Gasparilla 2018: Everything you need to know about the annual Pirate Fest

Children's Parade, Pirate Fest & more

TAMPA, Fla. - Since 1904, pirates have been invading Tampa for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest!

Pirate accents and eye patches will be aplenty and parking and traffic will be busy. Here's everything you need to know about the annual throw-down.  

Tampa Bay's Gasparilla Celebration kicks off with Children's Parade on Saturday Jan. 20th

The 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Gasparilla Pirate Fest kicks off on Saturday, January 27.

The Gasparilla Invasion will start at 11 a.m. when the Jose Gasparilla will set sail at the south end of Hillsborough Bay and travel north to Seddon Channel to dock at the Tampa Convention Center at 1 p.m.

A Gasparilla Brunch will be held at the Tampa Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are required for this event. Get more info here

The Parade of the Pirates begins at 2 p.m. The parade will begin at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard It will continue along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street turning east on Brorein Street and then north on Ashley Drive. The parade will end at Cass Street and Ashley Drive. The parade is FREE to attend. You can purchase reserved seating here.

Traffic and parking information from the City of Tampa:

City of Tampa Traffic & Parking Advisory for the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates - Saturday, January 27

Avast ye! The City of Tampa wants you to be prepared for heavier than normal traffic on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in downtown and south Tampa as we batten down the hatches and prepare for great fun and high adventure during the 101st Annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest!

The pirates arrive by sea as the fully rigged Jose Gasparilla sails into Seddon Channel and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1 p.m. Then, the marauding buccaneers gather at the intersection of Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard for the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates, which steps off at 2 p.m. The parade continues along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive. The parade ends in downtown Tampa at Cass Street and Ashley Drive.

South Tampa Neighborhood Parking and Circulation Plans

The City is alerting the public of road closures and towing zones to minimize congestion in neighborhoods that border the parade route. No Parking signs have been installed in the neighborhoods west of Bayshore Boulevard and will be in effect beginning on Friday, January 19 through Saturday, January 20. Please note: Only motorists with an ID verifying residency will be allowed to enter the Bayshore Gardens and Hyde Park Preservation neighborhood after the streets have been closed.

Street Closure Schedule

Sunday, January 14 – Thursday, February 1, 2018

  • Median Closures at DeSoto Ave, Nance Ave, Albany Ave & Gunby Ave at Bayshore Boulevardd

Friday, January 26, 2018 @ 10:00 PM

  • Bayshore Boulevard from Gandy Boulevard to Platt Street
  • Bay to Bay from Bayshore Boulevard to Ysabella Street
  • Davis Islands Bridge Off Ramp onto NB Bayshore Drive

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 3:00 AM

  • Bayshore Boulevard from Brorein Street to Platt Street
  • Platt Street/Channelside Drive from Plant Avenue to Franklin Street

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 5:30 AM

  • Crosstown- EB Willow Avenue Off Ramp (Exit 4)
  • Willow Ave from Platt St to Swann Avenue (SB lanes closed only, 1-way NB)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

  • Ashley Drive from Brorein Street to Jackson Street
  • Brorein Street from Florida Avenue to Parker Street
  • Franklin Street from Channelside Drive to Harbour Island Bridge
  • Old Water Street from Florida Avenue to Franklin Street
  • Washington Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Whiting Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Whiting Street from Florida Avenue to Franklin Street (WB)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

  • Kennedy from Hyde Park Avenue to Ashley Drive (EB)
  • Ashley Drive from Cass Street to Jackson Street
  • Jackson Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Kennedy Boulevard from Florida Avenue to Plant Avenue (WB)
  • Madison Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Madison Street from Florida Avenue to Tampa Street (WB)
  • Twiggs Street from Florida Avenue to Tampa Street (WB)
  • Zack Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Zack Street from Florida Avenue to Tampa Street (WB)
  • Polk Street from Ashley Drive to Tampa Street
  • Polk Street from Florida Avenue to Tampa Street (WB)
  • Tyler Street from Florida Avenue to Tampa Street (WB)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

  • Cass Street from Willow Avenue to N Boulevard
  • North A Street from Willow Avenue to Newport Avenue
  • North B Street from Willow Avenue to Newport Avenue
  • Fig Street from Willow Avenue to Gilchrist Avenue
  • Carmen Street from Willow Avenue to Delaware Avenue
  • Newport Avenue from Cass Street to North A Street
  • Gilchrist Avenue from Cass Street to Fig Street

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

  • Cass Street from N Boulevard to Tampa Street
  • Tyler Street from Tampa Street to Cass Street

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 3:00 PM

  • Bay-to-Bay Boulevard from MacDill Avenue to Ysabella Avenue (EB)
  • Swann Avenue from MacDill Avenue to Armenia Avenue (EB lanes closed only, 1-way WB)
  • Platt Street at Howard Avenue (EB)
  • Platt Street at S Boulevard (EB)
  • Willow Avenue from Kennedy Boulevard to Cleveland Street
  • Willow Avenue from Cleveland Street to Platt Street (SB)
  • South Boulevard from Kennedy Boulevard to Cleveland Street
  • South Boulevard from Cleveland Street to Platt Street (SB)
  • Whiting Street from Tampa Street to Franklin Street

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 4:30 PM

  • Kennedy Boulevard at Himes Avenue (EB)
  • Kennedy Boulevard at MacDill Avenue (EB)
  • Kennedy Boulevard at Howard Avenue (EB)
  • Kennedy Boulevard at Willow Avenue (EB)

City of Tampa Parking Information

For access to the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in South Tampa, consider using the following garages and lots:

  • Ft Brooke Garage - $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
  • Jackson Street Parking Lot - hourly rate of $1.60/hr, with a $9.50 daily maximum and will open at 7 a.m.
  • Poe Garage –At 9:30 a.m. at a rate of $4 per vehicle entry. Due to the parade route, this garage will be closed from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Customers will not be able to enter or exit this garage until after 6:00 p.m.

For those attending the Straz 8 p.m. show, Poe Garage will reopen at 6:30 p.m. and there will be a $6 flat rate paid on entry.

  • Royal Regional Lot – $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
  • Tampa Convention Center Garage - $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
  • Twiggs Street Garage - hourly rates of $1.20/hr, with a $7 daily maximum and will open at 7 a.m.
  • All numbered spaces on Kennedy Boulevard and south of Kennedy Boulevard are enforced up until midnight at the standard hourly rate.

For access to the Amalie Arena in the morning and the evening, consider using the following garages
and lots:

  • The Selmon Expressway Lots - $15 flat rate for the circus
  • South Regional Garage - $12 flat rate and will be open from 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. for parade & circus parking.

After 10:30 a.m. parking will be restricted to Arena Reserved Parking Passes for the remainder of the day.

For access to downtown and south Tampa from historic Ybor City, consider using the following
garages and utilizing HART services:

  • Centro Ybor and Palm Avenue Garages - will open at 7 a.m at the standard hourly rate. HART park and ride available from both locations.

HART will be offering extra streetcar, bus, and trolley services. For more information about HART service during this special event, please call (813) 254-4278 or visit www.goHART.org.

Getting to the Straz Center

  • Drivers attending the 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows of Cabaret at the Straz Center are encouraged to take one of the following routes.

From South Tampa

  • Dale Mabry NB to I-275 NB
  • I-275 NB to Exit 44 Ashley Drive
  • Continue on Ashley Drive to Tyler Street
  • Right on Tyler Street to available parking

From Brandon

  • I-4 WB to Downtown Exit 45A
    Follow Downtown West sign to Doyle Carlton Drive
  • Left on Doyle Carlton Drive through Laurel Street to available parking

From St. Pete/Clearwater

  • I-275 NB to Exit 44 Ashley Drive
  • Continue on Ashley Drive to Tyler Street
  • Right on Tyler Street to available parking

From North Tampa

  • South on Tampa Street to Laurel Street
  • Right on Laurel Street to Doyle Carlton Drive
  • Left on Doyle Carlton Drive to available parking

OR

  • I-1275 SB to Downtown Exit 45A
  • Follow Downtown West sign to Doyle Carlton Drive
  • Left on Doyle Carlton Drive through Laurel Street to available parking

Get more information here

The McDonald's Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza will kick off the Gasparilla season on Saturday, January 20. 

Schedule for the day:

  • 11:00 a.m.  - Activities open along Bayshore Boulevard at 11 a.m.
  • 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Bicycle Safety Rodeo with Tampa Police Department
  • 1:30 p.m. - Gasparilla Preschooler's Stroll presented by Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. Find an application here
  • 2:30 p.m. - SOCOM Para-Commandos Day Jump
  • 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Children's Gasparilla Parade driven by Chevrolet
  • 6:30 p.m.- SOCOM Para-Commandos Night Jump
  • 7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Gasparilla Piratechnic Extravaganza (Fireworks Show!)

Get more info here

GASPARILLA CHILDREN’S PARADE 2018 ROAD CLOSURE SCHEDULE

Monday, January 15, 2018 – Thursday, February 1, 2018

  • Close Bayshore Boulevard crossovers at DeSoto Avenue, Nance Avenue, Albany Avenue and Gunby Avenue

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:00 AM

  • Close Bayshore Boulevard Northbound from Bay-to-Bay Boulevard to Rome Avenue

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:30 AM

  • Close Bayshore Boulevard from Gandy Boulevard to Platt Street/Channelside Drive
  • Close Bay to Bay Boulevard from Ysabella Ave to Bayshore Boulevard
  • Close Davis Island Bridge Off-Ramp onto Northbound Bayshore Boulevard

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

  • Close One Eastbound Lane and one Westbound Lane on Bay to Bay Boulevard from MacDill Avenue to Ysabella Ave (to accommodate Pedestrian Walkway)

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 4:30 PM

  • Close Eastbound Bay-to-Bay Boulevard at MacDill Avenue

Shuttle service from the Fort Brook Garage, located on the corner of Franklin and Whiting Street, will operate one continuous shuttle route on January 20, 2018 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Cost is $10 per adult, children accompanied by an adult ride for free. The shuttle will deliver to Bayshore Boulevard, near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard and the Crosstown.

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 for the Fort Brooke Garage. The shuttle will travel to Bayshore Boulevard and drop off passengers near the beginning of the parade route at Bay to Bay Boulevard and the Crosstown. Shuttle info here.

-------

Print this article Back to Top