Krewe of Tampa House Floats finds a socially-distanced way to celebrate Gasparilla

The New Orleans-inspired parade of homes is for a good cause, too.

click to enlarge Krewe of Tampa House Floats finds a socially-distanced way to celebrate Gasparilla
Simone Bautista

When Gasparilla was canceled, Tampa resident Christa Weiss looked to New Orleans for inspiration—mainly from a woman named Megan Bordeaux. Bordeaux organized “Yardi Gras” which resulted in around 3,000 houses decorated as floats, a socially-distanced way for people to still celebrate (this is one such Yardi Gras house).

Taking Bordeaux’s lead, Weiss created “Krewe of Tampa House Floats” which invites people from any neighborhood to decorate their houses like a Gasparilla float. When she caught up with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay by phone, Weiss had about 30 houses involved but more people have claimed interest.

The house floats span the city, with the majority in South Tampa. Davis Island, Dana Shores, Ballast Point, and Weiss’ neighborhood Parkland Estates are also among those participating. But there are folks in Brandon and New Tampa other locations involved—Weiss is welcoming anyone to join in.

“I didn’t want anyone to be excluded,” Weiss told CL. 

The self-guided tour will include signs with QR codes at each house for donation options to local charities. Weiss wants to benefit a variety of local charities which are Feeding Tampa Bay, Judeo Chrisitian Clinic, Voices for Children and Life Center of the Suncoast. Through “a couple dollars here, a couple there” Weiss figured she could make an impact. 

If you want to decorate your house, Weiss isn’t strict about the timeline. Though the event officially runs from March 13-April 17, people can sign up late and join in whenever they want. Houses can stay decorated for as little or as long as the individual wants, but the longer the more donation opportunities. 

Weiss’ house will be decorated in a “pirate chic'' theme, but homes don’t have to be pirate-themed. Other abodes are decorated as “20,021 Leagues Under the Sea,” 

“Candyland,” and “Flower Power.” Weiss mainly “...want(s) people to be able to express themselves, and be creative.”

There are only a few rules of participation, mainly keeping the event family friendly and COVID-19 safe. “No vulgarity, no profanity,” Weiss said. Basically, not the time to show off your new boob job for beads, people—save it for never. 

The event page also asks participants to, “Please do not display any type of political advertisements or endorsements. However feel free to express current issues through caricatures,.”

While touring the homes, socially distancing and masks are required while also following all other local and national COVID-19 protocols. 

Another rule on the event page that is a good reminder for life in general: “Be kind, courteous and treat everyone with respect regardless of their opinions, race, sexual preference…”

And if the event is successful, Weiss hopes to continue the next year with or without a pandemic and with or without Gasparilla. 

For more information or a map of the decorated houses go to kreweoftampahousefloats.com.

click to enlarge Christina Weiss, who founded Krewe of Tampa House Floats after being inspired by New Orleans' Megan Boudreaux. - Christina Weiss
Christina Weiss
Christina Weiss, who founded Krewe of Tampa House Floats after being inspired by New Orleans' Megan Boudreaux.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

About The Author

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]