Ybor Naval invasion begins Gasparilla festivities

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – The partying pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla are set to invade Tampa.

Before the pirates can descend on Bayshore, there is one piece of tradition that takes place each year. The Ybor Naval invasion is set for Saturday, Jan. 16 in front of the American Victory Ship behind the Florida Aquarium.

According to the tradition, first established in 1954, the pirates offer a bribe to the Alcalde, or Mayor of Ybor. The mayor then allows the Navy defending Tampa to be moved out of the way and the pirate invasion can begin.

There is a mock battle that occurs and the invasion forces and Navy hurl stale Cuban Bread at each other and blast water cannons from the boats. The battle can easily be seen from the shore.

This year, WFLA’s Jeff Patterson has been given the honorary title of Alcalde and will participate in the event.

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