Centre Espanol, Circulo Cubano, Centro Asturiano, and L-Unions Italiano--
present a three-day program featuring native folk dances and songs of their
respective countries. More than 500 men and women take part in the dances,
wearing native folk dances and add songs to their picturesque interpretations.
Famous folk dances, such as the Comparsa, Tarantella, Fandango and Danza
Montanez are rendered by experts. A corps of Spanish bagpipe and drum
strollers walk among the crowd playing native airs.
A street parade follows the special features. The procession
progresses through the heart of Ybor City along streets gay with bunting,
and at night soft lanterns and multicolored streamers of light make a
picturesque background for the gayety of the fiesta in honor of King
Another elaborate celebration is held each February when Tampa
honors the pirate Gasparilla, a Spanish freebooter who scoured the shores of
Tampa Bay in the early 1880's. The Latin colonies contribute elaborate
floats to the Gasparilla parade, and many are members of the "crew" that
captures the city.
Spaniards of advanced education take an active interest in cultural
activities and mingle freely in the social life of Tampa. Following the
traditional custom of Spain, the Ybor City mother exercises a rigid system of
chaperonage over her marriageable daughter. From girlhood until marriage
she is carefully watched and protected.