Every year at the end of January/beginning of February, the City of Tampa embraces their love of pirate folklore and celebrates The Gasparilla Pirate Festival. The Festival pays homage to the legend of José Gaspar, a mythical buccaneer known for terrorizing the west coast of Florida. There are several events associated with the festival, but the main event is the parade. The morning starts out with a pirate invasion led by The Jose Gasparilla sailing across Tampa Bay into downtown Tampa. The day then continues with the street parade traveling down Bayshore Boulevard where floats throw endless piles of beads and fire cannons. Afterwards, the pirate ship remains on display downtown for a while before sailing back over to Bayshore where it spends most of the year. It’s definitely one of the best times to be in Tampa!