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Sorry pirates, 2021 isn’t going to be your year.
Not even pirates are immune to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Tampa, Fla., recently announced that it would be canceling the yearly celebration of its local pirate lore due to the pandemic.
A pirate raid at Gasparilla in Tampa, Florida is pictured on January 26, 2019.
Gasparilla, a festival celebrating Tampa’s history with pirates, will not be held in 2021, AP News reports. The parade and ensuing community events have been called off due to concerns related to the pandemic, although they are expected to return next year.
In a statement obtained by the AP, the organization that throws the festival each year announced, “After many conversations with the friendlies, we’re sad to announce that our krewe will remain offshore until the seas have calmed, and will not invade Tampa Bay’s shores in 2021. Heed our vow, we’ll return in 2022!”
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In a statement, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said, “Now we have more time here at the City of Tampa to batten down the hatches and roll out the cannons, as there is little doubt those ne’re do well pirates will be after more than the key to the city next year!”
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The festival is named after a pirate, Jose Gaspar, who is referred to as the last of the Buccaneers. According to lore, he roamed the waters surrounding Florida in the early 1800’s. The festival includes a large parade, local music, pirate costumes and even a mock invasion of fake pirates. Similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, local krewes will form to participate in the parade and make sure that every pirate does their duty.
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