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.
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.
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.
And remember, please party responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t text and drive.