It’s a chilly yet sunny day at the University of Tampa. Outside of McKay Hall, students gather around the benches talking animatedly about the infamous pirate festival; Gasparilla. The Gasparilla Pirate Festival began Tampa, Florida in 1904 and is a celebration of the invasion of folklore pirate, Jose Gaspar. Held every by the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, Gasparilla is one of the most popular festivals in the country. People from all over Florida, particularly students, flock to the city of Tampa to see the parades and enjoy the other events. Lindsey Chatman is a new student from the city of Burlington, Vermont. This is her second semester at UT and her first ever Gasparilla. Like most new students she has high hopes and expectations for the pirate festival. “I heard most about it around campus and from my peers.” She says. Aside from the wonderful parade, thousands of colorful beads and festive atmosphere, young Lindsey is eager to jump in head first into the party culture involved in the events. Her and her friends hope for a weekend of one eyed thrills and pirate themed parties. She imagines running through the streets of Bayshore Boulevard happily inebriated and highly satisfied. Most students seem to have similar wishes but they will just have to wait and see what Gasparilla 2013 has in store.
By Candice Bryan