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Gasparilla weather forecast: Spectacular! But the bay could be bumpy

After a chilly start on Saturday morning, temperatures will warm into the low 70s by parade time.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. — Attention ye landlubbers! Gasparilla festivities invade Tampa Bay this weekend. No doubt the largest annual community celebration, the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion kicks off Saturday morning in downtown Tampa.

Not much can put a damper on this amazing day of fun and frivolity — except the weather. So, what can we expect from Mother Nature?

Well, there is no doubt that we will start the morning off on the chilly side with an overnight low temperature (bottoming out at 7 a.m.) at 49 degrees. However, we'll have plenty of sunshine to warm us up to a daytime high of 73 degrees by later in the afternoon. 

And the best part? We expect a zero chance of rain on Saturday.

For the pirates and sailors on the waterIt could be bumpy at times, with choppy conditions possible on the bay.

So, get out your eye patch, put on your puffy pirate shirt and come enjoy one of the coolest celebrations in the country, Gasparilla!

You'll want to watch as the Jose Gasparilla ship appears at the southern end of the Hillsborough Bay — the ship is the jewel of an invasion that will feature hundreds, if not thousands of boats. 

The festive pirate flotilla will navigate its way through the bay and into Seddon Channel (between Davis Islands and Harbour Island), and the Gasparilla Invasion will have begun! 

The city of Tampa will be virtually defenseless against the throngs of pirates and boats firing their cannons and making their presence known. Once the ship docks at the convention center at 1 p.m., Tampa's mayor will surrender the keys to the city to the ruckus and rebellious band of pirates.

The parade will begin at 2 p.m. with some 300,000 people expected to line Bayshore Boulevard as more than 150 floats, bands and various krewes throw beads and other goodies into the frenzied crowd. 

And by the way, all of these festivities are free to the public.

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