Exploring Tampa's Tradition at The Henry B. Plant Museum's Gasparilla Exhibit

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Nora's Blog

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Date: January 20th, 2024 - March 3rd, 2023

Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606

Parking: Free parking is available on-site

If you and your family are looking for things to do in Tampa, consider learning about the iconic Gasparilla at The Henry B. Plant Museum. 

Tampa’s rich cultural heritage is deeply intertwined with the legendary, swashbuckling Gasparilla Festival. This celebration has been a time-honored tradition that locals and tourists alike wait all year for. Walk through our limited-time exhibit to learn about the fascinating history of the festival and find out just what has kept Tampa Bay entranced for more than a century.

Celebrating More Than 110 Years of Gasparilla

The Gasparilla tradition began in 1904 with a surprise “pirate invasion” during the Tampa May Day festival. Over time, pirate traditions were continually added and the “Gasparilla Festival” became a stand-alone celebratory event in 1913.

In honor of The Henry B. Plant Museum’s 90th anniversary, the Gasparilla’s exhibit’s featured items are from the 1933 Gasparilla Festival – the same year that the Museum itself was founded. Some of the items that can be found include a gorgeous bespoke Gasparilla gown designed by famed African American fashion designer Ann Lowe, historic Gasparilla invitations, pirate tokens, and more! 

The Museum will also be showing the film “Memories of Gasparilla Festivals” which includes photographs of early parades and scenes from the 1920s of this famed Tampa attraction.


Tampa's Favorite Festival

The Gasparilla Festival holds a special place in the hearts of Tampa residents. From the parades to the parties, it has been a cornerstone of Tampa culture for over a century. What once was a single-day, localized event has evolved into a weeks-long continual celebration, bringing communities together. 

As a museum dedicated to showcasing and celebrating Tampa’s rich history, The Henry B. Plant Museum is proud to highlight the evolution of the city’s favorite festival through the Gasparilla Exhibit. If you are interested in entertaining things to do in Tampa, look no further than the Museum this Gasparilla season.

Plan Your Visit Today!

Whether you are a long-time Tampa native or a first-time visitor, plan to visit The Henry B. Plant Museum to experience the history and charm of this beloved Tampa attraction. Don’t miss out on this Tampa experience and visit today! Easily purchase your tickets online on our website or upon arrival at the Museum.

Individuals who attended the Victorian Christmas Stroll and saved their brochure may use the included coupon for free family admission to the Gasparilla exhibit.