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Pirates to invade downtown Tampa for 2022 Gasparilla Raiding Party

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will meet Captain Lackman to negotiate the surrender of the city.

TAMPA, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

The bearded bandits are back! 

Last week, a group of swashbucklers were able to infiltrate the city with their eyes set on Mayor Jane Castor's office. The crew left behind a letter from Captain Peter Lackman commanding that Castor meet him at high noon Tuesday in downtown Tampa to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the city or face a costly invasion.

Basically, what we're saying is the Tampa mayor will be holding the ceremonial Gasparilla Raiding Party next week — and everyone is invited. 

Beginning at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25, a group of pirates will arrive in downtown Tampa by float at the Tampa Convention Center Rotunda. Because pirates seemingly cannot deal with rain, the event was moved from Lykes Gaslight Park. 

At noon, those same pirates will meet with the Castor to negotiate the city's surrender. People attending the event are asked to bring "theatrical noise props." 

Following the mayor's planned surrender of the city, the captain and crew of the Ye Mystic Krewe celebrate their capture of Tampa by sharing their wealth of colorful beads with revelers. 

The parade typically boasts more than 140 units comprised of more than 100 elaborate floats, marching bands and at least 50 krewes. The parade kicks off around 2 p.m. at Bay to Bay Boulevard and ends around 5:30 p.m. at Cass Street and Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa.  

The negotiation is the kick-off for the eventual Gasparilla Invasion. 

The real invasion will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29. On that day, the Jose Gasparilla ship will lead hundreds of boats across Hillsborough Bay in the Gasparilla Flotilla. The 165-foot long “pirate” ship, was built in 1954 for the pirate festival.

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