An estimated 300,000 people will pour into South Tampa beginning Saturday morning for the annual Gasparilla flotilla and parade of pirates. The forecast calls for wonderful parade weather - a high of 72, only a few clouds and no prediction of rain, according to Bay News 9 meteorologists. Here's a look at the day's schedule and information on parking, public transit and road closings you need to get around.
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Parking is available in various downtown and Ybor City garages and lots. The garages have a one-time special-event rate at entry.
Parking enforcement in the area of the festivities and the neighborhoods bordering the parade route begins in earnest today. Tickets will be issued for illegal parking from noon until 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., and until the end of the event, illegally parked cars will be towed.
- TECOline Streetcar: For those parking in Ybor, take the streetcar from Centennial Park Station to Dick Greco Plaza downtown. Service is 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; cost is $5 for an all-day pass, which may be purchased with cash at ticket vending machines at each station.
- HART bus service: For those parking in Ybor, take Route 8, which operates continuous service during peak times in the morning and afternoon.
-Buses will run from the Port Authority and Cumberland Streetcar Stations to Dick Greco Plaza when streetcars are operating at capacity.
-The cost is $3.75 for an all-day pass, which may be purchased in advance at HART retail outlets or on board buses on Gasparilla Day with cash only (no change provided). Monthly bus passes may also be used.
- In-Town Trolley: Provides a connection from the north end of downtown (Marion Transit Center) to the south end of downtown (Dick Greco Plaza). Operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost is 25 cents, or streetcar/bus all-day passes accepted.
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The reversible lanes of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway will be turned westbound at 8 a.m. Saturday. At 3 p.m. Saturday, they will turn to run eastbound and stay that way until 6 a.m. Monday.
Starting 10 p.m. today: Bayshore Boulevard from Gandy Boulevard to Platt Street/Channelside Drive; Bay to Bay Boulevard from Bayshore to Ysabella Avenue; Davis Islands bridge off-ramp onto northbound Bayshore.
Starting 3 a.m. Saturday: two south lanes of Brorein Street from Florida Avenue to Bayshore Boulevard; Bayshore from Brorein to Platt Street; and Platt/Channelside Drive from Plant Avenue to Franklin Street.
Starting 5:30 a.m. Saturday: eastbound Willow Avenue off-ramp from the Selmon Expressway; southbound Willow from Cleveland Street to Swann Avenue.
Starting 7 a.m. Saturday: Ashley Drive from Brorein to Jackson Street; Brorein between Jefferson and Florida avenues; Brorein between Tampa and Parker streets; Brorein at Franklin Street; Franklin from Channelside Drive to Old Water Street; southbound Franklin from Old Water to Harbour Island bridge; westbound Old Water from Florida to Franklin; Washington Street from Ashley to Tampa; Whiting Street from Ashley to Tampa.
Starting 9 a.m. Saturday: eastbound Kennedy Boulevard from Hyde Park Avenue to Ashley; Ashley from the Tampa Street split to Jackson Street; Jackson from Ashley to Tampa; westbound Kennedy from Florida to Plant; Madison Street from Ashley to Tampa; westbound Madison from Florida to Tampa; Twiggs Street from Ashley to Tampa St.; westbound Twiggs from Florida to Tampa; Zack Street from Ashley to Tampa; westbound Zack from Florida to Tampa; Polk Street from Ashley to Tampa; westbound Polk from Florida to Tampa.
Starting 11 a.m. Saturday: Cass Street from Willow to Tampa; Willow from Cass to "A" Street; Tyler Street from Florida to Gasparilla Plaza.
Starting 3 p.m. Saturday: eastbound Bay to Bay Boulevard from MacDill Avenue to Ysabella; eastbound Swann Avenue at MacDill; eastbound Swann from Armenia Avenue to Howard Avenue; eastbound Kennedy at Howard; eastbound Platt at Willow; Willow between Kennedy and Cleveland Street; southbound Willow from Cleveland to Swann; southbound S Boulevard from Kennedy to Platt; Whiting from Tampa to Franklin; westbound Whiting from Florida to Franklin.
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Tickets and information
11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday
The Jose Gasparilla sets sail at the south end of Hillsborough Bay at 11:30 a.m., sails north to Seddon Channel, continues north and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1 p.m.
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St.
Parking: Available at the convention center and downtown; arrive early.
Admission: Reserved tickets required for adults and children over 2.
Parade of Pirates
Time: 2-5:30 p.m. Saturday
Route: Begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore boulevards; continues along Bayshore; turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive; ends at Cass Street.
Admission: Free, but also reserved seating tickets. Children 2 and under must remain in an adult's lap.
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Admission is free.
(MacDill Park on Ashley Drive and Whiting Street)
11:00 a.m.-3 p.m.: Danny Lozada y el Latin Band
Pirate Fest Stage
(Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Ashley Drive)
5- 6:15 p.m.: Daniel B. Marshall
6:30-8 p.m. C'NERGY
8:30-10 p.m. Skycoasters