Every city has it's history and Tampa is no exception, we have the pirate, Jose Gaspar. Every year, in February, there are festivities in honor of him named, Gasparilla.
There is a staged 'invasion' where the pirate ship storms into Tampa Bay and is accompanied by hundreds of private modern boats, anyone with a boat joins the fun. When they arrive in Tampa, the mayor hands over the key to the city to 'Ye mystic krewe' and a big parade on the street follows. Most of the people get dressed up like pirates and collecting the beads thrown from the floats makes everyone a participant.
The full story of The Legend of Jose Gapar can be found here: http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm
On a more realistic? note, I would like to add is that his treasure was never found. A man in Fort Myers claims some school children found a rock with a carving of an old ship in it. By the time he got to the site, there was only a hole in the ground.
When we were in Key West about 20 years ago, we talked to Mel Fischer who was a modern day treasure hunter (he brought up the Santa Margarita and millions of dollars of treasure). He assured my son that there was treasure indeed and the odd piece often washed up on the beaches of southwest Florida, especially after a bad storm.
That's another great thing about living here, you just never know what you'll find when you go out.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the parade.
There were men pirates
And lady pirates
Pirates with guns
Pirates with swords (and beer)
And what would my post be without a picture of a bird