Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2011 Kick Starts In TampaJanuary 30th, 2011 - 9:11 pm ICT by GD
By Ranjan Bhaduri
Jan 30, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The much awaited Gasparilla Pirate Festival an annual fun event has started in Tampa with a bang. On Saturday afternoon the fancy dressed pirates were seen invading the streets with gusto and excitement. Pam Lorio the Tampa mayor inaugurated the festival. The parade features every type of pirates and some participants take part in it since their young years. The festival which has the spirit of Mardi Gras is being held in Tampa since the year 2004. However, this annual festival is also known for the crimes like excessive drinking and fighting among participants. This year the Tampa cops took special provision to keep the instances of violence on the lower side.
The Tampa Police enforced a zero tolerance policy for acts of violence and misdemeanor. If the initial reports are anything to go by, the vigil and strict security measures have worked to an extent. The cops specified the areas where drinking would be permitted and restricted zones where boozing may lead one to land behind bars. So far 349 arrests have been made said the Tampa cops. Last year the number was 415. A majority of the arrests made this year are drinking related added the cops. The other arrests are related to factors like boating under the influence, trespassing, DUI and disorderly conduct etc.
The Gasparilla festivities started on Saturday amidst pleasant weather and a sunny sky. Last year the sudden downpour dampened the joys of the festivities. The colorful flotilla and the adorned Jose Gasparilla ship sailed through calm waters and the pirates landed in Tampa amidst cheers and boisterous celebrations.
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