Pint-size pirates to invade South Tampa for Gasparilla Children's Parade

TAMPA — Bayshore Boulevard will once again become a playground for pint-sized pirates Saturday during the annual Children's Gasparilla Parade.

The festivities for the Gasparilla Extravaganza start at 11 a.m. and go past sunset when a fireworks show ends the evening. Parents can expect less swashbuckling and more family-friendly fun than the adult pirate parade slated for a week later.

"It's such a great family-friendly event," said Maiken Stefany, an event coordinator for EventFest, the company that produces Gasparilla. "And there's not quite anything like this anywhere else in the country."

The children's parade, which starts at 3:30 p.m., has about 140 units. It will include 49 krewes, two marching bands and six dance groups along with dozens of floats.

Pirates won't have to worry about rain this year, but they might need a jacket.

"It's going to be a little cool," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Mike Clay. "Temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s."

With an event that lasts from morning until night, Stefany suggests layering pirate garb to get through the day. And for a stress-free start, provide enough time to park and make it to the parade route on time, she said.

Not interested in venturing out with the rest of the pirates?

For the first time, WTVT-13 will broadcast the parade live from 4 to 6 p.m.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at srossetter@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2442.

Children's Extravaganza

When: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Vendors and children's activities along Bayshore Boulevard from Bay to Bay Boulevard to Watrous/Orleans Avenues

Admission: Free

Schedule

11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Rodeo presented by the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. On Bayshore between Rome and Dakota avenues. Kids fitted with a free bicycle helmet while supplies last.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Preschooler's Stroll for children age 5 and under. Parade including pirate attire, decorated wagons, bicycles and strollers, beginning at Bay to Bay and ending at Howard.

3 – 3:30 p.m.: Air invasion, featuring a precision parachute jump.

3:30 – 6 p.m.: Children's parade, beginning at Bay to Bay and Bayshore, going north on Bayshore, and ending at Watrous/Orleans avenues.

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

Reserved seating

Go to gasparillatreasures.com. Tickets start at $24.30.

Shuttle

A shuttle will operate continuously from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shuttle will pick up at the Fort Brooke Garage, at Franklin and Whiting streets. The Whiting Street Garage will serve as overflow parking when the Fort Brooke Garage becomes full, however, bus pick-up will stay in the same location. The shuttle will deliver near the beginning of the parade. Cost is $5 per adult; children accompanied by an adult ride for free.

Other parking

Park at the Centro Ybor Parking Garage or the Palm Avenue Garage. It's $1 for the first three hours and up to $8 for over six hours. Then ride the TECO Line Streetcar ($5 for an unlimited pass) into downtown Tampa.

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If you go

Children's Extravaganza

When: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Vendors and children's activities along Bayshore Boulevard from Bay to Bay Boulevard to Watrous/Orleans Avenues. Show Center at Howard Avenue

Admission: Free

Schedule

11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Rodeo presented by the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. On Bayshore between Rome and Dakota avenues. Kids fitted with a free bicycle helmet while supplies last.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Preschooler's Stroll for children age 5 and under. Parade including pirate attire, decorated wagons, bicycles and strollers, beginning at Bay to Bay and ending at Howard.

3 – 3:30 p.m.: Air invasion, featuring a precision parachute jump.

3:30 – 6 p.m.: Children's parade, beginning at Bay to Bay and Bayshore, going north on Bayshore, and ending at Watrous/Orleans avenues.

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

Reserved seating

For information on reserved seating, go to gasparillatreasures.com. Tickets start at $24.30 per person.

Shuttle from downtown

The Gasparilla Extravaganza shuttle will operate continuously from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shuttle will pick up at the Fort Brooke Garage, at Franklin and Whiting streets. The Whiting Street Garage will serve as overflow parking when the Fort Brooke Garage becomes full, however, bus pick-up will stay in the same location. The shuttle will deliver near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard and the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. Cost is $5 per adult, children accompanied by an adult ride for free.

Other parking

Park at the Centro Ybor Parking Garage or the Palm Avenue Garage. It's $1 for the first three hours and up to $8 for over six hours. Then ride the TECO Line Streetcar ($5 for an unlimited pass) into downtown Tampa.

Pint-size pirates to invade South Tampa for Gasparilla Children's Parade 01/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:57pm]

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