It’s that time of the year again, when Tampa Bay turns into a pirate cove for the weekend. But these aren’t pirates who tote automatic weapons off the coast of Somalia. These much more festive pirates enjoy nonfunctional eye patches, drinking rum, catching beads and drinking rum.
For all you part-time peg-leggers out there, The Oracle brings you a treasure chest of Gasparilla events for the weekend.
Cheese- and wine-tasting party
Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. at Cheese Please
Classy and sophisticated pirates should check out Cheese Please’s annual cheese-and wine tasting party. The popularity of this event has inspired the Tampa cheese shop to extend it to two nights.
Their website advertises a 15 percent off special for customized trays of their “sexy, bawdy cheeses to match your wild and festive” Gasparilla party. The cost is $25 per person.
Gentzparilla and Gasparilla After Party
Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. at The Kennedy
Start the party early at The Kennedy for their Gentzparilla party and fashion show. Their website suggests a $20 donation that will benefit The Children’s Dream Fund. The event includes a complimentary promotional beverage at The Kennedy, complimentary beverage at Cheap and admission into the Hyde Park Café.
Head to The Kennedy on Saturday to cap off your Gasparilla fun with their after party. Ladies get in for free and drink for free until 11 p.m. Guys get in free until 10 p.m. and drink free until 11 p.m. if on the guest list.
Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Saturday 10 a.m. in downtown Tampa
Take part in history as Tampa celebrates its 108th Gasparilla Pirate Festival. Events for the day include the invasion, where ships will converge on Hillsborough Bay at 11:30 a.m. Its website says the best view is from the Convention Center as part of the official Invasion Brunch. But if you don’t want to buy tickets, most of the action can be seen from Bayshore Boulevard and the surrounding waterfront areas.
At 2 p.m. the action will move from sea to land as the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates commences. According to its website, “The parade begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard. It continues along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive. The parade ends at Cass Street and Ashley Drive.
The site also encourages potential spectators to reserve free bleacher seating along the parade route. The party continues after the parade with live musical performances by Daniel B. Marshall, C’NERGY and Skycoasters.
Gasparilla events at MacDinton’s
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
This popular Hyde Park spot has three Gasparilla-themed events for the weekend. Get your invasion hangover started Friday night with their usual $10 open bar from 6 to 8 p.m. and stay for live music starting at 10 p.m.
Saturday they will host a Gasparilla Post Parade Party starting at 5 p.m. with $10 cover, drink specials and live music from The Paper Stanley’s.
The party continues on Sunday with their annual Gaspar Grilla that features a $20 open bar and grill from
4 to 6 p.m. with live music.
Maximize the potential of your own party
If you’re throwing your own party, there are a few ways to make it even better. Creative Loafing is looking for the “most unique and peculiar Gasparilla celebrations in town.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details about your party. If selected,
photographers will attend for the chance to have your festivities published in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. The winner also receives $100 in Creative Loafing deals.
If your party is losing momentum, get an energy boost with free Red Bull. Text “Gasparilla” to 72855 and you’ll be asked to provide your name and party address. Red Bull team members will be there shortly after to deliver a free four-pack.