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Gasparilla Children’s Extravaganza draws crowd to Tampa’s Bayshore

Gasparilla Children’s Extravaganza draws crowd to Tampa’s Bayshore

TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Many packed Bayshore Boulevard Saturday to kick off the week-long Gasparilla celebration.

The annual Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza attracted pirates young and old along the parade route, which began at Bay to Bay and ended at Watrous/Orleans and featured dozens of adorned floats.

“The Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza has grown to be recognized as one of the nation’s premier family events, and now includes one of the largest children’s parades in the country” said Darrell Stefany, President of EventFest, Inc in a previous press release. “Tampa has enjoyed this free event for generations, but recent growth of this community tradition is only made possible by the support of our friends at McDonald’s along with our other sponsors.”

Along the parade route hundreds of children lined the fences for a chance at catching beads from those in the parade. Some people in the crowd even made catchy signs in hopes of more beads heading their way.

The Children’s Gasparilla Parade has been going on since 1947 and moved to Bayshore Boulevard in 2002, allowing Tampa Bay’s children to “parade” on the same route as the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates. That parade will be held Saturday, January 25, 2014.

The event is alcohol free and focuses on family activities.

The history of the Tampa tradition traces back to Jose Gaspa, a pirate who patrolled the Gulf Coast in the late 18th century.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the history



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