The great Gaspy secrets & hidden treasures

by: Kennedy Haugen

Most people think that Gasparilla is just the big pirate party that happens on a Saturday in January or the yearly Gasparilla Music Festival; but Gasparilla is so much more than that. There are eight weeks worth of events between late January and April. Here are some events that can keep the Gasparilla season going. 

Ybor City Post Knight Parade Concert
Saturday, Feb. 8

Every Gasparilla season in Ybor City, the Knights of Sant’ Yago put on a family-friendly Illuminated Knights parade. Once the parade is over, more Gasparilla partying can begin. Ybor bar, Gaspar’s Grotto will hold a post Knight Parade concert featuring the Scream Machine Band, a local Tampa act. The show starts right after the parade ends featuring hits from various rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Journey. The show is a free event and more information can be found at the Scream Machine Band’s Facebook page. 

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
Saturday, Feb. 29 – Sunday, March 1

Hundreds of artists from around the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg area come together for a  two-day festival showcasing their art at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The artists will be will showcase their various mediums from digital to wood artworks, competing for monetary prizes. The festival will feature entertainment from local Tampa musicians. Admission is free and the festival will take place at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. More information can be found at 

Gasparilla International Film Festival
Tuesday-Monday, March 17-22 

During the Gasparilla season, there are six days dedicated to international and local film with the Gasparilla International Film Festival. There are over 15,000 film lovers and 200 film industry professionals that attend this festival. The festival showcases over 120 films, along with panels and different meet and greets with filmmakers. Tickets are available for single film showings and week long passes. This event is held over various spots throughout the Tampa Area. More information can be found at 

Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance
Friday-Sunday, April 17-19

Last year was the inaugural year for Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance, making this event a brand new one for the Tampa Bay Area and Gasparilla season. The Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance is the car show of car shows for anyone interested in cars. They put on various events that cater to different car tastes. The first night shows off hot rods, muscle cars, exotics, Model T’s and A’s. The second day is dedicated to rare, mint condition cars from different time periods. The event ends with a “Nickel Tour ” of Tampa on it’s final day. Tickets range from $15 to $250, depending on general admission or VIP. More information can be found at 

Halfway to Gasparilla Pub Crawl
Monday-Tuesday, July 20-21

If you find yourself in Tampa during the summer and want more of the Gasparilla lifestyle, the Halfway to Gasparilla Pub Crawl is perfect for just that. This event takes place in Ybor City and is put on by Tampa Charities Inc. It is a night full of bar hopping through Ybor City’s various bars. Pub crawl participants all meet in a designated bar around 6 p.m., then the crawl kicks off at 8 p.m. where participants are taken to different bars. The roster of bars for the pub crawl is a secret to participants until they reach each bar of the night. Tickets are $30 at the door, and $20 if you show up in a pirate costume. 

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