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Gasparilla 2004

Old 01-28-2004, 11:32 AM
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Default Gasparilla 2004

Big Celebrations As Gasparilla Turns 100

TAMPA - In the event that anyone in Tampa could possibly be caught unaware, an air invasion coming a week before the city is invaded by pirates for the 100th time is expected to provide ample warning.
The aerial buzzing of Bayshore Boulevard is the latest excitement being planned by organizers, who are trying to add extra sparkle to the Centennial Gasparilla Parade and the string of events wrapped around the annual tradition.

Bomb bursts will start lighting the sky long before the pirates and other parade krewes start throwing centennial souvenirs the afternoon of Feb. 7.

It begins on Jan. 31 with the Gasparilla Extravaganza - a family-oriented, alcohol-free event created in 2002 by combining the traditional Gasparilla Children's Parade in the afternoon with an evening fireworks display.

The first year drew about 75,000. That number climbed to 125,000 in 2003, according to Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Capt. Fred Dobbins.

Dobbins seems as excited about that event as the granddaddy parade itself.

``It took 100 years for Gasparilla to grow to 120 [parade floats and marching] units,'' Dobbins said Wednesday. ``In just two years, the children's parade grew to 105. It's amazing.

``We're projecting it to be even larger this year,'' he said. ``It is our hope to see this grow into the biggest single-day children's event - and alcohol-free family event - in the country.''

An aerial invasion has been added as a third element of the extravaganza, and it will include a collection of military and civilian aircraft, said Darrell Stefany, president of EventMakers, the organizers of the event and the downtown Gasparilla Pirate Fest on the day of the big parade.

The children's parade is on Bayshore Boulevard, the fireworks are set off from Tampa Bay beside it, and the aircraft will fly over it. Exact times are being worked out. Stefany and Dobbins also are keeping some secrets.

``We're going to a have a surprise announcement when we get closer to the event,'' Dobbins said. ``And we're going to have a surprise out in the Bay, too.''

The Pirate Fest and the pirate invasion, brunch and afternoon parade Feb. 7 will follow the same general schedule as in years past - the invasion at 11 a.m. and parade at 1:45 p.m.

Special keepsake centennial beads and coins will fly along the parade route. For the first time, the parade also will present to the crowds 28 past Gasparilla queens. More information is available at www.

``I think this is going to be a great celebration,'' Stefany said.

Jim Tarbet, Ye Mystic Krewe's executive officer and paid administrator, said the parade bears witness to the krewe's commitment.

``They have gone through world wars, this and that, and they're still here trying to put on an event for the community,'' Tarbet said. ``One hundred years. That's a hell of an achievement!''
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:33 AM
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More Information Things to Do > Event listings > Details
Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade

About the Event:
Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade
02/07/2004 ;
Price: free

Bayshore Boulevard
900 Bayshore Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33606

Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade

Published: December 15, 2003

At 1:45 p.m., the 3.5 mile Gasparilla Parade will begin with nearly 130 units, including over 90 colorful floats, 14 bands, 30 participating Krewes and those infamous pirates from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The parade begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard, continues north along Bayshore Boulevard to the Platt Street bridge, continues east on Channelside Drive, turns North on Florida Street to Jackson Street, turns east on Jackson and ends at the Marion.

Important facts to remember:

When: Saturday, February 7, 2004

Time: Parade begins at 1:30 p.m. & ends approximately at 5:00 p.m.

Place: START - Intersection of Bayshore Blvd. and Bay to Bay Boulevard, moves north on Bayshore to Downtown Tampa, turns east on the Platt Street Bridge, continues east on Channelside Drive, turns north on Florida Avenue to Jackson Street, then east on Jackson to Marion.

Admission: Free

Reserved $20.00 per reserved seat. (Tax Included) Seating: Available beginning October 7, 2003 by ordering online at: under Gasparilla Treasures‘ or by phone at (813) 353-8108.

Payment: VISA, MASTERCARD , AMERICAN EXPRESS, MONEY ORDER or CHECK accepted with a $3.00 handling fee.

Buy Gasparilla Parade & Invasion Brunch Tickets Online
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Old 01-29-2004, 07:11 AM
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