The Krewe of Alegria was formed by Dianne Henry and Dyann “Rocky” Valdez - two brave women who dared to break the barrier and decided to walk in the festivities of Tampa's annual Gasparilla Parade. After receiving a stern talking-to for crashing the "boy's club", they were offered guidance from a member of the Krewe of Sant' Yago on starting their own krewe. A few months later in March 1986, the Krewe of Alegria was established as the First All-Female Gasparilla Krewe. The following year they officially joined the Gasparilla Parade walking with The Gauchos and in time obtained their own float.
As the Krewe of Alegria grew and became more established and visible in the community, it incorporated in 2004 as Alegria Group, Inc. Our founding members paved the way forward and assisted in the formation of other all-female krewes.
Alegria was at inception and continues to be an all-female krewe made up of professional women in the Tampa Bay Area. The name "Alegria" was chosen because it is the Spanish word for happiness and joy. Our motto, "Viva Alegria!" is to "live joy".
Memories from Co-Founder, Dyann "Rocky" Valdez
After years of parade watching, it occurred to us that no female krewes existed. With flawed logic, we rushed to Armour Costume Rentals on Florida Avenue to rent Carmen Miranda outfits... minus the fruited headpiece! With costumes in hand, we were ready to join the ranks of male krewes in bead throwing and revelry! We quickly got ready for the big day, donned our outfits and rushed to Bayshore Boulevard where it rained terribly that day. But regardless of the rain, when the parade began to move...so did we!
It was a matter of a few short minutes before the parade marshals did their piratical duty and caught up with us. Just as things were looking bleak...out of nowhere a friend appeared and the rest is history as they say."
20 years later, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio recognized the krewe's accomplishment by issuing a Proclamation.
March 25, 2006 was designated as KREWE OF ALEGRIA DAY to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our official founding day.
Premiered Jan 13, 2020
Dyann "Rocky" Valdez recounts how she and her best friend, Dianne Henry changed the composition of the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion. Watch video