Gasparilla Weekend

By Donovan Swift

Joseph Brazill moved to Tampa, Florida in July of 2012, and has been enjoying the sights, sounds, and sunshine ever since. Brazill currently resides in the northern end of downtown Tampa, close to where the Gasparilla parade will be ending its voyage this year. The Curtis Hixon Park is where the festival is mainly located and is just two blocks from Joseph’s apartment.

He displayed enthusiasm when asked about his proximity to the parade saying, “I’m excited. I’m going to be out there as soon as it starts, and I’ll probably be one of the last people to leave.”

Joseph had never been to the Gasparilla parade before, but he seemed certain that he was in for an eventful Saturday, saying “Yeah, this is my first Gasparilla, but I heard people are coming from all over Florida for it, so I can’t imagine it letting me down. I mean, who doesn’t like pirates?”

Joseph is not the only one looking forward to the parade, according to a 2007 study, the average crowd of the main parade is over 300,000 people, with over 1,000,000 attending at least one Gasparilla event. When asked about the high volume of the crowd Brazill responded by saying, “It’s great, it’ll be nice to see a lot of people enjoying the things that I live so close too.”

Enjoy them they will, in 2007 the Gasparilla parade had a local economic impact of almost 20 million dollars. So, the city of Tampa can collects its bounty, while everyone from pirates to college students can enjoy a relaxing Saturday in the sun.

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