Everything You Need to Know Before Heading Out for Gasparilla

If you've been downtown for all of the Gasparilla festivities, you've seen the insanity first hand. Over 250,000 people are expected to flood the streets for tomorrow's parade, which includes 114 floats, five bands, 14 dignitaries, 18 vessels participating in the invasion flotilla, up to 500 private vessels, and millions of plastic beads.

The Tampa Bay Times put put together a full lineup of parade participants, you can find that here. (Fun fact, iHeartMedia has five different floats!)

The parade is free, BUT did you know that you can reserve special seating that boasts the best view in the city? If you aren't interested in roughing it with the drunken masses, purchase your ticket here: https://gasparillatreasures.com/

One of the biggest headaches (besides the one that comes the next day) of Gasparilla is the parking and transportation situation. Streets surrounding downtown will be closed, and only select garages are offering paid parking to the public. Save yourself the stress and check out this list from WFLA News Channel 8 on all road closures and parking options.  

Uber and Lyft are also viable options which can drop you off approximately 3-4 blocks from the parade route, and some ride share options are even offering free rides! Our friend and Tampa Bay Times Entertainment and Events Reporter Sharon Wynne let us in on a little secret - you can park in Ybor and take the trolley right over to the parade route!

We all know how rowdy the Gasparilla festivities can get, so the City of Tampa put out this informative video on how to stay safe, check it out: 

Gasparilla is now thought of as the Bay's biggest party, but the festival is steeped in tradition and history. The legacy has continued on for over 100 years, and FOX 13 put together a great piece on the ceremonial storming of city hall that kicks off the celebrations. Find that here.

If you're interested in seeing how it's changed since the very first invasion in 1904, check out this gallery over photos from the festival's inception to now! http://www.tampabay.com/data/2019/01/25/see-photos-of-gasparilla-from-every-decade-since-the-first-invasion-in-1904/

If you're heading out tomorrow, have fun and be safe! And don't forget to stop by our live broadcast on NewsRadio WFLA with AM and PM Tampa Bay on the corner of Bayshore Blvd. and Nance Ave. 

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