Project 52 is supposed to be a project that encourages me to be a better, more creative photographer, but it is also supposed to be a project that encourages me to capture more of our day to day lives. This week there is nothing creative and nothing "better" about my photos. They are snapshots taken on auto while a 5 month old was strapped to my chest. Some of them weren't even taken by me. However, it was a first time experience for us.
Gasparilla is Mardi Gras type event that takes place in Tampa every year. It is wild and honestly I can't imagine being in the middle of the action. We have lived here 4 years and have yet to see any of the Gasparilla events outside of the 5k and 15k runs that are hosted.
We have friends who live on Davis Islands where the boat parade can be viewed under less "CRAZY" conditions. They invited us over for brunch with a plan to walk to DI park and view the boat parade.
I am not a fan of the drunkenness or the debauchery, but will admit seeing and hearing the pirate ship was very cool. It was huge and looks so different when full of "Ye Mystic Crew."
Here is a little history behind Gaparilla (for those who are interest):
"Gasparilla...the pirate. The name and foundation of Tampa's traditional Gasparilla Carnival come from legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, "last of the Buccaneers," who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the late 18th and early 19th century. Gaspar, given to calling himself "Gasparilla," served as a lieutenant in the Royal Spanish Navy for five years until 1783 when, upon seizing command of a Spanish sloop-of-war, he with his fellow mutineers set sail for the Florida straits. And so the young Spanish aristocrat-turned-pirate began an adventurous life as outlaw of the sea.
Although few facts are known of the life and death of the famed Gasparilla, accounts from his own personal diary boast the capture and burning of 36 ships during his first 12 years as a pirate. Crews of captured ships were given the option of joining Gaspar's ranks or walking the plank; fates of captive ladies were determined largely by his moment's fan.
The number of ships that fell prey to Gasparilla and his buccaneers during later years is not known, but he continued to ravage Florida waters until December 1821. Deciding it was time to retire from pirate life, Gaspar had just convinced his crew to split up their accumulated fortune, disband and live out their lives in peace and luxury."
And a little about the parade:
"The first invasion was so successful and well-received by the people of Tampa that a city-wide demand was voiced to make the Mystic Krewe organization permanent and to replicate the carnival each year.
Tampa has upheld its tradition by celebrating Gasparilla every year with only ten exceptions since that infamous first invasion. Today, Ye Mystic Krewe numbers over 700 of the city's most prominent men, who uphold their mascot Gaspar as a "hearty old swashbuckler with courtly manners and possibly – just possibly – prankful habits."
In 1954 the Krewe commissioned the building of the world's only fully rigged pirate ship to be built in modern times. Named the Jose Gasparilla, the ship is a replica of a West Indiaman used in the 18th century. She is constructed of steel at 165' long by 35' across the beam, with 3 steel masts standing 100' tall. During the year she is usually docked at the Tarpon Weigh Station on Bayshore Blvd. for the public's viewing pleasure. In the past, Gasparilla has been celebrated on the second Monday in February.
A break in tradition came in 1988 with the move to a Saturday festival. The change allows surrounding communities to take part in the celebration. In 2002, the festival was moved to the last Saturday in January. In addition to the traditional invasion and parade, the Gasparilla celebration encompasses a full week's worth of activities held throughout the city. This January, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will lay siege upon Tampa once again."
Enough history, here are a few snapshots of us enjoying the day. The weather was perfect, the food was tasty, and the fellowship was the best!
The men toted the older kids over on bikes while we walked with Zoe and Abigail.
At least the men were looking. The kids were mezmerized by all of the boats on the water and the people throwing beads.
And yes this is a photo with friends looks like now-a-days. I love these girls and am very thankful to be walking through this season of life with them.
Bennett is always up for a few tosses from daddy!
(sorry I didn't get either of the girls looking)