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All About The Amazing Gasparilla Art Festival

Gasparilla Art Festival

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If you are a lover of art and sculptures, you should look for this wonderful art fest called the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival, known as Gasparilla Art Festival.

Every year in the winter during February and March, downtown Tampa transforms into one beautiful and gloriously colorful art fest. Established artists and the blooming ones all come together every year to display their artworks.

For an enthusiastic art-loving audience that travels from all over the country and world to attend this fest. So in this article, we are going to know something more about the famous Gasparilla art Festival.

A peek into the Rich History of Gasparilla Art Festival…

The history of Gasparilla, the art festival, dates back to the mid-twentieth century. Earlier it was held by juried art exhibits from the Florida state fair. The most outstanding arts from all over the city were displayed here.

But later, it evolved into a local art display when the fair was moved from its original site in the downtown origin. This change brought diversity and opened doors for viewers who loved art. And this is how it became so famous and renowned.

Is it really worthy?

The Raymon James Gasparilla Festival brings together artists, art lovers, sponsors, and volunteers, to the same place. More than one lakh people from all over the country and world visit the Julian B.Lane Riverfront Park to see the art displays. The displays include drawings, ceramics, fiber glassworks, mixed media, digital works, photography, jewelry pieces, sculptures, printmaking, watercolor paintings, and woodworks.

The Gasparilla festival also encourages young artists by displaying their work. It is a beautiful weekend full of fun and entertainment for people of all age groups, especially for children.

Attractive things to do at the Gasparilla Art Festival

Apart from getting the opportunity to see the artworks of renowned local, national, and international artists, there are many many other things to enjoy.

You can enjoy live entertainment,  watching artists’ live-paint existing cars and art vehicles. Listen to live music from famous musicians. Relish wonderful stories or even record your own.

And point to be noticed, you can do all this and much more for free. Take a look at the year 2012’s Gasparilla art festival.

You can also go for a VIP experience, which, of course, includes some other things like catered food, beer, and wines. The most important thing is the fun, excitement, and joy you have doing all these activities, which can’t be described in words.

An Entirely Volunteered Program…

The Gasparilla art festival is a festival of the arts which runs on the support of volunteers. The organization’s body is non-profit, entirely volunteer-run. They make this festival a huge success every year. More than three hundred volunteers help to run this festival smoothly.

If you live in Florida and want to volunteer, you really should because it’s full of fun. Shifts last for three to four hours, and after that, you can enjoy festival displays and go to food counters to listen to the day’s music. You even receive a festival T-shirt as a token of thanks from the community. For more information, click here.

The Golden Jubilee of the Gasparilla Art Festival…

The Raymond James Gasparilla Art festival mainly started in 1970 as a local art fest in Tampa bay. Earlier it was confined to only renowned artists of the community. We can do the math. So in the year 2020, it turned fifty, the Golden jubilee.

This year they have moved to the new venue as we all know Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park Downtown Tampa, which is even bigger than the previous venue. The visitors can enjoy the lovely view of the Hillsborough river with the Tampa skyline’s added beauty. So this means we will have even bigger fun in the coming years, that is, next year onwards.

Accompanied by an Awesome Music Festival

A music festival also accompanies the outdoor fine arts festival alongside the arts festival. The music festival includes more than forty bands from across five stages along the riverside of Tampa. The festival gives you a chance to enjoy Tampa  Bay’s best musicians, food, and arts. The entire program is for family-friendly entertainment, and, as I told you earlier, too, a must explore.

What’s there for an Artist?

As we all know by now, The Gasparilla Art Festival is one of the most prestigious ones. World-renowned award-winning artists put up the displays. So if you are an artist and want your work to be displayed here or want to sell it because people are there who love art and if they like your work they will surely praise it by buying it then you can apply for it too. 

The talent of the young artists of Tampa Bay compelled the community to open new opportunities for the local and young artists. The board members of the Gasparilla Art Festival community-initiated The Tampa Bay Local Artists Spotlight. It showcases the artworks of Tampa Bay resident artists who are not part juried members.

All you need are four of your best works. One of them must be a booth shot. It is mandatory. You can submit up to four applications for this show.

If you are a willing candidate, you can check the information about the application process here.

The applications for the 51st Gasparilla Arts Festival to be held in the year 2021 are closed. You can gear up for the upcoming years because there is a fair competition as many artists are willing to apply for this amazing opportunity.

Perks of participating as an Artist

The Artist should always be valued as there is always a hidden feeling behind that piece of art that the artist turned into a beautiful sight to behold. The artists who participate at The Gasparilla Arts Festival are also awarded money prizes and awards and the respect and love people give to them.

Each year up to 235 artists are selected to participate through a jury set to exhibit their works for art lovers and enthusiasts. They compete for $80,000 award money, including the Raymond James Best of Show Award plus many others  38 awards.

Wanna know about the Parade Festival?

If you are going to attend the Gasparilla Art Festival, why not attend The Gasparilla pirate parade? It is really full of fun. The festival starts in mid-January and goes on till March. It takes place at an annual frequency since 1904.

It is the third-largest parade in the United States. The parade of pirates is accompanied by two major parades, namely The Gasparilla Children’s Parade, held at Bayshore Boulevard one week before the main parade. The Sant’Yago illuminated Knight Parade in the historic area of Ybor city two weeks hence the main parade. It is organized by the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’Yago.

These events attract many visitors because of the rich heritage and more than a hundred-year-old tradition at the display, which brings a feeling of diversity and beauty in its way.

The Gasparilla Season

During The Gasparilla Art festival held in Downtown Tampa, the whole Tampa city transforms into a season of festivals from mid-January to March. This whole festive time is informally referred to as “The Gasparilla season.”

Alongside the Fine art festival at the Florida state fair, the Gasparilla music festival, and the annual Gasparilla pirates parade, many more festivities occur like the Gasparilla film festival and the Gasparilla distance classic, along with the line up of minor events that differ every year. 

So if you are thinking of visiting the Tampa region of Florida during late winter and early spring, you are totally up for much, much more fun than you can even think.

What’s there behind the word “Gasparilla”?

José Gasper, “the legend of pirates” as the Spanish archives’ stories tell it. He inspires the theme of the pirates festival and the name ‘Gasparilla.’ Though there is no actual evidence of his existence, the glorious history is written in his name, and the famous much-loved stories of his intelligence, treachery, and valor makes his presence in human history undeniable.

This was a short insight into why Gasparilla’s name so inspires everything in the Tampa festivities.

Things to know before you visit the Gasparilla Art Festival

As you know by now that this outdoor fine art festival is held from mid-January to March, the weather is quite chilly. So you have to be prepared for that. You can find maps for parking garages online in the City of Tampa, and you can even prepay for it. The area is surrounded by hotels to stay in as many people visit here from over the country and around the world.

And the most important is that you have to save up your energy and enthusiasm as they are an important requirement because you are going to have endless fun and gather cherishable memories.

So in this article, we have covered up everything about the famous Raymond James Gasparilla Art Festival. I hope that you enjoyed reading it!!!



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