- Since 1904, Gasparilla has been the event of the year in Tampa, a festival of parades, floats, art shows and concerts. The festival, named for pirate José Gaspar, begins when a mock pirate ship sails into Tampa Bay. Pirates-for-a-day leap off the ship and take over the city for a weekend of festivities that includes a Gasparilla Day Parade. Later in the month, events include the Festival of Lights, Gasparilla Run and Gasparilla Art Show. Admission to all events, except to participants in the Art Show and marathon, is free.
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