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Argh! Little pirates invade Tampa, Children's Gasparilla Parade returns

The little pirates searched for treasure, or beads and candy, for the return of the Children's Gasparilla Parade.

TAMPA, Fla. — The pirates have invaded the city of Tampa and they appear to be half your size.

The Children's Gasparilla Parade made its return and the city expected a huge turnout after COVID-19 canceled last year's parade.

Little pirates searched hard for treasure. In their case, beads and candy.

Families like Greg Skipper's marked the event on their calendar last year. He said it'll be tough to get his son out of his pirate costume.

"I think he might be wearing this for the next two weeks," Skipper said. "It’s like Halloween except everyone’s a pirate.”

While some parents echoed concerns over COVID-19 safety, some also said they feel relieved over the existence of the vaccines, unlike last year.

Despite the cool and rainy weather, nothing was stopping some families from celebrating along the 4.5-mile parade route on Bayshore Boulevard. 

The tradition of attending Gasparilla goes back years for Tampa-natives.

“Living in Tampa, you don’t grow up without some sort of pirate gear in the toy box," Devon Rohlfes said.

Passing this tradition on to their next generation of pirates means something special, they said. 

"It’s nice to see everyone out and be able to go out, and have fun with no restrictions," George Normandia said.