February 06, 2015
​The team at store No. 2433 prepares for Pirate Fest.

Pirates invade the city of Tampa, Florida each year in a celebration known as Gasparilla. Hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors flock to Bayshore Boulevard to watch the parade of pirate ship floats throw beads into the street as Jose Gaspar’s pirate ship enters Tampa Bay by water. The Winn-Dixie store in Hyde Park joins the celebration each year with an in-store Pirate Fest the night before the parade.

Customers visit the Winn-Dixie to purchase beer, liquor, snacks and necessities for the weekend celebration while enjoying the store’s festivities and getting a head start on the weekend’s bead collecting. Store No. 2433 in Hyde Park hosted Pirate Fest on Friday, Jan. 30, in partnership with local vendors. Customers enjoyed delicious samples, live music, games and free giveaways such as beads, t-shirts, mystery Winn-Dixie gift cards and more.

“We try to top ourselves each year to further enhance the total experience,” said Richard Rescigno, Winn-Dixie store No. 2433 director. “This year we added new elements like sampling Winn-Dixie chips and salsa, Chek soda and our signature triple layer chocolate cake.”

The liquor store even had two famous guests: Michael Ballard and Jesse James Dupree from Full Throttle Saloon sampled their Full Throttle S’loonshine and signed autographs in the liquor store during Pirate Fest.

Store sales the day of the event were a reflection of Pirate Fest’s success, with liquor and beer sales far above average. Michael Merida, Bi-Lo Holdings category manager for beer, described the event as “a total department win.”

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