Some Ybor business owners are not loving the date of next year's Knight Parade

TAMPA, Fla. - Every year the Knights of Sant' Yago Knight Parade draws thousands of people to Ybor City, but next year's date is already raising a few concerns.

The event website just recently posted the upcoming parade date: Feb. 14, 2015 -- Valentine's Day. 

"It's hard to swallow," said Jason Fernandez.

Fernandez owns and operates several top spots in Ybor City, including Bernini, Carne Chophouse, Tequilas and Green Iguana. He says every year Valentine's Day is one of his biggest moneymakers. 

"Valentine's Day is the second busiest day in the restaurant business period," Fernandez said.

He's already fearing the potential financial fallout from next year's parade falling on that very same day. 

"If that happens we're going to lose out not only on Valentine's Day, but the parade attendance will also be a third or a half of what it normally is," said Fernandez.

ABC Action News took Fernandez's concerns straight to the Knight Parade chairman Louis Campanello. 

"I understand the idea of wanting to have two events down here, but you know we have to do what's best," Campanello replied.

Historically, the Knight Parade is held the second Saturday in February. The parade has been held on Valentine's Day before, but anticipating a possible issue, Campanello said this year they tried to host the parade on either Feb. 7 or Feb. 21. 

"The city decided those dates weren't going to work with other events," Campanello said. 

In an email, city staff explained they rejected those two dates because there are already other major events going on, including Gasparilla and the Gasparilla Distance Classic, and public safety personnel would have been stretched too thin.

But Fernandez says he isn't ready to give up yet.

"I am pleading for the mayor and the City of Tampa to get a calculator, a piece of paper and a pencil, and just do some evaluations," he said. 

In a statement to ABC Action News, city staff said they plan to work with the krewe and other Gasparilla event planners to coordinate future calendars so this doesn't happen again. 

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