The Pirates Storm the Bay and Take the Mayor Hostage

February 1, 2010 in Attractions, Entertainment, Events

pirates It was a blast!  The pirates came into Tampa and took over the city.  They took the mayor hostage as they fired guns and canons at onlookers.  The most unique sight I’ve ever experienced.

I just moved to Tampa a little over a year ago.  Before that, I had been here, technically, only once in my life.  I’m going to date myself here, but I was part of the relief efforts when Hugo ripped through Puerto Rico.  I was in the Marine Corps at the time and we flew in and out of MacDill Air Force Base several times a day to help clean up Puerto Rico.  Now, I live a mile from MacDill.

So, part of the Tampa experience is Gasparilla, a parade thrown every year in honor of a past pirate named Jose Gaspar, a Spanish pirate who is reported to have operated in Southwest, Florida.  The parade has a huge history, but what it has become today has struck me as one of the most interesting celebrations in any city throughout America.

How many times does a mayor get taken hostage as the kickoff to a day long celebration?

How often do hundreds of ships convoy inland with a pirate ship as the center of attention?

I know there are some great events throughout the world.  I’m just saying this is one of the most interesting.  To give you an example, here is a list of annual city events across the nation:

 

New Year’s Eve, New York’s Times Square

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Mardi Gras

 

These are the types of city events so huge you can’t help but get involved.  From anywhere in the city, you are a part of it because it’s so large you can’t get away. 

That’s how I felt about Gasparilla.  It was a crazy, day long celebration that took up all of Bayshore Boulevard and led right to the newly unveiled Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  The city that I now call home has got some really great attractions.  If you get a chance, check it out one year.

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