TAMPA, Fla. — The pirates were out in full force Saturday during an eventful and chilly Gasparilla.
This parade has been a tradition in the city for more than 100 years. It all started with one pirate in 1904, sailing across Tampa Bay.
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The latest installment included thousands of people braving the wind, the chop and the rather cool weather.
Florida Fish and Wildlife helped police the hundreds of boats tagging along with Jose Gaspar's pirate ship that descended through the Seddon Channel and into Hillsborough Bay for an "invasion" of Tampa.
"There's a lot of boats out here, a lot of congestion," said FWC spokeswoman Ashley Tyre. "There's people that are driving too fast and weaving in and out of the traffic. People that are weaving in and out of boats. We're looking for impaired operators."
Dozens of law enforcement agencies brought their own vessels to help with security and keeping the event safe.
The longstanding Gasparilla tradition brings an element of fun on the water that is in a league of its own. The energy was similar along the parade route, as people were yelling, having a blast and throwing and collecting beads.
The grand marshal of the parade this year was celebrity Mario Lopez, and live music all day helped keep the thousands of visitors entertained.
Tampa police said there were 11 arrests — 5 felonies and six misdemeanors. Two people were arrested after standing on top of a police vehicle and damaging it. Two were arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer.
"The vast majority of people at the parade were well behaved and had a great time," said Police Chief Brian Dugan. "Once again the City put on a great show. A lot of people work hard to make this a safe and fun event. I think the parade goers really appreciate that."
As for the invasion, don't worry. The key to the city still belongs to Tampa.