Gasparilla 2016: Street Closures, Schedule, Maps
Gasparilla season continues this weekend with the annual pirate invasion and parade in downtown Tampa on Saturday and a concert Friday evening at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
On Saturday, the pirate invasion flotilla starts at 11:30 a.m. near the Tampa Convention Center. The 3.8-mile parade of pirates runs from 2 p.m. until about 5:30 p.m. along Bayshore Boulevard north into downtown. A full schedule of events is available here.
The parade has had a rowdy reputation, although there have been fewer arrests in recent years, and law enforcement officers will be out in force again this year.
"There are officers throughout the route. Contact one of those guys, and let them mitigate that circumstance," Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward said. "The ultimate goal is for everyone to come out and have fun and leave with a neck full of beads."
Parking is available at garages throughout downtown Tampa and in Ybor City. Most side streets in residential neighborhoods will be off-limits for parking, and authorities say tickets will be issued.
The crossovers on Bayshore Boulevard at DeSoto Avenue, Nance Avenue, Albany Avenue and Gunby Avenue have been closed since Jan. 17 and will stay closed until Feb. 4.
Additional road closures start Friday at 10 p.m., with the closure of Bayshore Boulevard, along with a section of Bay-To-Bay and the Davis Island Bridge off ramp onto Northbound Bayshore Drive. See the complete schedule of road closures here.