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New Page 9

Events

 

January

 

Outback Bowl

January 1

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL

813-874-BOWL

Admission Charged

Tampa kicks off the first bowl game on New Year's Day--The Outback Bowl. The teams are matched from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference, for post-season college football competition. The game is played at Raymond James Stadium and broadcast live by ESPN. There's a lot of action both on and off the field. Spectators can participate in a variety of special events and sports activities prior to the game.

 

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival

Usually held early – mid-January

Location: University of South Florida, Tampa Campus

888-224-1733

Admission Free

The seven-day event takes over downtown with vendors selling art, artifacts, collectibles, clothing, crafts, food and more. In addition, multiple stages are set up for live local and national entertainment.

 

Florida RV Supershow

Usually held in mid-January

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds

813-684-7882 or 800-330-7882

Admission Charged

More than 1200 RVs are spread over the 319 acre site. Every building and even the barns on the fairgrounds are used to house this enormous event. All entertainment at the SuperShow is “roaming” style.

 

The Gasparilla “Piratechnic” Extravaganza & Children’s Parade

Usually held on the third Saturday of January

Location: Bayshore Boulevard, Show Center at Bay to Bay

813-353-8108

Admission Free

This alcohol-free, family event is held annually on the Saturday before the Invasion and Parade, and features the Children's Gasparilla Parade and one of the largest fireworks presentations in the country! The Children’s Gasparilla Parade has been a part of Tampa’s Gasparilla celebration since 1947.

 

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest

Usually held on a Saturday in late January

Location: Downtown Tampa and Bayshore Boulevard

813-353-8108

Admission Free, charge for reserved parade seats

For 100 years pirates have invaded Tampa Bay. The unruly plunderers take over the city in honor of the mythical legendary pirate Jose Gaspar. The festival –“Gasparilla Pirate Fest,” is one of the country’s largest and most unique outdoor celebrations. It begins when the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship sails into the heart of downtown Tampa. Flanked by hundreds of pleasure craft and vessels of all shapes and sizes, the invasion is a formidable sight. Built entirely of steel, the black-hulled Jose Gasparilla measures 165 feet in length and is topped by three masts that tower 100 feet above deck. Tugboats tow the craft and its crew of 700 pirates with flags flying and cannons booming as the vessel makes its way up Hillsborough Bay and into downtown Tampa.

 

February

 

The Gasparilla Distance Classic

Usually held the first weekend of February

Location: Downtown Tampa

813-229-RUNN

Admission Charged

The Bank of America Annual Gasparilla Distance Classic attracts world class athletes who compete in 5K , 15K, marathon and half marathon events on foot as well as the 15K course in wheelchairs. Consistently voted the best race in Florida by Florida Running Magazine and ranked among the Top Ten Races in the United States by Runner's World, the Bank of America Gasparilla Distance Classic has become one of the largest running events in Florida. The primary purpose of the race is to funds for local youth charities and education foundations.

 

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

Usually held in early February

Location: Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa

813-876-1747

Admission Free

Hundreds of painters, artisans, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and artists from around the world display their work at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The first show began in 1971 and featured 130 artists. With over 300 exhibitors, the festival attracts more than 300,000 art enthusiasts, making it one of the largest art shows in the Southeast.

 

The Florida State Fair

Usually held for 10 days in mid-February

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds at the crossroads of I-4 and Highway 301

813-621-7821 or 800-345-FAIR

Admission Charged

The Florida State Fair features the best arts, crafts, livestock, entertainment and food found in Florida. It is the only “state” fair in Florida and one of the largest major fairs in the Southeast and features one of the largest midways in the country.
More than 200 rides, games and attractions are spread over the 319 acre site. Entertainment acts such as LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Bill Cosby and Loretta Lynn have graced the stages at the fair. All headline entertainment shows are in Entertainment Hall, a 5,000-seat, climate controlled building.  Visitors come from all 67 Florida counties, all 50 states and more than one dozen foreign countries. The fair has been named "One of the Top 100 Tourist Destinations on the North American Continent" by the American Bus Association.

 

Sant’Yago Knight Parade

Usually held in mid-February

Location: Ybor City/Downtown

813-248-3088

Admission Free for general, charge for reserved seats

The streets of downtown Tampa and Ybor City come ablaze when hundreds of floats masked with lights and loaded with bands and pirates fill the streets for the Sant'Yago Knight Parade. It's the city's biggest night parade and named for the Krewe of the Knights of Sant'Yago, a 250 member group that has its roots in the ninth-century Spanish Brotherhood of the Royal Order of St. James. The krewe designed the parade as a way to enhance and perpetuate Tampa’s strong Latin heritage.

 

March

 

The Florida Strawberry Festival

Usually held for 11 days in early March

Location: Festival Grounds, Plant City, Florida

813-759-6363

Admission Charged

The Florida Strawberry Festival is a celebration of strawberries that dates back to 1930. It began when members of the Plant City Lions Club decided to celebrate the area's bountiful harvest of strawberries. The 11 day festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. The “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”, Plant City, is located about 24 miles east of Tampa.
The festival features daily entertainment by some of music's biggest stars. Events and exhibits of the popular festival include agriculture shows, commerce, education, industry, livestock, a baby contest, and the Midway featuring over 60 rides. Competitions range from cook-offs and clogging to diaper decorating and strawberry shortcake eating contests. The festival features two country music shows each evening on the main stage. Limited free seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival

Usually held in mid-March

Location: Apollo Beach on Highway 41; just south of Big Bend Road

813-645-1366

Admission Charged

The Annual Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival is a major arts and crafts show that promotes visual and performing arts as well as awareness and preservation of the endangered Florida manatee. The event features artists and craftsmen from across the nation displaying their work in addition to “Young At Art” children’s art show, a children’s creativity center, live entertainment, beer garden and wide variety of food and beverage vendors.

 

Best of Tampa Bay

Usually held in mid-March

Location: The Performing Arts Center

813-229-STAR

Admission Charged

Best of Tampa Bay combines fine food and entertainment with the ambience of the cultural surroundings of The Performing Arts Center and the adjacent riverwalk on a spring evening. From haute cuisine to sizzling steaks, Best of Tampa Bay tantalizes taste buds with various entrée samplings, luscious desserts, specialty coffees, fine wines and imported beers. Over fifty of Tampa Bay’s best restaurants, caterers and vendors will be participating. Guests are entertained by a variety of Florida artists showcased throughout the event on four separate stages.

 

April

 

Bern’s Winefest

Usually held in mid or late April

Location: Side Bern’s

813-253-0358

Admission Charged

Legendary Tampa restaurant, Bern’s Steak House, with Side Bern’s and Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits, holds its annual Winefest.  At this four-day event, guests have the opportunity to experience extraordinary food and wine tastings, educational seminars and winemaker dinners. Join Bern’s experts and special guests for classes about wine and food.

 

May

 

Ruskin Tomato Festival

Usually held in early May

Location: E.G. Simmons Park

813-645-3808

Admission Charged

All of Tampa Bay is seeing red during the Tomato and Heritage Festival at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin, a small historic coastal community south of Tampa. The delicious Ruskin tomato is undoubtedly the star of the festival and highlights include “The Great Tomato Cook-off,” the crowning of the “Ruskin Tomato Festival Queen” and the all-you-can-eat sliced tomatoes. Live entertainment, a farmer’s market and a Street Rod Show are also featured.

 

October

 

Guavaween (Latin Style Halloween Street Celebration)

Usually held the last Saturday in October

Locations: Ybor City

Admission Charged

The annual zany celebration features the mythical Mama Guava, who has sworn to take the "bore" out of Ybor (Ee-bore) City, and a parade of her devoted followers. Guavaween is a New Orleans style Halloween celebration based on Tampa's nickname, “The Big Guava.” Costumed revelers pack Ybor City for the huge street party. The festival includes a night parade and street party featuring multiple stages of entertainment. Guavaween has expanded into an all day event, with a Family FunFest offering activities for the entire family.

 

November

 

Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival

Usually held in early November

Location: Centennial Park, Ybor City

813-247-1434

Admission Free

The Ybor City Museum Society hosts the Annual Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival. The one-time “cigar capital of the world,” Ybor City is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. A celebration of Ybor City and Tampa’s cigar past and present, the Cigar Heritage Festival features hundreds of cigar vendors and retailers showcasing premier cigars and cigar related items, cigar rolling, food and wine demonstrations, interactive cultural activities, ethnic food and entertainment and lots of fun for the whole family. There is also Latin musical entertainment performing live at the festival

 

December

 

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Usually held early December – just before Christmas

Henry B. Plant Museum

813-258-7302

Admission Charged

Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. It is a time-honored tradition delighting visitors with a glimpse of Christmas past.  The Victorian Christmas Stroll provides museum guests with an opportunity to see magnificent rooms adorned with authentic Victorian-style decorations, elaborately trimmed trees, lush greenery, antique toys and imaginative ornaments. Enchanting renditions of traditional Christmas carols featuring flute, harp, mandolin, bells and heavenly vocals resonate throughout the museum creating a relaxing and magical atmosphere.

 

Entertainment

 

Arts

 

Gorilla Theatre

4419 N. Hubert Ave
Tampa, FL  33614
813-879-2914

Hours: Thurs 7pm, Fri-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm when shows are running.  Closed July and August

Admission Charged

Living theatre for thinking minds. With only 76 seats, the intimate, Equity theatre presents an eclectic season of original works & classics and sponsors live jazz events and young playwrights’ projects.

 

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL  33602
813-229-7827

Hours: Ticket Office: Mon-Sat noon - 8 pm; Sun noon - 6 pm., call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

One of the largest performing arts centers in the southeast, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center offers one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is widely recognized for its grand opera, plays, educational programs and concerts.

 

Tampa Theatre

711 Franklin Street
Tampa, FL  33602
813-274-8981

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Built in 1926, Tampa Theatre is one of America's best examples of grand movie palace architecture and hosts films, concerts, special events and tours. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Tampa City Landmark.

 

Opera Tampa
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602

813- 222-1072 

Hours: Call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

Opera Tampa is the resident opera company of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Opera Tampa’s mission is to bring to the Tampa Bay area the highest possible caliber of grand opera, featuring international performers and a live orchestra. 

 

Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony performs at the Bay Areas three leading concert halls, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa

727-319-8383

Hours: Call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

The goals of the orchestra are to promote interest and education in music of high standards, to provide musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra and, thus, to enhance the cultural and artistic life of members of the community. There is an annual "Young Artist Competition" in which students compete to perform with the orchestra. Any profits go toward providing scholarships for the winners. The first winner of this competition is now an assistant professor of music at a major university.

 

Sports

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Professional Football

One Buccaneer Place
Tampa, FL  33607
813-879-2827

Season is September – February

Admission Charged

The Bucs compete in the NFC South Division.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

National Hockey League

401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL  33602
813-301-6500

Season is October - April

Admission Charged

National Hockey League team plays all home games in the spectacular St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa.

 

Tampa Bay Storm

Professional Arena Football

401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL  33602
813-276-7300

Season February - June

Admission Charged

Arena Football Team playing home games at the Ice Palace in downtown Tampa.

 

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Professional Baseball

One Tropicana Drive
St. Petersburg, FL  33705
727-825-3137

Season March - October

Admission Charged

The Devil Rays play at Tropicana Field.