Pirates, & Beads, & Transit…oh my!
Post was updated on 01/26/2019.
A brief update was made to include the Cross-Bay Ferry schedule.
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 26, starting at 2:00pm.
Roadway closures & parking info
On Friday, January 25, the day before the parade, many area roadways will begin to shut down. A complete list of closures has been provided through local media outlets (for this post, I’ve used the News Channel 8 article) and I strongly suggest that you go through this list so that you’re not caught in unnecessary traffic congestion. 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 from the west 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 bus connections will end after 3pm.
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 parked. Also, keep in mind that many streets will be closed throughout the area. Please also be sure to bring cash, because some lots may only accept cash as payment. Additionally, please be aware that the City of Tampa prohibits parking on some streets.
Escape the parking & use HART!
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 – including routes that serve the Downtown Tampa area – please visit the HART website, as information can change between now and the day of the parade.
Before boarding HART buses, please be sure to have your fare ready. You can purchase your HARTride fare cards in advance, use cash on the bus, or download the Flamingo Fares App. Please keep in mind that the TECOline Streetcar is now FARE FREE!
If you’re using other HART routes to get to the parade route, please plan ahead, as Routes 1, 7, 8, 14, 19, 30, & 360LX will be detoured accordingly. Detour maps are available for viewing.
For further information regarding how you can use HART to get to & from Gasparilla, please visit the HART blog.
What about Cross Bay Ferry service?
The staff at the Cross-Bay Ferry confirmed their schedule through 02/02/2019 on 01/25/2019. They WILL operate a partial day’s schedule on 01/26/2019. Please see the graphic below for details:
Please visit the Cross-Bay Ferry website for further information. Please keep in mind that tickets may sell out quickly.