Ongoing & Annual Events in Downtown Tampa

There's Always Something Happening in Downtown...

Throughout the year downtown Tampa’s outdoor events draw thousands of people to the urban core.  Events include fitness classes, art shows, farmers markets and seasonal celebrations.

The wide variety of fun things to do in downtown Tampa makes it a weekly destination for everyone. Whether you enjoy a Sunday yoga class during sunset or an early morning stroll around the outdoor market, the events in downtown Tampa are sure to impress!

St. Patrick's Day - Dying the Channel Green, uses an environmentally friendly powder concentrate. Tampa's own Rough Riders and their infamous Teddy Roosevelt float dye the Channel, entertain the crowd, throw beads, and give spectators the greenest St Patrick’s Day they’ve ever seen!
Yoga in the Park takes place each and every Sunday at 6:00pm a FREE Yoga class is offered in Curtis Waterfront Hixon Park.  The class is designed for all skill levels and offers a beautiful view of the Tampa skyline during sunset.  This class has attracted over 120 participants in a single event, making it one of the largest yoga classes in the Tampa Bay area!  
Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Racing is an annual event held in April near Cotanchobbee/Fort Brooke Park.  Each year teams from across Tampa Bay compete to win.  Teams consist of 20 paddlers on 45 foot boats with a drummer setting the pace for the team.  Dragon Boat racing has become so popular that in August 2011 downtown Tampa will host the world championship!   

The Friday Lunchtime Tampa Downtown Market will be replaced with Lunch on the Lawn beginning in October 2012, in Lykes Gaslight Square featuring local restaurant cuisine, live entertainment and fun activities. 

Outdoor Market Survey - An outdoor market with a twist is in planning stages to occur on another day of the week.  Help shape the new outdoor market concept by participating in a short survey at Tampa's Downtown Outdoor Market Survey.  Please complete the survey by Friday, August 10.  The outdoor market and lunch season operates October through the end of May.  A fun way to enjoy our beautiful outdoors, and to see and be seen!  

Rock the Park is a free monthly music series showcasing Central Florida's musical talents of all genres.  The evening if joy and an environment for all types.  Join with other downtowners the FIRST THURSDAY of every month at 6:30pm at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest has often been described as mardi gras themed to pirates. Pirates invade and capture the City of Tampa by boat in one of the largest and most unique celebrations in the country! The pirates celebrate their victory by parading through the streets passing out trinkets and treasure to the delight of thousands and continue their merriment into the evening with stages featuring live entertainment. Gasparilla has been Tampa’s community celebration since 1904. With approximately 200,000 attendees, the Gasparilla Pirate Fest provides the City of Tampa another quality, free community event.   
The Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza is when pint sized pirates take over the city.   Family fun, floats, flying planes and fireworks are all at the annual Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, which has been around since 1947! Featuring one of the largest “Piratechnic” displays in the country, the event also hosts the Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll; the Gasparilla Air Invasion; and Children’s Gasparilla Parade consisting of 100 units. This pirate themed family celebration has launched the Gasparilla celebration since 2002 and now averages an annual attendance of nearly 125,000.  
Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is held annually during the first weekend in March in beautiful downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park,. The festival is sponsored by Raymond James.  It isone of the country’s premier outdoor shows.  Featured art includes ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood.  The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is dedicated to producing an annual, premier juried outdoor art festival for the enjoyment and education of our patrons, artists and guests and the enhancement of the Tampa Bay area’s cultural arts.  
4th of July Fireworks Celebration is a free, family-friendly event with the goal of drawing a mass audience to the Channel District for the fireworks display.  The fireworks will be launched from a barge in the Garrison Channel, adjacent to Channelside Bay Plaza and The Florida Aquarium and can be seen throughout the City!  Over the past ten yearsthis event has been able to create awareness of Tampa’s wonderful waterfront and attractions by bringing an estimated 30,000 in attendance. This event has become the largest fireworks display in the area!  
New Year's Eve Celebration includes a spectacular fireworks display launched from a barge in the channel adjacent to Channelside Bay Plaza and The Florida Aquarium.  All the excitement happensat 12:00 AM on January 1st.  
Pops in the Park is a free concert under the stars in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  The Florida Orchestra dazzles the crowd with the sounds of some of music's best sounds.  Patrons enjoy the urban setting, the night sky and relax on their own picnic blankets and dine on their own creations.  
Picnic in the Park,  hosted by the Henry B. Plant Museum, is a springtime tradition for the entire community. Everyone is encouraged to pack a picnic basket and gather in Plant Park for a day of simple pleasures. There is musical entertainment by a barbershop quartet and by gospel singers, live theater in the Bamboo Garden, and a concert by the UT Band who will play selections of turn-of-the-century favorites. This day for the whole family includes games such as horseshoes, badminton, checkers, tiddlywinks, hoops and sticks, and complimentary Blue Bell ice cream. Take a cruise on the Hillsborough River or simply relax with a good book in the shade of a Live Oak and watch the world go by.   
Lights on Tampa is a new media biennial art event and is a public/private partnership between the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division and Friends of Tampa Public Art, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The Program began in 2006 with the desire to bring something bold, of high quality and “on the moment” to Tampa. The objective was to literally put the spotlight on Tampa and its regional assets. The Program returned in 2009 when Tampa hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIII, and in 2011 brought activities, performances, and intergenerational fun to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  In 2010, the Program was recognized as one of the 50 most significant art programs in the U.S. in the last 50 years (Americans for the Arts).  
Santa Fest is the City of Tampa's annual holiday festival, which includes Tampa's Downtown Holiday Parade.  The parade ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park where the Santa Fest activities are taking place.  Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transformed in to a winter wonderland and the young and the young at heart can enjoy with visits with Santa Claus, continuous holiday entertainment, children's make-n-take holiday crafts, inflatable bounces, and lot of other hands on activities.  
Tampa's Downtown On Ice, the city’s only authentic outdoor ice skating rink, returns to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park each November and remains through January 1st. Real ice allows everyone to enjoy the fun of holiday ice skating in the beautiful Florida sunshine.  Where else can you wear shorts and take to the ice?  
Friday Extra Concert Series is Tampa’s longest running concert series and is renowned for showcasing local talent and bands. The concert series runs eight weeks, every Friday in April and May in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Concerts start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.  
Holiday Boat Parade, a product of the Tampa Attraction Association, lights up the night. Come watch the Tampa Attractions Association illuminate the night in celebration of the holiday season during the Holiday Lighted Boat Parades each December. Watch as festively decorated boats spread holiday cheer around Davis Island, Harbour Island, and through the Garrison Channel.  The parade can be viewed from Channelside Bay Plaza, the SS American Victory Ship, Davis Island and Harbor Island, and the Convention Center’s Sail Pavilion.  
The Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival (TBBHF) is a 10-day event that benefits the Tampa Bay area by focusing attention on the local, national and international contributions of people of African Heritage. This event strives to increase diversity awareness and cultural sensitivity by presenting culturally significant and specific programs led by speakers, entertainers and unique artists. The festival is open to the entire community and provides an exciting and fun way for children and adults to learn about the contributions made by people of African descent in the fields of education, art, music and history.  
Tampa Boat Show takes place annually at the Tampa Convention Center, located directly on the Tampa Riverwalk.  The event is held in early September.  Hundreds of boats line the waterfront allowing people to puruse the various water craft.  The downtown setting is unique giving the beautiful backdrop of the city's skyline to the well attended event.