Gasparilla 'Pirate Maker' Melissa Wetterow has been making Ye Mystic Krewe look tough for 25 years

She'll help create 800 pirates on Saturday
Melissa Wetterow Gasparilla makeup artist.png
Posted at 1:06 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 12:11:03-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Gasparilla star Melissa Wetterow calls herself "the Pirate Maker."

"I've been doing this for 25 years," the talented makeup artist said, applying yet another scar to another scalawag. "And that's my daughter over there."

Oh, it's a family affair for sure. She's now worked on three generations of weekend buccaneers herself.

This Saturday morning, as Ye Mystic Krew of Gasparilla prepares to invade the city, Wetterow, her daughter Faith and her small but hard-working team will help create 700 to 800 pirates. They have to work fast to make sure all the weekend warriors hit the high seas in time.

This isn't her main job, mind you.

"I'm actually an accountant," Wetterow said, smiling.

But she's been able to turn this small side hustle into a bigger side hustle: Strictly Entertainment, a talent agency providing entertainment for private, corporate and special events.

It hasn't always been easy working with swashbucklers. There are times when they can get rowdy.

"I don't want to say anything to get me in trouble," Wetterow said with a smirk.

But thanks to Gasparilla, Wetterow has been able to get her share of loot, too.

Melissa Wetterow and Sean Daly