TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay's annual Gasparilla celebration kicks off Saturday January 20, 2018 with the Children's Parade along Bayshore Boulevard. Named for legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar, who's said to have terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the 18th and 19th centuries, Gasparilla's pirate-themed events are fun for the entire family.
On Saturday, mateys of all ages jump and shout for beads as over 100 parade floats make their way down Bayshore. The Children's Parade has been part of the Gasparilla celebration since 1947 and has, in years past, included krewes, marching bands, dance teams, school organizations and more.
There is reserved bleacher seating available for the parade at $38 per ticket. Providing the seats do not sell out, guests can purchase bleacher seats the day of the parade for an additional $5.
The parade steps off at 3:30pm at Bayshore and Bay to Bay and ends along Edison Avenue. There are other events Saturday including the Preschooler's Stroll and a Bicycle Rodeo, where kids will be fitted with a new (and free!) bike helmet. Vendors and children's activities open along Bayshore, from Bay to Bay to Edison, at 11am. The day ends with a bang of beautiful fireworks at 7pm.
Parking is available at various lots and garages in downtown Tampa. The garages have a special one-time event fee to be paid upon entry. Parking along the neighborhood streets off Bayshore Blvd. is not permitted. Tampa Police officers will strictly enforce event parking policies.
There is also a shuttle available for parade guests. It picks up from the Fort Brooke Garage at Whiting and Franklin and drops off on Bay to Bay, a block from Bayshore. The shuttle runs from 10am to 8pm. Adult tickets are $10. Children accompanied by an adult ride free.
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