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  1. Florida

See Gasparilla photos from every decade since the first invasion in 1904

A look back at the costumes, floats and festivities over the years.
Published Jan. 25, 2019
Updated Jan. 25, 2019

On Saturday, pirates will once again storm downtown Tampa during the annual Gasparilla invasion. Hundreds of thousands will crowd the streets to participate in another day of bead-throwing and debauchery.

The city has been celebrating the legend of mystical pirate Jose Gaspar for the past 115 years. Here’s how the festivities have looked over the decades.

1900s

The first court of Gasparilla in 1904. [Times archives]
A decorated car was part of an early Gasparilla parade. [Times archives]
A photo of the Gasparilla king in 1905, which appeared in the exhibit "Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition" at the Plant Museum. [Sally Shifke of the Plant Museum | Times archives]

1910s

Jerome Waterman, first Lieutenant of Ye Mystic Krew of Gasparilla XI in 1917, stands by a cannon in Tampa's Plant Park. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
Captain's Dinner of Ye Mystic Krewe in 1915. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
Ye Royal Court of Gasparilla VIII King William Reynolds Beckwith, 32, and Queen Mary Cotter Lucas, 21, in February 1914. [Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]

1920s

Gasparilla XIV queen Lillie Wall Honacker in 1922. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
Gasparilla Pirate ship in 1920s. [Times archives]
The Jolly Roger flies above city hall on Gasparilla Day. [Copy of an image from the USF Special Collections Library | Times archives]
Posters promoted Gasparilla in the 1920s. [Times archives]

1930s

A group of pirates crowds around a cannon in 1939. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
Pirates on a dragon Gasparilla float in 1936. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]


[Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]

1940s

Three children participate in the 1949 Gasparilla children's parade. [Photo courtesy of the State Library and Archives of Florida]
A parade float during the 1947 Gasparilla Carnival parade. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]

1950s

Joanne Ross stands by a Gasparilla dragon float in 1951. She was known for her role as the Gasparilla Parade's Mystery Blonde during the 1950's and 60's as the Gasparilla Parade's Mystery Blond. [Photo provided by Joanne Ross | Times archives]
Boats surrounding Gasparilla ship head toward the Platt Street Bridge in 1959. Photo taken from Tampa General Hospital, 1959. [Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
[Courtesy of Merrill Friend | Times archives]

1960s

A 1963 photo from the Gasparilla celebration. [Times archives]
The Maas Brothers' float in the 1963 Gasparilla parade. [Burgert Brothers | Courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System]
Queen Jayma Davies rides in the 1969 parade. [Times archives]

1970s

A Tampa policeman gives an invader a ride. [Times archives]
Doria Gomez, Elena DelRio and Linda Gomez pose in 1979 during the 75th anniversary of Gasparilla. [Steve Baird | Times archives]
[Times archives]

1980s

[Joe Walles | Times archives]
[Times archives]
Boats stream in during the 1986 Gasparilla Invasion. [Times archives]

1990s

The 1995 Gasparilla Pirate Invasion. [Times archives]
Jack Golly, left, entertains members of Ye Mystic Krew of Gasparilla during the 1995 invasion. [Jack Golly | Times archives]
Jack Golly poses with the Jose Gasparilla. Golly lead the band aboard the ship during the annual Gasparilla Invasion from 1958 to 1999. This photo was taken during his last year participating in the invasion. [Times archives]
Pirates ride the crows nest of Jose Gasparilla before docking. [Jim Stem | Times archives]

2000s

Daniel Aegerter of Tampa hangs high on Feb. 5, 2000. [David Kadlubowski | Times archives]
The Jose Gasparilla makes its way up the channel to the Tampa Convention center to kick off the 2003 Gasparilla festivities. [John W Parker | Times archives]
Blake High School Yellow Jackets Marching Band take part in the 2001 Gasparilla Parade.[Times archives]
A crow's nest view of a pirate Blake Casper climbing the rigging on the Jose Gasparilla. [John Pendygraft | Times Staff]

2010s

[Jim Reed | Times archives]
Miso the Pug attends the 2016 Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade in Tampa. [Luis Santana | Times]
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla members crowd around the NHL Stanley Cup aboard the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship at the end of the Ballast Point Park pier on Jan. 27, 2018. The ship carried the cup for the annual invasion. [Loren Elliot | Times]

More Gasparilla coverage:

Contact Gabrielle Calise at gcalise@tampabay.com. Follow @gabriellecalise.



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