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Gasparilla pirates invade Tampa for the Gasparilla celebration

TAMPA, Flor. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - For more than a century, Tampa has faced an invasion of marauders and buccaneers trying to take over the city. This year is no exception.

Gasparilla is just days away, which means the pirates are coming.

Thousands will then descend on downtown Tampa Saturday for the annual pirate invasion. Following that will be a parade with dozens of krewes and floats.

On Tuesday, they "kidnapped" the mayor to demand a key to the city and avoid a costly takeover battle.

But Mayor Jane Castor refused to surrender.

"But I tell you the wonderful fair city of Tampa is gonna to fight to the death to make sure we keep our city safe from these scalawags!"

Every year, the unruly plunderers take over the city in honor of the mythical legendary pirate Jose Gaspar.

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