|A pirate in the Gasparilla Parade, Tampa, FL|
Photo courtesy of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Aaargh, Matey. T'is the invasion of Tampa by the pirates.
Yes, really. But it's all in fun. Every year the City of Tampa is invaded by pirates who take away the key to the city. The pirate ship floats into the bay with cannons booming and spilling over with pirates who are actually residents of the city all dressed up in costume.
|The Pirate ship invades Tampa Bay!|
Photo courtesy of Lee Ann Clausen
Our family was fortunate enough to take in the event last weekend. And oh my, but so much fun. We had a delicious brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, then walked to the parade route where we watched over 100 floats and several bands make their way down the Bayfront Boulevard. Every float threw beads to the spectators! And what fun is that!
Our 5-year-old granddaughter dressed as a mermaid and people gave her beads. She was a bit small to catch them on her own. (I've got to admit she looked pretty cute in that costume. No wonder she brought home almost 6 pounds of beads!)
She was honored to have her picture taken with the Tampa Chief of Police, Jane Castor.
|Chief of Police Jane Castor and our granddaughter at Tampa's Gasparilla Brunch|
Chief Castor is Tampa's first female chief of police. She was in law enforcement for 25 years when appointed by Tampa's mayor Pam Iorio in 2009. According to her City of Tampa Official Biography "she has served in nearly every capacity within the Department from Patrol, Narcotics, Family Violence and Sex Crimes to Criminal Intelligence, the Field Training Program and Administration." The popular chief will retire in May 2015.
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