Check out the Gasparilla no drinking zones | News
South Tampa, Florida - The beer is on ice, the beads are on standby and the buccaneers are preparing right now for Tampa's signature event.
The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates will snake its way along Bayshore Boulevard Saturday afternoon, but if you like to party, be careful because there are certain areas near the parade route where open containers of booze are banned.
Captain Eli Vazquez with the Tampa Police Department says, "What they need to know is you can have an alcoholic beverage on Bayshore between the west curb line and the water line but you can't have it outside of that in the neighborhoods."
Captain Vazquez adds, "The first citation is about $75 and it increases from there. That one dollar beer might cost you $75."
People who live in the neighborhoods off Bayshore Boulevard say they love the crackdown. Terri Finley does. Her family lives off Bayshore Boulevard and Friday afternoon they were busy putting up a fence around their front yard to get ready for the festivities.
Finley says she thinks the crackdown is a great way to stop underage drinking.
"They can come out here and you know the police are right here. You know that the kids aren't drinking and they're not going to get hurt. It's just a wonderful experience."
The parade begins at Bay to Bay and Bayshore Boulevards. It continues along Bayshore to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein, then north on Ashley Drive ending at Cass Street and Ashley Drive. Even though you're allowed to drink along this parade route you have to drink responsibly.
Captain Vazquez says, "If you drink too much you're going to get unruly and you're going to wind up getting arrested if you start causing a commotion or disturbing the neighbors.
He adds, "We're going to have many undercover officers out here. We're going to have officers on bikes and we're going to have specialized teams in the neighborhoods. You won't know if they're a cop or not so if you're trying to hide a beer or whatever and it's an open."