A return to Gasparilla marks a return home

After a four year hiatus, full of tragedies and blessings, Trecenia Foster and her boyfriend Anthony are finally back in Tampa. They marked their return by attending the Gasparilla parade and celebration on Saturday.

The couple embraced the memories they made at Gasparilla in the past, and were eager to make more.

“It was fantastic, the streets were filled with people who are celebrating together in unity and fun,” Foster said. “We also got to meet new people from all over the world who we became great friends with.”

Through the four years away from Gasparilla, the couple has had some major reproductive health concerns, which led to three miscarriages. The couple was still attempting to remain open and positive about this and Gasparilla has played a major role in that. It has helped them be able to cope and find comfort in being around others.

“We are pretty reserved and didn’t like being around people.” Foster said. “It (Gasparilla) has opened us up and allowed us to let loose and be open with the community around us.”

Gasparilla has impacted this couple in a positive way and has helped them feel more connected with people as a whole.

With Anthony being active duty in the Army, the couple has spent roughly four years out of the United States. They spent some time in Qatar, a country in the Middle East, which prevented them from attending Gasparilla. Upon returning to Tampa they had their first child.

“We welcomed our first daughter in 2004 after having three losses, we were finally blessed with her,” Foster said.

This year the couple dressed up in the same costumes that they wore four years ago and got a great reaction from the Gasparilla crowd. Anthony dressed up as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean and Foster as Sparrow’s partner. However there was one downfall in Foster’s opinion.

“We got stopped over 100 times for photos, I am so glad to be home,” Foster said. “That’s one thing that is annoying about dressing up, but it is fun,”

Overall the couple had a great time. This year they declined to be on floats, but maybe next year they’ll accept the offer.

“It was a blast, we were asked to go on floats too but declined,” Foster said.