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Celebrating the season of Gasparilla

Once just a parade, Gasparilla is now a whole season of festivals. It kicks off just after the holidays, when wreaths of green give way to wreaths of beads across the Tampa area. Check here to follow all the Gasparilla coverage by the Tampa Bay Times.

  1. Divers from the Florida Aquarium and local dive shops collected beads from the waters around Davis Islands during a post-Gasparilla cleanup Saturday.
  2. Patron vie for beads while attending in the 103nd Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on Saturday, January 25, 2020, in downtown Tampa.
  3. The techniques are as varied as the costumes when Gasparilla parade-goers beckon for beads from the floats.
  4. Leading the way up Seddon Channel during the 2014 pirate invasion is the Jose Gasparilla, escorted by a Tampa Police Department boat and surrounded by hundreds of private vessels.
  5. Pirates from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla fire their guns and cannons aboard the Jose Gasparilla as it heads for the dock at the Tampa Convention Center during the pirate invasion.
  6. The Jose Gasparilla sails toward the Tampa Convention Center during the annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in Hillsborough Bay sailing north to Seddon Channel on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Hundreds of boats join the flotilla.
  7. Beverage manager for the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, Kasia Nowakowska prepares a Milk Punch cocktail, the club's signature drink for Gasparilla. Milk Punch contains brandy, simple syrup, heavy cream, milk and is garnished with nutmeg. Nowakowska says the club will make more than 120 gallons of Milk Punch for the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates on Jan. 25 -- and most of it will be consumed by noon prior to the invasion.
  8. Pirates from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla fire their guns and cannons aboard the Jose Gasparilla as it heads for the dock at the Tampa Convention Center during the pirate invasion.
  9. Jan. 21, 2020• Life & Culture
    The Jose Gasparilla pirate ship sails toward the Tampa Convention Center during the annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in Hillsborough Bay sailing north to Seddon Channel on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Hundreds of boats join the flotilla.
  10. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla.
  11. Pirate beads reading "Gasparilla" for sale at a store in Tampa in 2006.
  12. A scooter rider navigates Platt Street on Friday morning during the calm before the storm — successive weekends of downtown Gasparilla parades. Scooter companies like Jump warn users it’s a violation of their rental agreement to operate one while under the influence.
  13. Don Thompson and Edwin Nelson Jr. are pictured at the 1928 Gasparilla Parade. Thompson was King of Ye Mystic Krewe that year.
  14. Dave Bautista, shown here at his South Tampa office, has been named grand marshal of the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
  15. Michael Bolton, left, and Akon perform on stage with the Lonely Island at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 18, 2011, in Los Angeles.
  16. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has launched a campaign dubbed "Bead Free Bay" in an effort to keep beads out of Tampa Bay during the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
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