Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Gasparilla children's parade 2013 events

For his 3rd birthday, Dylan Booker will dress like his favorite pirate and celebrate with thousands of other pirates. After a party in Brandon at the All Persons Rotary Park on Saturday, he and his friends will head to the start of the Gasparilla celebration. To get ready earlier this week, his mother, Kimberly Booker, set out a box at their New Tampa home. "This is my pirate hat," Dylan said, holding a swath of red cloth. He put it on and then pulled out a treasure map and a sword and a pirate flag, to go "on my pirate ship," he said. "Look mommy, pirate skeleton."

The flag will decorate the wagon he and his 4-month-old brother, Jordan, will ride for half a mile along Bayshore Boulevard.

The festivities that started as a one-day event in 1904 when Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla showed up at Tampa's May Day celebration have unfolded into a monthlong round of parties and parades, an art and music festival and running events.

Pint-sized pirates like Dylan start the festivities in one of the newest events: the Preschooler's Stroll, which started in 2005 for children 5 and under.

These tots will walk, ride bikes or get pulled in wagons — no floats or motorized vehicles.

Among the youngest will be 4-month-old Will Argerious, riding in a souped-up, decked-out Radio Flyer with his 19-month-old cousin.

For this family, Gasparilla is tradition.

Will's mother, Alexa Argerious is one of nine family members in Ye Loyal Krewe of Grace O'Malley, the first all-female krewe that debuted in Gasparilla in 1993.

Her father was a Rough Rider, Argerious said, and she was in the parade as a teen Dancero from Plant High School.

An air invasion follows the smallest pirates with a Para-Commando free fall from the Special Operations Command Parachute Team at MacDill Air Force Base.

Then, it's time for the children's parade. Dating back to 1949, its route stretches 1.4 miles today, with a string of krewes, marching bands, dance units, school groups and community organizations.

Organizers expect crowds of about 100,000 for the day.

The events are popular with children and those who prefer the tamer alcohol-free parade over the bawdy one to come next week.

Participants applied back in September, agreeing to use only lead-free beads carefully handed or tossed underhand for safety. No pelting.

Recent pirate movies and television shows inspire costumes. Expect to see more than a few Capt. Jack Sparrows from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Dylan will go as Jake from his favorite show, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, a Disney Junior show based on Peter Pan.

"What does Jake say?" his mother asked repeatedly.

"Let's get Captain Hook," Dylan finally answered. "Yo ho let's go."

He has been obsessed with pirates for the past year. Treasure hunting is a favorite pastime. In his pirate clothes earlier this week, he went looking in his mother's closet and found a jewelry box.

"This is my treasure," he said. "Wow, look at those gold doubloons."

The Bookers moved here three months ago from Charlotte, N.C., and had never heard of Tampa's pirate craze.

"When we heard about Gasparilla, we thought that's a perfect way to celebrate his birthday," said Booker. "He'll get a kick out of the parade."

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3431.

 
Comments
Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘‘giant’’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from h...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

GIBSONTON — A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on 50 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of promoting a sexual performance by a child.Authorities said they received several tip...
Updated: 3 hours ago

He still has nightmares: Deckhand recalls prior casino boat fire

Cory Byrd said he still has nightmares about the smoke. In them, he is back in the cabin of the Express Shuttle II, scrambling to reach the white rectangle of an open door. The smoke was so thick, he said, you could barely see an outstretched hand. ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

AustraliaWallaby infiltrates Sydney bridgeA wayward wallaby disrupted downtown traffic by bounding across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Tuesday with police in pursuit. The adult male was captured without any apparent serious injury and is expected to b...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

LARGO — For years, county sheriffs in the United States have faced a quandary when asked by federal officials to hold undocumented immigrants in their local jails. They could continue to hold them for up to two days past the time they were legally fr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Med...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida’s economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state’s gross domestic product came from tourism in 20...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties.A cold air mass is moving southward through the Florida peninsula dropping temperatures across the Tampa Bay ar...
Updated: 5 hours ago