After the Invasion
Finding Tampa is not a fan of large crowds. Especially the rowdy, bead-flinging variety. So I was happy to stroll along Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa on this beautiful Sunday morning, the day after Gasparilla. Bayshore Boulevard connects downtown with southernmost Tampa and reportedly has the world’s longest continuous sidewalk at about 4.5 miles. On a typical day, Bayshore is a great place to walk, run, or bicycle. As you can see in the photo above, the views of Tampa Bay are outstanding.
Of course, what with this being Florida, you never know when a gang of pirates will show up.
Every year, Bayshore is the primary site of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. The event is named after Jose Gaspar, a Spanish pirate reported to have sailed the waters off Florida’s Gulf coast during the late 1700′s and early 1800′s. Faux pirates stage a mock attack by sailing up Tampa Bay. (When Gasparilla was first held in 1904, the “invasion” was staged on horseback.) A parade then moves up Bayshore Boulevard into downtown, where festivities continue into the night.
The Gasparilla parade was yesterday (Saturday). Bayshore is walking distance from Finding Tampa’s apartment but, as mentioned earlier, I preferred to investigate the parade route this morning, after the crowds had moved on. In general, streets and sidewalks were tidier than I expected. Teardown of booths and bleachers was well under way.
I’m pleased to report Bayshore and its views remain.