Grace O'Malley in the News​

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A women-led krewe plots a mutiny against Tampa this month.

American Way by Susan B. Barnes - January 2020

Most townspeople dread a pirate invasion, but for the past 105 years Tampanians have welcomed the skull-and-crossbones types for the annual Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates (Jan. 25). Of the 60 krewes commandeering Bayshore Boulevard this month, the Ye Loyal Krewe of Grace O’Malley is perhaps the most interesting.

Inspired by the real-life 16th-century Irish pirate Grace O’Malley, Tampa’s over-300-strong all-women pirate krewe is believed to be the first of its kind, challenging the male-dominated storybook archetypes of Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook and Blackbeard. “It’s so much fun,” says member Lady of Grace Anne Bartlett. “It’s the closest to being a rock star you’ll ever be.”


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Channel 10 News Celebrates Tampa Bay December 2019
Hockey, wedding and heavenly condemnation — this year’s Gasparilla wasn’t the usual

Tampa Bay Times - January 27, 2018                                          


Ye Loyal Krewe of Grace O’Malley, Gasparilla’s first all-female krewe, marked its 25th anniversary in the parade Saturday at a time when the #metoo campaign has drawn huge attention to the problem of sexual harassment.

While pirate culture has a history of demeaning and sexualizing women, krewe head Kimberly Anderson said her group of more than 300 women has found power in their presence and charity work.

"I would never do anything other than be with my krewe, with my ladies, on this day," she said, donning her customized red velvet Elizabethan garb. "To me, it’s better than Christmas."  She also noted that unlike the all-male Ye Mystic Krewe, the O’Malley Krewe is based on a real historical figure.

"Grace O’Malley was an extremely brave woman," Anderson said. "Her father, a pirate, forbade her to go with him, but she cut her hair as a teen, dressed like a boy and stowed away as a pirate."  Read More


Gasparilla pirates invade St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

Published: January 26, 2017


TAMPA (FOX 13) - Some children who were too sick to go to the Gasparilla Children's Parade last weekend got help from local krewes to hold the 14th Annual Gasparilla Parade at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Friday.

Pirates from seven Bay Area krewes arrived with beads in hand to help young patients invade the hospital hallways.

Pediatric patients dressed as pirates rode their floats, which were actually decorated stretchers and wheelchairs, on the special parade route. They gave out beads and goodies to hospital staff and other patients along the way.  Read More

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

Published: August 25, 2017


GiGi's Playhouse Tampa

Plans to open Gigi's Playhouse Tampa have moved swiftly since Ye Loyal Krewe of Grace O'Malley adopted the national Down's Syndrome achievement center as their charity-of-the-year. Team leader Nicki Rawlings will soon offer 40 therapeutic-based language, math, motor and social programs for all ages, even mothers with a prenatal diagnosis, delivered by volunteers for no charge.

On Monday, the krewe sold out a private screening of The Infiltrator at CineBistro Hyde Park, followed by a Q & A with Robert Mazur a retired federal drug agent, as is Rawlings. His undercover investigation inspired the film starring Bryan Cranston who signed a DVD, poster and a copy of Mazur's book for a silent auction, sold to top bidders Bill and O'Malley '08 Connie Hogan.   Read More