Gasparilla: 11 Ways to Prepare

Ahoy Matey’s, erg UT students, it’s that time of year again: Gasparilla. For all you veteran upperclassmen, you know how seriously Spartans take this holiday. But, for the newbies out there, you need to be prepared. Gasparilla is no joke. It takes time, effort, and preparation to fully experience all that is this rum-filled, beaded, pirate festival. The Golden Rule for Gasparilla is that it’s a marathon, NOT a sprint. It takes years to master a Gaspy experience, but if you follow this list, you could have a damn near close to perfect Gasparilla.

1. Make sure your alarm is set for the morning of.

Seriously, this is just as important as waking up Christmas morning. You don’t want to miss any part of the festivities, and they start early. Don’t leave it to your body’s biological clock to hopefully wake you up in time.

2. Put your party pants on.

No one likes a party pooper on one of the happiest days of the semester. Get excited or get in a hole, because everyone else will be out celebrating!

3. Find your best pirate outfit.

Johnny Depp isn’t the only one who can pull off the sexy pirate look. Grab your bandanas, eye patches, pirate hats, tutus, corsets and whatever else you have lying around your room, and join the rest of the characters along Bayshore.

4. Wear the right shoes.

Even though they might not go with your sexy pirate look, you will thank me come 5pm when you’re dragging yourself back to campus. 

5. Pick your best pirate drink.

R.I.P. to all those Captain and Coke bottles that will inevitably be empty by the end of the day.

6. Embrace the free food.

If you’re going to do Gasparilla right, you won’t have time for lunch, so you need to eat something before you start your day. Crash the lobby of a dorm and inhale as much free food as you can. 

7. Have your best friends by your side.

What’s the point of dressing up like a pirate and roaming around the bay if you can’t do it with your friends beside you? 

8. Pictures or it didn’t happen.

If you don’t have pictures from the day’s activities, then did they really happen?

9. Actually make it to the parade.

Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, you need to be able to say that you made it to the parade. Words of advice: you get the most beads if you’re up close to the barriers. But, keep it classy ladies! This is not Mardi Gras.

10. Count all of your beads at the end of the day.

This is the only time when bragging rights are socially acceptable and you can post about it on social media sites. 

and finally,

11. If you really need to, call it a day.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it happens to the best of us. You have four years to celebrate pirates so if you or a friend really can’t keep the day going, just head for home.