"Where It All Started"

Gaucho Association of Tampa

The Gaucho Association traces its roots to the Latin American Fiesta Association. The group was originally formed in the 1950's to serve as escorts to the Queen and Court of the Fiesta. The group was incorporated as The Gauchos of the Latin Fiesta in 1960. The group usually consisted of 12 to 15 members at that time. In 1987, in order to increase the size of our organization and our visibility in the Tampa Bay Area, we decided to go out on our own. The present membership level is just under 100 members and there is no limit on accepting new members, however we do have a upper level of 150 members.

Each year we participate in the Gasparilla Parade, The Krewe of Knights o Sant 'Yago Illuminated Night Parade, The Dunedin Mardi Gras Parade, The Rough Riders' St.Patrick's Parade, New Port Richey's Chasco Fest Parade and the Tampa Bay Veteran's Day Parade. We also serve as escorts to the Queen and Court in past Latin American Fiesta Association's Annual Coronation Balls.

There are two parties that are sponsored each year, the first one is held in January prior to the Gasparilla Parade and the second one in the August / September period which is know as “Gaucho-Fest”.

The group does not have any general membership meetings. The members have no voting rights. We do not support any charitable or political causes. We do not require that a member must participate in any particular event.

We do have lots of fun and provide free beer and "Doug & Jack's World Famous K.A. Gaucho Sangria" at most of our gatherings.

Our current membership is approx. one hundred (100) members, however, in the past we have capped the membership at one hundred fifty (150) members.

To date we have no waiting list and all applicants are approved upon completion of the Registration Form through this website. Upon receipt of the Application Form, then an acknowledgement will be forwarded within 24 hours, by the Vice-President of Membership. Further, a complete package of information on the Association will be forwarded to you after the Vice-President's acknowledgement.

Membership of the Gauchos Association runs from July 1st of one year to June 30th of the following year with a membership renewal period starting on July 1st of each year and lasting three (3) months, i.e., until September 30th, further, application to join the Gaucho Association can be completed at any time throughout the year. The yearly membership to the Association is $300.00, however there is a one time initiation fee of $250.00. We do offer a payment schedule whereby if the membership fee is paid up front, i.e., the $300.00, then the balance of $250.00 can be paid over a period of say three (3) or four (4) months, however we do request that a schedule of payment agreement be sighed..

Gaucho Float

Original Float

The Original Gaucho Float

The Gauchos constructed the original float in 1991 based on the design and engineering of Master Float Builder Tom Henry. It won First Place awards in all of the major parade events in the Tampa Bay Area and it was always a crowd favorite.

2010 Float

The New "La Casa del Sol Naciente" Float

After many years, the front towing unit, which was the caricature of a Gaucho's face was retired, and in mid 2009 we purchased a city bus and created the "La Casa del Sol Naciente"

The "La Casa del Sol Naciente" has many new features which the old unit did not. We unitized the handicap feature of the original bus and modified the Gaucho hat so that the hat could be raised and lower when the unit came to a stop. Like the old unit he is adorned with moving eyes and eyebrows and a large smoking cigar jutting out from under his large black mustache. He sports a gold earring in his left ear and wears the latest in designer sunglasses.

The unit has two beverage stations, seating on the upper and lower decks for up to 11 and 15 Gauchos respectively, some on saddles, a sound station with the state of the art sound systems, together with a bathroom facility. The "La Casa del Sol Naciente" pulls the original rear unit named the "Casa del Gauchos". It is a two room structure supports a smoking chimney beverage station and a bathroom and has limited seating.

For the night parades, the two units are spectacular. They are under-lit with black lighting, amber spotlights illuminating the eyes, a glowing red tip on the smoking cigar, and florescent lighting on the mustache.

Gaucho Logo and Coin

With the start of our independence, it became apparent that we needed a logo of our own. Gaucho Tom Henry discovered a National Geographic article titled "Last of a Breed". The article went into great detail on the adventuresome romantic lifestyle of these real life "pirates of the Pampas". The Gaucho immortalized on the face of the coin is actually that of a genuine Gaucho shown in the magazine article. The back side of the coin recognizes the Gauchos' top three priorities in life, his CABALLO (Horse), FAC'ON (Knife) and CHINA (Woman).

Gaucho Logo