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Gasparilla 2017 ends with smooth sailing

Despite chilly temps, big crowds and few arrests
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Posted at 10:03 PM, Jan 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 16:08:37-05

Whether young, or young at heart, putting on your best swashbuckling gear and catching beads on Bayshore is how you party like a pirate at Gasparilla in Tampa.

"I think it gives you a sense of city pride, honestly.  You think about what's unique in Tampa, and this is one thing we do that's nowehre else in the world," said Daniel McFadden.

For some, the pirate parade is an annual tradition.  Teresa Evans enjoys passing out beads and snapping pictures along the parade route with her shipmates.

"We love to be a part of this.  It's so much fun.  It's exhilarating," said Evans with the Krewe of Neptune.

Plenty of first-timers line the streets, too, soaking it all in.  But this year, many were shivering their timbers.

"I might be from Wisconsin, but it's way too cold!  I see these girls in tights, but I don't know what they're thinking.  It's like 50 right now!  But I think it's great that everyone can come together and have a good time on a Saturday," said Cynthia Lupton.

More than a thousand police officers kept a close eye on every inch of the parade route.  And the first report, shows just eight arrests by the invasion's end.  Now, the process of cleaning up the loot the pirates left behind, begins.