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Tampa’s Gasparilla season to kick off on New Year’s Eve with treasure chest booty drop

Mayor Jane Castor unveils a pirate-themed New Year’s Eve celebration in Curtis Hixon Park with a 3-D projection of a dropping treasure chest.

TAMPA — Gasparilla season now starts on New Year’s Eve, Tampa.

But instead of a dropping disco ball, how about a 320-foot-tall projection of a treasure chest dropping down the side of downtown’s Rivergate Tower, known to many as the Beer Can building?

Mayor Jane Castor’s rebranding went into full pirate mode Wednesday with the unveiling of the “New Yarrgh’s Eve Booty Drop” — or #NYEBOOTYDROP for the social media crowd.

The highlight? That dropping treasure chest. But the free event at Curtis Hixon Park will also have food trucks on hand and, the city promises, will be family-friendly. The party will run from 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

As for fireworks? “Some pyrotechnic features will accompany the main spectacular,” read the news release, enigmatically.

Here’s the official video to get your Paarty on: