Trump-themed boat parade thrown in Florida to protest pirate festival cancellation

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Louise Hall
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<p>In protest of the decision to cancel Gasparilla supporters of Donald Trump held their own alternate celebration which they say was ‘born out of the ashes’ of the original parade</p> (Twitter)

In protest of the decision to cancel Gasparilla supporters of Donald Trump held their own alternate celebration which they say was ‘born out of the ashes’ of the original parade

(Twitter)

Republicans in Florida held a ‘Trumparilla’ parade to honour the former president in protest of the cancellation of an annual pirate festival over the weekend.

Tampa has held an annual celebration of pirate lore known as Gasparilla in the city for more than100 years, but this year organisers announced the event would be cancelled due to the pandemic.

In protest of the decision, supporters of Donald Trump this year held their own alternate celebration which they say was “born out of the ashes” of the original parade.

“Trumparilla is more than a Boat Parade, Rally or a Party. Trumparilla is an American First celebration of American Exceptionalism,” the event’s website reads.

The organisers carried over the pirate theme of the original parade “just for the fun of it”, according to their website.

“We believe that ‘cancel culture’ only exists to the weak and cowering, not to the real Patriots,” the Trumparilla page reads.

They added: “Unless of course you’re football [sic] or hockey team, as the Tampa Mayor ‘granted’ their boat parades. Ironically no permission is needed, as boats are on Federal waterways.”

The Gasparilla parade annually draws hundreds of thousands of people as beads and other trinkets are thrown from floats, some resembling pirate ships and firing cannons.

The Trump supporters’ Florida event, which boasts a skull and crossbones logo featuring the distinctive yellow mullet of the former president, took place from 16 to 18 April.

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"There was a boat parade for the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup, so why can’t there be another boat parade? So we started Trumparilla," organiser Cliff Gephart previously told WTSP-TV.

A brief schedule for the event detailed a MAGA pub crawl, the boat parade, and a MAGA Car Rally followed by MAGA fast on the last final day of the celebration.

Videos and photos from the weekend showed a group of boats flying Trump flags and the festival's emblem.

Those who were planning on attending the rival event or the groups’ second San Diego parade in June can even purchase a flag or T-shirt boasting the skull and crossbones effigy.

The event’s official sponsors include Conservative Grounds Coffee Shop, the Patriot Grounds PAC group, and trump2024swag.com.

Florida is seeing an increase in coronavirus infections as the country continues its vaccination rollout.

Over 2.17 million people have tested positive for the disease since the outbreak began, leading to the deaths of nearly 35,000 people.

The Independent has contacted Gasparilla for comment.

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