The Making of a Gasparilla Float

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will make its first-ever appearance in the Gasparilla Parade on Saturday, January 26th! For the uninitiated, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar, Tampa Bay’s most notorious pirate during the early 1800’s.

This year we had the great opportunity to work with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in creating a float that could carry the group of 40 deputy riders through the sea of the 103 floats. Our team of experienced engineers, designers and builders worked hard to ensured the 3D float met the client’s expectation. 

There are several basic things to take into consideration when beginning to build a float. These include the client’s budget, theme of the parade, float design, weight limit, and how to deal with any last minute repairs that may occur on the way to the parade. After we had all the answers we needed we were ready to start designing and building.

Our team started by working on the float’s metal frame, once we had the metal structure down we applied the deck to the top surface and railing to the bottom surface. The next step was to decorate it with unique 3D props. Some of the 3D props included: pirates, cannons, fake wood panels, skulls and more! These props are made out of foam and PVC material and with the help of our CNC machines, we made sure that all pieces were cut the right way. Our artist, Jason Hulfish,  painted all pieces, bringing the float to life.

We are very excited to see another amazing project completed at our design studio in Tampa, FL. 

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