It's a Tampa tradition: starting at Saturday's Children's Parade, Bayshore Boulevard will be flooded with more than 50 different Krewes of pirates.
They're famous for being wild and flamboyant and buried in beads, but the mystic men and women are some of Tampa's best and brightest off the parade route.
FOX 13 profiled one of the parade's prized pirates, Dr. Lucy Love.
Don't let her name fool you, Dr. Love is one tough cookie.
"I'm a neurosurgeon. I practice surgery on the spine and the brain," she said.
She's used to standing out in a sea of men, ever since she started practicing in Tampa back in 1984. On parade day, the blond brain surgeon stands out once again, as one of Gasparilla's famed female pirates.
"It's an opportunity to let your hair down," she smiled.
Love is a member of the Krewe of Grace O'Malley, one of the first all-female groups of Gasparilla.
"Our motto is fun, friendship, and frivolity. We get together to have a good time. And that day, that's what it's all about," Love said.
Grace O'Malley gals are known to stand out along Bayshore in their extravagant 15th century ball gowns.
"They're not comfortable at all. They're very heavy," Love laughed.
Discomfort aside, one thing separates Gasparilla's pirates from the plundering patchwork of the past. They've already found their treasure: friendship and a true Tampa tradition.
"I think Gasparilla is just something really special. There's not many places that have anything like this," Love said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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