Dominic Fike remembers going to Gasparilla last year, but doesn’t remember getting home. This year, 20-year-old Fike is prepared to stay as far away from the pirate themed festivities as possible.
Fike came from Naples last year to celebrate one of Tampa’s most well-known party weekends of the year.
Like many Gasparilla attendees, Fike began drinking when he woke up around 10 a.m. After several rounds of beer pong at his hotel, Fike and his group took a taxi downtown to join the parade.
“That’s what you do for Gasparilla,” Fike said. “You just get super drunk and walk around at a parade. It’s a tradition.”
Fike’s Gasparilla celebration began like many others do.
Throughout the day, Fike and his group aimlessly walked through downtown Tampa in search of beads, girls and more drinks.
After drinking all day, Fike’s group needed a quick intermission to effectively continue their belligerent escapade.
“After we left Gasparilla is when the night started to go downhill,” said Fike. “I don’t remember much after that, but I heard I was going crazy at this party.”
After getting back to a friend’s apartment at the Province, Fike was told he took a Xanax.
“I think that was probably what really did me in that night,” Fike said.
Fike said his group was ready to call it quits around midnight, but he was ready to continue partying, so he went on by himself.
Being close to a college campus makes it easy to find a party in any apartment complex within a five-mile radius.
After little searching, Fike said he found a rager.
“On my way to the party I fell and smashed my face into a pole,” Fike said. “I walk into this party covered in blood and bruises, but I’m still down to drink more.”
After partying until 4 a.m., Fike decided to head back to his hotel.
Soon after getting back to his room, he got into an argument with one of his friends and stormed out of the hotel.
“That’s the last thing I remember,” Fike said. “After that it goes completely black.”
Fike has one vague memory of being asked to take a drug test in a hospital. Before he was able to reply, he fell asleep.
When he woke back up, he was alone and immediately decided to leave the hospital.
Fike said his phone was dead and he didn’t know where his friends lived, so he walked to USF to try and find them.
After passing Greek Village a girl stopped him, noticing he was covered in blood and only had one shoe on.
She brought Fike into her sorority house and let him take a shower. She lent him some of her boyfriend’s clothes and gave him a ride back to his friend’s apartment.
Fike had to stay home and work this Gasparilla, but even if he didn’t, he said he still wouldn’t have come.