeSoto Avenue.

He will "remind the folks that an invasion is coming if they don't surrender." The ship will come to life with music and lights in a three- to five-minute presentation on a transparent screen between the masts before the traditional pyrotechnics display.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, a similar sound and light broadcast will be repeated nightly at 7, Barnes said.

Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza

Here's the rundown on Saturday's activities along Bayshore Boulevard:

11 a.m.-2 p.m. — Bicycle and pedestrian safety rodeo: Presented by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the county's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, between Albany and Nance avenues. Free bicycle helmets while supplies last; bicycles available for skills course.

1:30-2:30 p.m. — Preschooler's Stroll: Children age 5 and under dress in pirate attire to parade in decorated wagons, bicycles and strollers from Bay to Bay Boulevard to Howard Avenue.

3-3:30 p.m. — Air invasion: Precision parachute jump from the U.S. Special Operations Command Jump Team.

3:30-6 p.m. — Parade: Begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard, proceeds north, ends at Watrous and Orleans avenues.

6 p.m. — Audio/video blast: Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla presents an audio-video blast on the Jose Gasparilla near DeSoto Avenue.

7-7:30 p.m — "Piratechnic" extravaganza: Fireworks display; re-creates an imaginary sea battle between the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the city of Tampa.

Shuttle and traffic

• The McDonalds's Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza Shuttle will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $5 per adult, children accompanied by an adult ride free. The shuttle will pick up at the Fort Brooke Garage, at Franklin and Whiting streets, and deliver to Bayshore Boulevard near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard.

• On the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, the reversible lanes will be turned westbound beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. At 3 p.m., they will turn to run eastbound and remain that way until Monday morning.

• Parking in neighborhoods bordering the parade route is not permitted. The Tampa Police Department will enforce the parking policies, including towing and impounding illegally parked vehicles.

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Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza

Here's the rundown on Saturday's activities along Bayshore Boulevard:

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Bicycle and pedestrian safety rodeo: Presented by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the county's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, between Albany and Nance avenues. Free bicycle helmets while supplies last; bicycles available for skills course.

1:30-2:30 p.m. Preschooler's Stroll: Children age 5 and under dress in pirate attire to parade in decorated wagons, bicycles and strollers from Bay to Bay Boulevard to Howard Avenue.

3-3:30 p.m. Air invasion: Precision parachute jump from the U.S. Special Operations Command Jump Team.

3:30-6 p.m. Parade: Begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard, proceeds north, ends at Watrous and Orleans avenues.

6 p.m. Audio/video blast: Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla presents an audio-video blast on the Jose Gasparilla near DeSoto Avenue.

7-7:30 p.m. "Piratechnic" extravaganza: Fireworks display; re-creates an imaginary sea battle between the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the city of Tampa.

Shuttle and traffic

• The McDonalds's Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza Shuttle will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $5 per adult, children accompanied by an adult ride free. The shuttle will pick up at the Fort Brooke Garage, at Franklin and Whiting streets, and deliver to Bayshore Boulevard near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard.

• On the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, the reversible lanes will be turned westbound beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. At 3 p.m., they will turn to run eastbound and remain that way until Monday morning.

Festivities extended for Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza 01/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 10:53pm]

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