November 11, 2016

‘Community Hero’ Announced For 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest, Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates

‘Community Hero’ Announced For  2017 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest, Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates

U.S. Navy Lt. Ramesh Haytasingh accepts award at the 2016 DOD (Department of Defense) Warrior Games.

TAMPA, Fla.  (November 11, 2016) – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, along with Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and EventFest, Inc., announced today – Veterans Day – that U.S. Navy Lt. Ramesh Haytasingh will be the “Community Hero” for the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest and the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has signed on for the fourth year as title sponsor of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which is scheduled for January 28, 2017. The event will feature the Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates, presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, as well as the Gasparilla Pirate Fest Street Festival.

Haytasingh is a Special Operator with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. During his 19 years of service, he has had eight combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite seeing his share of battle wounds during those deployments, it was a surfing accident in 2013 that deeply affected his life. He sustained a broken neck as well as several other injuries.

Haytasingh would go on to endure 12 surgeries covering more than two and a half years before ultimately having the opportunity to compete in the DOD (Department of Defense) Warrior Games in June 2016 for the USSOCOM team in rifle, archery, swimming, track & field and wheelchair basketball. He was also selected to be the torchbearer for the opening ceremony and was awarded the “Heart of the Team” by fellow teammates and coaches.

“We’re grateful for Lt. Haytasingh’s service and commitment to our country,” said Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa President John Fontana. “He clearly fits the mold of what a ‘Community Hero’ should be. We’re certainly honored that he will participate in this great event.”

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the property is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world. Located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa, the casino features high stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines as well as a new smoke free slots area offering 250 popular games. The hotel is AAA Four Diamond rated and offers seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, including the fine dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and Grey Salt. A newly renovated Rock Spa® is also available along with a plethora of VIP services. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

About Hard Rock International
With venues in 73 countries, including 171 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Valencia, Shanghai, Yangon and San Juan. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Berlin, Dubai, Itapema, London, Los Cabos, New York City, and Shenzhen, Dalian and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit


Nikki Yourison, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, (813) 627-7623, [email protected]
Chris Dirato, Bitner Group, (954) 703-7938, [email protected]