All About the Spirit of Cigar City Krewe
Ybor City began when Don Gavino Gutierrez came to Tampa in search of guava trees. Meanwhile, Vincente Martinez Ybor had left Cuba with his workers only to have his cigar factory in Key West burn down. Gutierrez told his friend Ybor about Tampa, and the great possibilities that a port would bring. Ybor bought the 40 acres in 1885, and Ybor City was born. Soon after that, many cigar factories were built and attracted immigrants to come from Cuba to work. They were followed by Spanish, Italian, German, Jewish and many others. Within three short years, Ybor City grew from 700 to 10,000 people. Following the factories came restaurants, shops, coffee houses and social clubs. Ybor City continued to grow over the years, both in population and in history.
Many of us in the Krewe are descendants of these immigrants that came to Ybor long ago, and honor their history and their heritage by wearing costumes reminiscent of that time. The men either wear the traditional guayaberas with hats or a bolero jacket or vest with a long sleeve guayabera. The women dress in the typical Flamenco gowns, a bolero jacket or vest with long sleeved white blouse or the peasant dresses of that time. Our Krewe logo is proudly displayed on the back of the guayaberas, vests and jackets.