Tampa, Fla. - Visitors equaling hundreds of thousands lined Bayshore boulevard securing their spot hours ahead of the pirate invasion.
"This is what Tampa is. It is just a unique experience," said Jayne Naska from Saint Petersburg.
Naska arrived four hours early dressed in a pirate costume.
"We want to get a spot up front to catch more beads," she said.
While spending her time on Bayshore she came up with her own game plan for the day.
"i had a big hat but the big hat is too big it gets in the way when you're trying to get beads so I got a little hat."
At Gasparilla it is all about the beads. Nine year old Logan Plan waited anxiously with his grandpa for the parade.
"I want to get some more beads cause last year I got like 100 beads," he said.
Pirates and visitors aren't the only ones to get into the mood. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn wore long pants spotted with pirate skulls. With beads in hand he and others like Senator Bill Nelson made sure visitors did noot go home empty.
"There really is no strategy when you are walking and there is 500 600 thousand people screaming out at you all at once you kind of get tunnel vision a little bit so you just have to pace yourself," said Robert Paredes
For the past three years, Paredes with the Crew of the Unsinkable Molly Brown , has thrown out beads. But for his for friend Greggory Woodcock it's the first time he will throw out Tampa's gold.
"I'm going to focus on rewarding those folks that came out to participate…best costume best attitude they will probably get my beads," said Woodcock.
For those who came out Gasparilla paid off. Many left with new sparkly and colorful treasures until next year.