TAMPA - Two big events will impact traffic in downtown and south Tampa on Saturday. The Gasparilla Children's Parade will be on Bayshore Boulevard, followed by fireworks. And the Tampa Bay Lightning host the first game of the abbreviated NHL season at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Channelside Drive.
Road closures for the Gasparilla Children's Parade (see map above for parade route):
- 4 A.M. Bayshore Boulevard northbound from Bay-to-Bay to Edison.
- 6:30 A.M. Bayshore Boulevard (both directions) between Gandy Boulevard and Channelside Drive; Bay-to-Bay Boulevard, from Ysabella to Bayshore; Davis Island Bridge off-ramp onto northbound Bayshore.
- 9 A.M. Pedestrian walkway set up on Bay-to-Bay from MacDill to Ysabella.
- 4:30 P.M. Eastboud Bay-to-Bay at MacDill Ave.
- 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. Bicycle and pedestrian safety clinics, between Rome and Dakota avenues.
- 1:30-2:30 P.M. Gasparilla Preschooler's Stroll from Bay to Bay Boulevard north to Howard Avenue
- 3-3:30 P.M.Gasparilla Air Invasion, viewing from Bayshore
- 3:30-6 P.M. Children's Gasparilla Parade from Bay-to-Bay Boulevard north to Watrous and Orleans avenues
- 7-7:30 P.M. Gasparilla Piratechnic Extravaganza, viewing from Bayshore
The Gasparilla Extravaganza shuttle will operate a continuous shuttle route from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. The shuttle will pick up at the Fort Brooke Garage, at the corner of Franklin and Whiting Street. The Whiting Street Garage will serve as overflow parking when the Fort Brooke Garage becomes full, however, bus pick-up will stay in the same location (Whiting and Franklin). The shuttle will deliver to Bayshore Boulevard, near the beginning of the parade route at Bay-to-Bay and the Selmon (Crosstown) Expressway. Cost is $5 per adult. Children accompanied by an adult ride for free.
Special parking and viewing areas are available for people with disabilities or special needs. Find a map at http://www.tampagov.net/dept_special_events_coordination/files/Gasparilla%202013/2013%20Childrens%20ADA%20Parking%20Map.pdf .
Selmon Expressway Hours:
To help facilitate the flow of traffic during the Gasparilla Celebration, the Reversible Express Lanes will be turned westbound beginning at 10 A.M. At 7:30 P.M., the REL will be reversed and will run eastbound, The REL will remain open eastbound until 6 A.M. Monday, January 21, when it will resume its normal westbound (downtown) operation.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
If you're going to the home opener against the Washington Capitols, keep in mind that Bayshore Boulevard will be closed, and isn't an option into downtown (see map above). Use the Selmon Expressway, I-275 or another route.
Have a question? Tweet traffic reporter Meredyth Censullo @TampaBayTraffic .