Classic-car enthusiasts will want to mark Dec. 3 on their calendars — that’s the date of the third-annual Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance, an event that celebrates a century’s worth of automotive excellence.
Held at TPC Tampa Bay Golf Course in Lutz, Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance, which also includes a fashion show on Dec. 2 and a tour of historic Tampa Bay on Dec. 4 — has become a fan favorite of car enthusiasts from near and far, including Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs, who’s been named grand marshal of the 2022 event.
Griggs, according to a news release, is an avid fan of collectible and vintage cars and motorcycles. He’ll usher in Gasparilla Concours festivities in the featured centennial car, a 1922 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost owned by Bob and Nancie Thompson of Port Elgin, Ontario.
“We are thrilled to have Steve Griggs, a respected community leader and philanthropist, join us as this year’s Grand Marshal,” Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance Executive Director Joanne Pistorius states in the release. “The Lightning organization is renowned for providing a world-class experience to its guests, much like that of Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance, and we look forward to sharing our electric atmosphere on Saturday, Dec. 3.”
The three-day Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance is also a fundraiser for Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, an organization that supports research toward a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a debilitating, life-shortening, and degenerative neuromuscular disorder that affects one in 50,000 people in the United States.
The festivities, the release states, will also include appearances by the Ye Mystic Crewe of Gasparilla Cutthroat Chorus Pirates, Santa Claus and other dignitaries.
Tickets for Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance start at $40 and are on sale now. A VIP experience, which includes complimentary breakfast, lunch and four drink tickets, access to an exclusive full liquor bar and prime seats for the awards ceremony, is also available. Admission is free for children 15 and under, and the event is pet friendly.
Brian Hartz is the Business Observer’s Tampa Bay editor. He has worked for the publication since 2017. Brian holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and has been a St. Petersburg resident since 2013. He has also worked for newspapers and magazines in Indiana, Canada and New Zealand.