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Ahoy! What To Do (or NOT Do) at Gasparilla 2018


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Gasparilla is a well-loved tradition here in the Tampa Bay area since 1904, and it’s that time again this weekend. Gasparilla 2018 is hitting Tampa Bay this coming Saturday, January 27th. Over 300,000 captains and mates are expected to turn out for the event, and there will be plenty of fun to be had by all. However, if you aren’t careful, there are a few things that could kill the fun quickly for you or for someone else.

Here is our handy checklist of what to do, or not do, at this year’s event:


  • Carry plenty of water, cash (to avoid ATM fees), your ID, and a cross body bag or backpack
  • Wear comfortable shoes, even if you’re in costume. You’ll likely end up walking plenty over the course of the day and it will be miserable if you’re wearing shoes that hurt or pinch.
  • Wear sunscreen. Even in January, Florida sun can do damage quickly to unprotected skin.
  • Have the number of a designated driver, or the contact information for Uber or a local taxi company if you will be consuming adult beverages. DUI monitoring is high during these events, and nothing steals your fun like getting an expensive ticket…or worse.
  • Know the public parking areas, and where you are allowed to set up for the parade.
  • Unauthorized parking is another sure way to end up with a fine.
  • Keep a close eye on any little ones. Traffic will be heavy, the parade will be crowded, and there are plenty of ways a small child could be injured or lost.


  • Carry hard-sided coolers. Only soft coolers are allowed at Gasparilla.
  • Assume that you can use any bathroom (or the bushes, yikes!). There are plenty of portable restroom facilities set up at the event, and the local Publix has also authorized use of their restrooms.
  • Carry open containers of alcohol outside of the designated drinking zones, and get rid of any unused, opened alcohol before climbing into any vehicle.
  • Drive after you’ve had alcohol. Even one or two drinks could inhibit your judgment and reaction time. It’s not worth the risk.

We hope these tips help you better prepare for, and enjoy, Gasparilla 2018. If you end up in a scrape with a pirate who decided not to follow the rules, don’t walk the plank alone. When unexpected issues come up, Sessums Law Group is here and ready to help. We are experienced in DUI and/or neglectful driving cases and will ensure that any injury or damages you sustained will be looked into, and the at-fault driver will be held accountable. We don’t just stand beside you…we also STAND FOR YOU. We are your trusted Tampa lawyer, so give us a call.

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