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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cleaning up the "frolic"


The annual event in Tampa Bay that's a wannabe Mardi Gras. Taking advantage of a real life invasion of the gulf by pirate Jose Gaspar, Tampa "renacts" his landing every year around February 1.

The celebration encompasses a children's parade, an art show, a daytime invasion/breakfast/parade and a raunchy night parade in Ybor City. As time has gone by, the day parade had become drunker and drunker.... prompting the denizens of the beautiful neighborhood along the bay to complain about the drunks, public urination, flashing (in order to get bounty, yes, the inevitable strings of beads from the floats), etc. etc. This year the city agreed to clean it up, warned the youth in schools, bolstered the patrol force, and arrested over 400+ people, mostly for public drunkenness and lewd behavior.

The lead pirate ship "The Jose Gaspar" arrives at the convention center with many, many pirates and an escort of anything in Tampa that has a motor and floats on water.

Sigh. We are all adults. We are all adults. Here's a closer look...

Ok, maybe sometimes we're a little youthful.

Anyway, between the focus on a cleaner atmosphere and the rain we had on Saturday, the invasion and parade were much more docile. I stayed away, but if they continue to tone it down, I may go back again one day. Thought you'd enjoy the pictures!

Damn the rain.

Going for beads, post-parade.

Confiscated! And the denizens on the sidewalk got a court date.


Kelly said...

I've never heard of this.... interesting! Probably too wild for me. Even in my partying days I steered clear of New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

(my word verification is "bless")

Marion said...

I'm afraid we're going to have one helluva mess after Mardi Gras this year with the Saints in the Super Bowl and all. I guess it's job security for city workers, no? Blessings!