Gasparilla Live Blog: What’s happening right now

4:30 p.m.

Parade coverage is ending on TV and online.

4:05 p.m.

Eagle 8 is headed back to the nest, but our live streaming coverage of the parade continues.  Once the televised portion ends, we’ll continue to stream a shot of the parade until the final float has passed. Watch it streaming live!

3:50 p.m.

Pilot-Reporter Judd Chapin says the last float has left Bay to Bay Boulevard, the starting point of the parade.

3:40 p.m.

Lots of cannon fire in downtown Tampa right now.  The pirates are definitely in town!

3:15 p.m.

You can also listen to the parade on our partner radio stations, 970 WFLA and 93.3 FLZ.

3:11 p.m.

The view from Eagle 8 shows that the first floats are just a short distance away from crossing the Hillsborough River and entering downtown Tampa.

3:09 p.m.

News Channel 8’s Melissa Beckman reports that float #50 has just passed her.  She is located at the start of the parade, at Bay to Bay and Bayshore.

3:07 p.m.

The parade looks great!  Audio problems are fixed on News Channel 8.  And, I’m adding a BUNCH of new photos to the photo gallery, so check them out!

2:40 p.m.

Yep, we’re aware that we have some audio problems on Channel 8 right now.  The live stream online sounds great — so you can watch it there.  Our engineers are working on the problem and hope to have it fixed soon.

2:30 p.m.

Parade coverage has begun!  Watch it streaming live!

2:15 p.m.

Eagle 8 is in the air again, and the live streaming video is back on!  Parade coverage begins in just a few minutes.

2:10 p.m.

News Channel 8’s Melissa Beckman tells us that the floats are lined up and ready to go!

1:52 p.m.

BTW… you can follow me on Twitter: @wfladaniel

1:45 p.m.

It looks like the fun has already started along the parade route.  Check out our 8 On Your Side Facebook page for a video shot by Jennifer Leigh, of a spontaneous outbreak of the “Cuban Shuffle”

1:15 p.m.

Eagle 8’s coverage has ended for now.  The Eagle should be back up around 2 p.m.  And of course, our parade coverage begins at 2:30!  I’m posting some behind-the-scenes photos of our crew (today, I guess, that’s krewe) preparing for the show, in our image gallery.

12:55 p.m.

They’ve almost reached downtown Tampa!

12:50 p.m.

Music is blasting outside the News Center!  It sounds like the Pirate Fest street festival is cranking up.

12:38 p.m.

We received this photo of the parade staging area just a few minutes ago.  You can find more photos in our image gallery, which we’re updating as the pictures come in.

12:35 p.m.

The Jose Gasparilla ship is about halfway up the Seddon Channel, headed for the Tampa Convention Center.

12:05 p.m.

Judd Chapin says the Jose Gasparilla ship should be entering Seddon Channel within the next 15 minutes.

11:55 a.m.

It looks like the flotilla is still in Hillsborough Bay, at the south end of Davis Islands. Judd will give us an update from Eagle 8 during our Noon newscast.

11:49 a.m.

Good news! Technical problems have been resolved, and the live streaming video from Eagle 8 is back up!

11:35 a.m.

Don’t forget, you can find event schedules, parade maps, and much more on our Gasparilla Pirate Fest page on

11:24 a.m.

The invasion is set to begin in 6 minutes!

11:06 a.m.

Eagle 8 has been on the ground for a few minutes.  We’re working on getting the video feed up again… standby.

In the meantime, we’ve also started building a slide show of images from today.  Check it out here.  we’ll update it with fresh pics throughout the day.

10:02 a.m.

Eagle 8 is sending back some beautiful pictures this morning!  Are you watching the live streaming video?


9:40 a.m.

News Channel 8’s Anthony Allred just found five people who camped out along the parade route, just so they could claim a great spot.  Now that’s dedication!

9:25 a.m.

Eagle 8 is now in the air over Tampa.  Check out the live stream here.

8:51 a.m.

I just checked in with Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Megan Hatton.  She can’t stop raving about how perfect the weather is today.  She says it will be a little chilly this morning, but then sunny, low 70’s for the high, light winds for the boaters.

Saturday, January 26 – 8:40 a.m.

Good morning!  @wfladaniel here.  I’ll be updating this blog throughout the day, to keep you updated on what’s happening with Gasparilla.

I just drove into downtown.  No traffic problems!  Even though it’s early, I did see some people walking towards town.  Also saw several police cars, already on patrol.  Behave yourselves! provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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