TAMPA, Fla. — There aren’t many professionals who get to dress up like pirates on a semi-regular basis, but here in Tampa, it’s a point of pride.
There are thousands of pirates among us, even dentists — I mean, would you let a pirate work on your chompers?
If you are from Tampa, it might not even phase you.
What You Need To Know
- People from all walks of life are part of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla
- Ye Mystic Krewe has given more than $1 million to Hillsborough County youth for education
- The Krewe looks forward to the next generation of pirates
It’s Gasparilla season after all.
The pirate is Dr. John Redd, dentist and bone rattler.
“I’m not seeing a skull and crossbones, but I’m definitely looking at bones,” said Redd, looking at an X-ray of a patient’s teeth.
Redd is a member of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the oldest of more than 60 krewes, each focusing on specific charities and community services.
Ye Mystic Krewe gives out scholarships.
“It’s an investment in community,” said Redd.
So far, they’ve given more than $1 million to Hillsborough County youth for education.
“A lot of folks, you know, like Tampa and come back to living here," Redd said. "So if you support a kid here locally, chances are it make its way back here one way or the other.”
In this way, he’s investing in the next generation of pirates.
“I hope that we continue to be inclusive,” said Redd. "It is an old Tampa tradition —100, almost 120-years-old — but Tampa’s not the same city it was 120 years ago.”
Redd says they can continue to evolve as the keep their traditions alive!
“The future’s bright for it,” he said.