Monday, January 14, 2013

Mayors tell tales of Gasparillas gone by. Photos from Tall Tales & Scandalous Stories event

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Tampa Mayors Pam Iorio Dick Greco, Sandy Freedman , and moderator Boyd Wynne_1

Former Tampa Mayors Pam Iorio, Dick Greco, Sandy Freedman, and moderator Boyd Wynne

The Henry Plant Museum Society hosted a kickoff event for the Gasparilla season called "Tall Tales & Scandalous Stories" on Friday night at the University of Tampa. Three former Tampa mayors regaled the audience with stories about parades, pirates, and plifering from their experiences with the annual celebration. Combined, the mayors represent over 30 years in office in City Hall. Former Florida Governor and Tampa Mayor Bob Martinez was also scheduled to appear. According to Sally Shifke, museum relations coordinator, Martinez had a scheduling conflict and was not able to attend.
The event was moderated by Boyd Wynn, a longtime member of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The event was also a celebration of the opening night of a museum exhibit, Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition, in the Henry Plant Museum that runs through Feb. 17.


The Power Table. Sandra Freeman describes funny tales from the mayors office as Dick Greco and Pam Iorio laugh_1

The Power Table: Sandra Freedman describes funny tales from the mayor's office as Dick Greco and Pam Iorio laugh.

A private cocktail hour was held on the Veranda at the University of Tampa prior to the presentation_1

A private cocktail hour was held on the veranda of Plant Hall prior to the presentation.

The hour-long presentation allowed former mayors and attendees to reminisce about both good and difficult times related to Gasparilla. Mayor Freedman talked about the controversy that arose in 1991 when the city attempted to host both the Super Bowl and the Gasparilla parade, and the Krewe, rather than concede to NFL pressure and admit black members, canceled the parade. (The Krewes and the parade have since integrated.) Mayor Iorio also jokingly disclosed that, after getting into office and finding about all of the city's inherent problems, what a pleasure it was to relinquish the keys to the city to someone else — even a pirate — for a short period.

The Grand Salon was filled with members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and Henry Plant Museum Society_1

The Grand Salon was filled with members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the Henry Plant Museum Society, as well as members of the public

Mayor Pam Iorio describes some of her experiences with Gasparilla as former Mayor Dick Greco looks on_1

Mayor Pam Iorio describes some of her experiences with Gasparilla as former Mayor Dick Greco looks on.

Sandra Freedman talks of her experiences of being kidnapped by twenty pirates whils mayor_1

Sandra Freedman tells tales of being kidnapped by 20 pirates while mayor

Former Mayor Dick Greco describes an experience of guns and pirates._1

Former Mayor Dick Greco describes an incident in a parade when a pirate was accidentally shot in the leg with a blank gun.

With the official start of the Gasparilla season, there are numerous events happening all over the city for the next several weeks. You can find a schedule here which includes the Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza, The Gasparilla Pirate Fest, and the Krewe of Santiago Knight Parade. Bring your cameras! Arrrgh!

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