Pirates, and Beads, and Transit…oh my!
Yep, it’s that time again, for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival! The Parade of the Pirates brings in hundreds of revelers each year, and along with that…tons and tons of roadway closures. So here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending the parade on Saturday, January 31, starting at 2:00pm.
Roadway Closures and Parking Info
On Friday, January 30, the day before the parade, many area roadways will begin to shut down. Although exact times haven’t been announced, this post will be updated as soon as they are. Last year, Bayshore Blvd began to close down at 10:00pm the night before the parade. Because of the parade route and disbursement of the floats at the end of the parade, the Platt, Brorein, and Kennedy bridges will all be closed. That means your only points of egress into downtown Tampa will be the Cass St bridge, the Selmon Expressway, and I-275. If you don’t need to be in downtown Tampa, please do not enter the area! I cannot stress this enough.
For those traveling to Davis Island and Tampa General Hospital, access will be maintained to the island, but the on/off-ramps to/from Bayshore will all be closed. Please be sure to plan ahead for this, as shuttle service may not be available during the parade.
If you plan to park in one of the parking garages in either downtown Tampa, Channelside, Hyde Park, or Ybor City, please make sure you remember where you park. Also, keep in mind that many streets will be closed throughout the area. Please be sure to bring cash, because some lots may only accept cash as payment. Also, please be aware that the City of Tampa prohibits parking on some streets.
Escape the parking and traffic hassles, use transit!
Select HART bus routes and the TECOline Streetcar Line will operate on a modified schedule on Saturday, and some bus routes will be detoured due to road closures. I’ll go through a brief rundown of what to expect if you’re using transit to get to and from the parade. For detailed information, please visit the HART website, as information can change between now and the day of the parade. Also, HART may be posting detailed maps of detoured bus routes as it gets closer to the parade.
Routes 7, 8, 14, 19, & 30 will be detoured! Please plan your trip accordingly! Below is a listing of how buses were detoured last year. This may be different this year, so please stay tuned for further updates.
- Routes 7 & 14 WILL NOT SERVE CASS ST. Instead, both routes will travel along Palm Ave from N. Boulevard and then follow Tampa St/Scott St into downtown (outbound will use Marion St/Henderson Ave/Florida Ave to Palm Ave).
- Route 8 will be detoured via Nuccio Pkwy & Cass St. The normal route through Channelside and southern Downtown WILL NOT BE SERVED.
- Routes 19 & 30 will be detoured via I-275. The Platt/Cleveland/Brorien/Davis Island segments of Route 19 & the Kennedy Blvd segment of Route 30 east of Armenia/Howard WILL NOT BE SERVED.
- Please make alternate arrangements if you are needing to get to/from Tampa General Hospital, as shuttle service may not be available.
- If you reside in the Town-N-Country area, you can park your car at the Northwest Transfer Center and use Route 30 to connect to the Gasparilla festivities!
- The TECOline Streetcar will run a modified schedule and will only serve selected stations during selected times of the day. However, the Dick Greco Plaza, Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union, and Centennial Park stations will be served all day. The Whiting station will be CLOSED all day.
- Feeder bus shuttles will pick up passengers at Dick Greco Plaza, Cumberland Ave, Cadrecha Plaza, and Streetcar Society stations to help get customers between various parking venues and the parade route.
- The In-Town Trolleybus will offer service from Dick Greco Plaza to the Marion Transit Center to allow for speedy travel between northern Downtown and the parade route.
And remember, please party responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t text and drive.