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Friday, August 19, 2022

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Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza: Local parents share PRO TIPS

Heading to the Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza on Saturday, January 20th? You can arrive as early as 11:00 am when vendors open and the first special event kicks off–the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Rodeo at Bayshore Blvd and Rome Ave which is an absolute must attend! Your child can navigate the bike course (Tampa Police will provide bikes if your child does not ride one to the parade route), learn safety tips and even get fitted for a FREE helmet while supplies last.

The Preschooler’s Stroll presented by Lowry Park Zoo follows at 1:30 pm at Bayshore Blvd and Howard, ending at Rome Ave. This is the cutest parade you’ll ever see featuring pint-sized pirates and their families! The main parade steps off at 3:30 pm at Bayshore and Bay to Bay Blvd and ends at Edison Ave.

Related: Click here to find details about parking and transportation

We recently held a contest to giveaway 4 bleacher seats (you can upgrade and pay for a seat or bleacher seat) and as part of the entry, we asked parents to share their pro tips to help other parents navigate parade day! There were soooo many amazing tips, but here are some of our favorites:

  • “Bring a bag to hold all of your loot!”. –Shannon T.
  • “Get there early.” –Daisy Q.
  • “Sunscreen.” Susan M.
  • “Wear sneakers. Lots of walking. ” -Jennifer S.
  • “Chairs, water and hat.” –Debra C.
  • “Each of my kids wears a sinch sack backpack for their stuff.” –Christina P.
  • “Bring something to keep the kids entertained while you wait for the festivities to start. A deck of cards or a small notebook and pen can help you keep your sanity.” –Teena G.
  • “Snacks!” –Courtney D.
  • “Have a positive attitude.” –Katie B.
  • “I’m bringing a blanket to snuggle.” – Krystal B.
  • “Bring snacks, water and sunscreen…and use the potty before you get to your spot.” –Nahal S.
  • “Show up early and have fun!” –Latisha D.
  • “Plan your parking spot in advance or take public transportation.” –Barbara M.
  • “Have patience and be kind.” –Meghan Y.
  • “Add something to your child’s outfit so you can easily see them in the crowd! And bring hand sanitizer.” –Lindsay C.
  • “I love to stand near the beginning of the parade to beat the crowds of people trying to leave! SHHH if my secret gets out then it won’t work anymore!” –Brittany G.
  • “Bring tissues in case the port o potties run out of toilet paper.” –Becky S.
  • “Check road closures. Bring snacks and water. Enjoy yourselves and make lots memories with your kids.” –Brianna J.
  • “Dress like a pirate!” –a lot of you!
  • “Bring LOTS of blankets and snacks! Dress in many layers, including an AWESOME pirate costume as the top layer!! AAARRGH!!!” –Angela B.
  • “Uber unless you get there very early to park, dress appropriately for the weather, bring lots of food, drinks and def. scope where the port-a-potties are before hand!” Michelle S.
  • “Taking an Uber or Lyft? Easy drop off point is the Publix on the corner of Platt and Bayshore.” –Chris K.
  • “Write your phone number on kids’ arms with washable marker in case they get separated.” –Dell E.
  • “Be kind and remember it’s about the kids and have fun of course.” –Michelle P
  • “Sunglasses protect the eyes from more than just the sun. They are a must to keep your little ones peepers safe from flying beads! 😎 A kiddo size plastic yard rake too if your close enough to the street for scooping up beads that fall short of the crowd and land in the street! Sheesh, you’d think I’d never been to one of these before. Only since about 1976.” –Michele D.

Learn more pro tips from local blogger, krewe member and mom, Carlee Bowdoin in her article that was featured in our January 2018 issue: Your Map to Parade Day Treasures.

Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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