Arrgghhh matey’s! Gasparilla is right around the corner and before you know it, you’ll be scrambling to make the perfect pirate costume. We’re here to make your search easy by listing the best 10 stores in Tampa where you can find the perfect Gasparilla gear! The invasion of pirates will take place on January 27. Here’s more info on this year’s parade.
Whether you’re looking for some authentic pirate costumes or just need some accessories, head to these stores for all your Gaspy needs! 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP) made a great list with some good starter places. But if you don’t want to rely on Amazon or Etsy to get your stuff on time, there are plenty of local places to try! It’s still too early to tell what the weather will be like on the day of the Children’s and adult parades. It’s normally around the mid-60s to high 70s, so you may need to dress warm!
History of the Gasparilla Parade
Tampa has been celebrating Gasparilla since 1904. Each year, a merry band of pirates invades the city, with a parade down Tampa’s famous Bayshore Blvd. What originally started as a spring festival for the “May Day” celebration. Tampa Tribune Society Editor Mary Louise Dodge was helping plan the multiple-day event when George Hardee suggested including the legend of Gasparilla. Then the Tampa Tribune began publishing letters from the Ye Mystic Krewe, detailing the invasion. Read more of the history here.
The legend of Gasparilla
Gasparilla is inspired by true events. Jose Gaspar, or Jose Gasparilla was a famous Spanish pirate who earned a fortune by capturing ships and treasure. In 1821 the US Navy launched a disguised attack on Jose’s ship. Admitting defeat, he tied himself to an anchor and jumped into the ocean, never seen again.