A night of Knights: Photos of the 2013 Sant' Yago Knight Parade
By Chip Weiner
on Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM
The float from the Gauchos is designed to look like a cigar-smoking Argentinian cowboy. It was one of the dozens of floats, bands and krewes in the 2013 Krewe of Sant' Yago Knight Parade.
It's a parade, it's a street party, and it's a drink fest. The 2013 crew of Sant' Yago Knight Parade rumbled down Seventh Avenue in Ybor city Saturday night. Thousands of people showed up for the perfect weather, party atmosphere, and of course tons of beads!
Seven-year-old Kareema Flowers tries to get as many strings of beads as she can.
It all starts before the parade in the staging area. Hundreds of Krewe members prime themselves with alcohol, loud music, cigar smoking and dancing. Many say it is similar to getting pumped up for the big game. The air is wretched with the smell of diesel exhaust from the generators on the floats and cigar smoke. The music is loud, liquor is flowing, and trash from boxes of beads litters Nuccio Boulevard.
Before the parade the crew of Privateers sponsored this liquor louge. On the left they serve rum runners, and on the right straight flavored vodka. Members of the crew poured the liquor down the ice block into the waiting mouths of partiers.
Pierre Conze, who has been in the Krewe of St. Florian for three years, gets served a shot by Sheri Stack before the parade.
Cigars are as much a tradition in Ybor and the Knight Parade as beads. Brian Hellman smokes "The Egg" cigar, named for its unusual shape. He is a member of the Cigar City Krewe.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn and his two daughters, Colleen and Grace, prepare their bounty of beads to be given out during the parade.
Once the parade starts, beads fly. Thousands and thousands of strings of the shiny baubles are given out over the course of the one-and-a-half-hour parade.
Patsy Barto of Zephyrhills has figured out a way to get parade trinkets from behind the barrier. She says that she has been bringing her bead grabber for four years.
No flashing? No problem! Allison Anderson has been coming to parades for 20 years. She has found an effective way of getting the attention of bead throwers without getting arrested
The king and queen of the Krewe Sant' Yago, James W. Ever and Leia M. Almendares, wave from their float. Despite the popular belief that the night parade is sponsored by Gasparilla pirates, The Krewe Sant' Yago is dressed as knights.
Members of the Tampa leather club party with the Gaybor float.
The Marching Lions of King High School entertained the thousands of people along Seventh Avenue.
There were places along the parade route where the crowds were 10- to 12-people thick. In this photo people at the Centro Espanol building are in a bead-screaming frenzy.
Steve Wilkos, one time security guy for Jerry Springer, now has his own television show and was the Grand Marshal for this year's night parade.
Andrew Martin and Barbara Garrow, both 18, experience their first night parade decked out in balloon hats.
It's funny. Anything sticking out — like a camera lens — gets beads put on it. Check out those crazy glasses on Melissa Alazon!
Tiana, 3, sits between her mother and father, Theotis and Nicole.
David Lakin and Nicoletta Valentine prefer to make it a challenge for bead throwers. The object is to toss parade schwag through the black hole in their sign. As the picture shows, the technique seems to work!
Marty Barrera from Tampa has attended seven night parades. He has extra room on the horns of his hat to store the beads that he gets.
After the parade the real street party begins. Bars and clubs are packed, the streets are full of people, and the craziness continues.
After the parade, law enforcement opens Seventh Avenue to pedestrian traffic. It soon fills with a sea of revelers.
Following the parade there's a lot of entertainment on the sidewalk. Dewayne Hill, whose name tag reads "#1Tampa Bay magician," appears to make cards come out of his mouth.
Zach Zevallos performs Poi. He states that he would prefer to do it with fire instead of glow sticks but understands the danger on a crowded street.
This bucket drummer had a great beat and kept the crowd dancing and dropping tips in … well… a bucket!
Yes, the guy on his knees is licking the bottom of a shoe. The same shoes that just walked Seventh Avenue smeared with horse droppings and who knows what else. He did it for several people. The shock value is enough to earn him great tips! He then sat down and finished his beer.
Police and emergency response personnel were on alert all night. This woman was put on a stretcher and taken away.
By midnight the crowds began to thin. Crews were already working on cleaning up the streets.
The Krewe of Sant' Yago Knight Parade signals the end of the Gasparilla parade season. But, don't despair. If you are still in a bead-needing mood, The Rough Riders are hosting a St. Patrick's Day parade in Ybor City on Sat., March 16, 8 p.m-9:30 p.m.