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Pirates to make their way to downtown Tampa as Gasparilla raid nears

As part of this year's Gasparilla Raiding Party, pirates will negotiate a peaceful surrender of the city with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

TAMPA, Fla. — Arrrgh you ready, Tampa!?

On Tuesday morning, pirates from the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's elite Plunder-Team Ten Special Operations Unit will infiltrate the city's outer defenses as they arrive in the area on their float.

As part of this year's Gasparilla Raiding Party, the determined warriors plan to quickly make their way into City Hall and negotiate a peaceful surrender of the city with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. 

The city said in a news release that Truett Gardner, the captain of the Krewe, will meet with Castor at noon Tuesday, Jan. 24, to talk about what will happen if she declines to negotiate.

"The Krewe, notorious for its theatrical noise props (cannons), will 'discuss' the advantages of Mayor Castor surrendering the key to the City of Tampa," the city said in a statement. "Her only chance — surrender now or face the historic Gasparilla Invasion."

If Castor decided to not meet Gardner on Tuesday, she will be delivered to the Lykes Gaslight Park on Franklin Street.

From there, the pirates will move forward with their invasion during the 2023 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, which can be seen along the waterfront at Bay to Bay and Bayshore in downtown Tampa. 

"Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla has proudly presented Tampa’s historic Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of Pirates since 1904," the city stated.

The Tampa Police Department said that people near the area of the invasion should expect to hear loud noises, such as the sound of theatrical cannons and gunfire. The sounds will go off between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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