Gearing up for Gasparilla

Anya Proctor

This weekend in Tampa holds much anticipation for the city’s faithful residents, including many University of Tampa students.  Long ago, a notorious pirate, famously known as ‘Gasparilla’ terrorized the shores of West Florida for loot and booty. Named after him, an annual festival commemorating his legacy will take place this Saturday in downtown Tampa.

While many University students are repeat attendees to the city’s upcoming celebratory activities, quite a few students, mostly new to the University of Tampa, will be treading unfamiliar territory Saturday as they take part in Gasparilla for the first time.

Many hopefuls are already gearing for the celebration, including UT Freshman, Griffin Guinta, from Sarasota, Florida. Guinta, brother to a UT Junior and Gasparilla veteran, will join a group of friends Saturday sporting stylishly appropriate accessories, such as bandanas and chains, to get into the spirit.

He says he’s attended similar events in his hometown of DeSoto, Fl., but nothing that surpasses the immensity of Gasparilla. Noting the inevitable chaos that characterizes the event, Guinta anticipates having a good time. “I’m just going to enjoy it. Soberly.” Wise words from a freshman, the example of whom many newcomers should consider following.

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