VIDEO: Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in Tampa

WFLA photo

TAMPA (WCMH/WFLA) — Thousands of pirates and revelers “invaded” Tampa on Saturday for the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla re-enacts the historic invasion of Tampa by mythical pirate Jose Gaspar every year.

WFLA photo
WFLA photo
WFLA photo
WFLA photo

During the re-enactment, pirates aboard the Jose Gasparilla ship sail across Tampa Bay to downtown Tampa.

Once the ship lands, the captain demands that the mayor hand over the “key to the city” in a playful ceremony.

Whether or not the mayor surrenders, the pirates later hold a parade to celebrate their victory through the streets of Tampa. About 250,000 people showed up this year to the festivities.

Extra security measures ensured that the event remained safe and fun for everyone.

Initial reports from Tampa Police as of 5 p.m. Saturday are eight people arrested. Arrests include one each of disorderly intoxication, public urination, disorderly conduct, possession of an open container, criminal use of a personal ID, and battery. There were two arrests for possession of cocaine. There were 35 people transported to the hospital, one of them was a trauma alert. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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