Are you ready for the Gasparilla pirate invasion?
Swashbuckling pirates will swagger ashore today to confront hordes of bead-loving landlubbers awaiting them downtown and along Bayshore Boulevard. The annual Gasparilla Invasion, Parade of Pirates and Pirate Fest will turn much of South Tampa into a giant outdoor party. Weather prognosticators say the pirates will have a gentle breeze in their sails as the Jose Gasparilla "pirate ship" heads across Hillsborough Bay and docks at the Tampa Convention Center. It will be a near-perfect day for plundering. A clear morning sky could give way to clouds by afternoon, but there is little chance of rain. Temperatures by the bay will hover around 70 degrees, with slightly warmer temperatures inland.Light winds of 5 to 10 mph could make it feel cooler. You can avoid some of the hassle of getting there and parking by considering public transportation — buses from your neighborhood or from the Ybor City garages, the in-town trolley or the TECO Line Streetcar. See gohart.org for maps and schedules. So go ahead, Tampa, enjoy the day and gather those colorful beads. Kathy Steele